Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sustainability Science

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Cairns, QLD, AU

The Opportunity
  • ​​​​​​Contribute to novel recovery pathways for the Great Barrier Reef
  • Co-generate participatory scenarios of interventions for Reef recovery
  • Work with Traditional Owners and scientists in ethical inclusive partnerships

The Reef Trust Partnership and the Reef 2050 Plan brings together researchers, government managers, Traditional Owners as First Nations peoples, farmers, fishers and other stakeholders to generate novel and effective recovery pathways for the Great Barrier Reef.  This Postdoctoral Fellow has a unique opportunity to apply participatory approaches and co-generate new scenarios of interventions and associated models and indicators, for Reef recovery. You will work ethically and in partnership with Traditional Owners for mutual benefit, reciprocity, trust and respect to link the First Nations-led pathways with those focused on technological innovation.  You will join an inspiring team including top CSIRO scientists in our Sustainability Pathways and Marine Ecosystem Modelling groups, international leaders of Reef-catchment restoration ecology at Central Queensland University, global trailblazers in sustainability scenarios from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, guided by a First Nations Reference Group and outstanding leaders of the Traditional Owner Partnerships team at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Your duties will include:
  • Using participatory methods that take account of diverse knowledge systems to co-generate diverse, realistic Great Barrier Reef Futures scenarios;
  • Incorporating new indicators and variables into Great Barrier Reef Futures scenarios, and considering implications for policy and governance;
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will lead to novel and important outcomes for sustainability science and impact;
  • Recognising and exploiting opportunities for innovation and the generation of new theoretical perspectives, and progressing opportunities for the further development or creation of new lines of research;

Location: Cairns, Queensland

Salary: AU$86k – AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 67821

To be considered you will need:
  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as sustainability science, social-ecological systems science, environmental science, human geography, environmental sociology.
    Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Experience in working with diverse stakeholders, rightsholders and multiple knowledge systems to identify collaborative solutions to complex, dynamic sustainability problems e.g. biodiversity loss, climate change, sustainable development.
  • High-level cultural competency and abilities to work effectively in relationships of trust and respect with Traditional Owners as First Nations People.
  • Demonstrated interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research skills and capacities that transcend scientific disciplines and diverse cultures.
  • Understanding of scenarios and models in sustainability science, and their applications to co-generate policy and solutions.

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

Applicants must be Australian/New Zealand citizens, Australian permanent residents or Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by December 2020/January 2021.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

30 July, 2020, 11:00pm AEST