CSIRO Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship in Computational Genomics and Plant Breeding Using ML and AI

Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Canberra, Australia

Job posting number: #7195244 (Ref:cj_94946)

Posted: November 21, 2023

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

Child Safety

CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs. View our Child Safe Policy.

The Opportunity


  • Do you have a PhD in quantitative/statistical genetics, applied statistics, data science, applied mathematics, computational biology, genomics or plant breeding?
  • Explore new digital based technologies to optimize the design of plant breeding, to more efficiently generate better plant varieties
  • Join the CSIRO Agriculture & Food Breeding Innovations Group for this 3-year postdoctoral fellowship role 


CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

We are thrilled to be able to deliver on the commitment we made in our strategy to invest in frontier science with the new CSIRO Agriculture & Food Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme. The word Winanga-y (pronounced win-na-gnay) is a cultural asset gifted by the Gomeroi Nation in Myall Vale to CSIRO's Agriculture and Food Business Unit to name the Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. Winanga-y means to understand, know, remember, and think.

CSIRO Agriculture & Food's Breeding Innovations Group requires an innovative and forward-thinking computational geneticist to join the team breeding innovations group. The CERC Fellow will build mathematical and computational approaches to optimize the experimental design in a plant breeding program on the basis of genomic, phenotype and pedigree data, using various modern optimization methods such as combinatorial optimization and Bayesian optimization. The CERC Fellow will play a leading role on method development and validation, and ultimately will collaborate with the breeders to integrate the methodology into the CSIRO’s cotton breeding program to deliver successful cotton cultivars.

Your duties will include:

  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel scientific outcomes with direct applications to the improvement of agricultural production systems. This includes designing and implementing mathematical optimization approaches to maximize genetic gain of a commercial cotton breeding program and meanwhile minimize the use of resources. 
  • Recognising and exploiting opportunities for innovation and the generation of new theoretical perspectives, and progress opportunities for the further development or creation of new lines of research. This will include the development of multiple objective optimization algorithms to maximize the experimental design for a cotton breeding program. 
  • Recording, managing, and analysing data using relevant data science techniques. Data streams may include genotype, phenotype, pedigree and environment data. This will require close collaboration with the teams generating the data to ensure that it remains relevant for both conventional and advanced genetic approaches to cotton improvement.
  • Communicating complex research findings to the industry collaborators including CSIRO cotton breeders. Also working with breeders to assist them in developing new breeding strategies and decision-making tools to enhance the rate of genetic gain in cotton and increase the profitability and sustainability of Australian cotton production.


Location: Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT

Salary: AU$92k - AU$101k plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 94946

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as quantitative/statistical genetics, applied statistics, data science, applied mathematics, computational biology, genomics or plant breeding. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated skills in the handling and analysis of large-scale biological datasets such as genomic, phenomic and pedigree data. 
  • Knowledge and experience of mathematical optimization techniques such as in the area of convex, nonlinear,  stochastic and dynamic programming,  combinatorial and Bayesian optimization.
  • Evidence of advanced programming skills relevant to scientific computation and statistics (e.g. R, Python, Fortran, C++ or equivalent).


For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or you must either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa for the duration of the specified term. Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 


CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.


CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs, whether we are undertaking research, engaging with the public or nurturing future scientists in person or online. Source – CSIRO Child Safe policy 2023

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

2 January 2024, 11:00pm AEDT

We’re working hard to build a safe and welcoming culture where people can bring their whole selves to work. Valuing and enabling difference empowers our people, unlocking their potential to innovate and shape the future for our customers, all Australians and the world. We do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today. We're the people that stay awake solving the world’s big questions. This is true of our science and of our people. Our mission is to create benefit for Australia through impactful science and innovation but we know that that's not possible without an inclusive and diverse culture. We're working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure all our people feel supported to do their best work and empowered to let their ideas flourish.

Apply Now

Please mention to the employer that you saw this ad on Sciencejobs.org

More Info

Job posting number:#7195244 (Ref:cj_94946)
Application Deadline:Open Until Filled
Employer Location:CSIRO
More jobs from this employer
Institution Website