CSIRO Agriculture and Food offers opportunities for postgraduate, undergraduate and high school students to work with our world-class scientists in varied research fields and roles.

Our research spans the gene to the plate, with expertise in a range of areas, from digital agriculture to soil science, farming systems, policy and food innovation. We are working to improve productivity, profitability and sustainability in cropping, livestock production, aquaculture, horticulture and the food industry.

Katie Broughton stands outside a glasshouse surrounded by a field of cotton in Narrabri, northern NSW.

Katie Broughton is studying changing climate effects on cotton productivity in Narrabri, northern NSW.

The majority of our student opportunities will be listed on CSIRO's careers portal when available. The types of opportunities include:

  • Undergraduate vacation scholarships: Offering undergraduate students the opportunity to collaborate with our scientists.
  • Postgraduate scholarships: Postgraduate students who partner with CSIRO to complete their Masters or PhD studies, will gain access to world-class facilities and have a unique opportunity to work alongside our leading research scientists.
  • Industrial traineeships: Tertiary students may complete their compulsory work placement with CSIRO, working alongside leading scientists to further their learning and build long-lasting professional networks.
  • Work experience: We offer high school science students the chance to gain first-hand experience of our core research in a scientific environment. 
  • Opportunities for Indigenous Australians: We're committed to encouraging more Indigenous people to work with us, in both our science and support areas.

Postgraduate students

We are keen to attract outstanding and highly motivated postgraduate students across the Agriculture and Food Business Unit. There are opportunities each year for Masters and PhD students already enrolled at Australian tertiary institutes.

Ashley Waardenberg adds cells to make a tissue culture in a 6-well tissue culture dish at the Queensland Biosciences Precinct.

We advise you to carefully review the Agriculture and Food research section of CSIROs website to gain an understanding of the scope of our research.

If you are an international student, please check the requirements and criteria for the individual opportunities listed. It is recommended that international applicants view the Australian Government website Study in Australia .

[Text appears: How much oil can an oil seed hold]

[Image changes to show Frankie Rickard]

Frankie Rickard: I really enjoyed my summer at the CSIRO and have definitely learned a lot throughout my time here.

[Image changes to show Frankie working with another colleague]

The first part of my project involved comparing a number of oil seeds. Just a few examples of products that use plant oils at the moment are green plastic bags which you buy from the supermarket where the slipping agent comes from Canola. Soybean newspaper ink is used in more than 90 percent of American newspapers. And detergents can be made from coconut or palm oil.

[Camera pans of an example of each of the products as Frankie mentions them and then changes back to Frankie working with her colleague on some plant samples]

If we're able to produce more oil from the same amount of land and intensify production there are a number of benefits. Not only does this increase return for farmers but the additional oil could help meet increased demands for food oil and the surplus could be used for industrial purposes.

So coming back to the original question how much oil can an oil seed hold? Well that is something we know that varies between seeds and something that we're hoping to increase in the future.

The best part of the project is getting a feel for how things work in the lab and learning a bit more about science as a career rather than from the lecture theatre at university, which really opened my eyes to science on a larger scale.

[CSIRO Logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

How much oil can an oil seed hold :  As a summer student Frankie worked on comparing oil seeds, producing more oil using the same amount of land could increase return for farmers and help meet future demands.

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