Dr Yong-Ling Ruan of CSIRO Plant Industry, Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT, looking into an experiment.

CSIRO offers PhD graduates the opportunity to launch their scientific careers through our Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Postdoctoral fellowship program

CSIRO offers PhD graduates an opportunity to work with leaders in the field of science and generous personal development and learning opportunities.

  • 29 July 2011 | Updated 6 January 2014


The Science and Industry Research Act 1949 requires CSIRO to assist in the development of scientists. Postdoctoral Fellowships are one of the ways that CSIRO provides this assistance.

CSIRO’s purpose in offering Postdoctoral Fellowships is to:

A Postdoctoral Fellowship is intended, first and foremost, to enhance the person’s research capability.

  • provide young scientists with the opportunity to gain experience in order to develop capability for the nation
  • assist universities to produce a pool of potential employees
  • refresh and add value to CSIRO’s research activities (through original insights, new knowledge and/or techniques)
  • facilitate the identification and recruitment of potential science leaders.

A Postdoctoral Fellowship is intended, first and foremost, to enhance the person’s research capability so that they are better able to pursue a career in science either within CSIRO or beyond.

Fellowships are awarded for research aligned with the National Research Priorities and focussed on key research in the National Research Flagships and CSIRO's research Divisions.


Fellowships are available to PhD graduates who have attained, or will shortly satisfy the requirements for, a PhD degree in a discipline related to CSIRO’s research.

Overseas applicants are eligible for appointment and will be sponsored by CSIRO to obtain an Australian Work Visa. Appointment is subject to immigration requirements and security assessments being met.

Special conditions

The following special conditions apply to appointments of Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • The duration of a single term appointment as a designated Postdoctoral Fellow may not exceed three years full-time or equivalent, allowing for breaks or part-time pro-rata considerations. Consecutive appointments as a Postdoctoral Fellow may be offered, provided that on completion of the Fellowship, the officer’s total relevant work experience since confirmation of his/her doctorate does not exceed six full-time equivalent years.

  • A training and development plan must be developed in consultation with the Postdoctoral Fellow. Usually, this will occur prior to commencement, so that obligations and expectations are clarified before the Fellow accepts an offer of employment. If this is impractical, the plan must be completed no later than one month after commencement. The plan will be designed to facilitate the development of the Fellow's capabilities to those of expected of an independent researcher and opportunity will be provided for the Fellow to apply those capabilities in their work, as they develop.

  • The training and development plan will include defined opportunities for formal involvement in research planning, conference attendance, publication and review of scientific papers and fully funded training courses for skills development, unless otherwise agreed between CSIRO and the Fellow.


If successful, you will be offered a Fellowship for a maximum of three years. Your Fellowship may not continue beyond the date on which you complete a total of six years postdoctoral research experience.


A structured training program will be developed between you and a CSIRO scientist. The program will allow you to further develop your skills in research, planning, management and communication.

How to apply

CSIRO’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program is advertised nationally and on the Positions Vacant website each year in May and October.