Research Fellow, Plant-Soil Microbiomes

Melbourne, Australia
20 Oct 2021
End of advertisement period
10 Nov 2021
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Work type: Fixed Term
Location: Parkville
Division/Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
Salary: $75,289 - $102,163 (Level A)
Role & Superannuation rate: Academic - Full time - 17% super

An exciting fixed-term opportunity exists for a Research Fellow (Plant-Soil Microbiomes) to join the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences.

About the role

The Research Fellow (Plant-Soil Microbiomes) will play a key role in the ARC Research Hub Theme 3 (Harnessing plant-soil microbiome interactions for optimising nutrient capture and informing fertiliser design) and collaborate with the other Themes across this multi-disciplinary, industry-university partnership.

Working closely with the Hub Director, Theme 3 Leader and theme 3 Chief Investigators, this role will:

  • identify how the plant-soil-microbiome interactions influence the root physiology and signaling molecules for nitrogen acquisition for selected crops under varying abiotic conditions;
  • develop a framework for high-throughput isolation of plant beneficial communities and test their efficacy on plant performance under controlled conditions using synthetic community approach;
  • evaluate how the interactions of new chemical and biological fertilisers with plant roots and soil microbiomes to benefit the growth of the selected crops.

The position requires excellent research and interdisciplinary background in plant-soil microbiomes, molecular ecology, plant physiology, and soil biology. The incumbent will have excellent interpersonal skills to support collaboration across disciplines and with industry partners and external stakeholders. The Research Fellow will also play an active role in mentoring and developing the skills of Hub graduate researchers.

This position offers an excellent opportunity for a researcher interested in working in a highly applied, inter-disciplinary field, collaborating with industry to create innovative solutions that address significant economic and environmental challenges in the agricultural sector.

This position will primarily be located at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville Campus and may be required to attend other sites and campuses.

About you

In order to be considered for interview by the Selection Panel, applicants must address the following Criteria in their application. Please visit the University website how to address Essential Selection Criteria


  • A relevant PhD degree or equivalent professional experience in a research field related to soil microbiology, plant microbiology, or microbial ecology.
  • Proven ability to undertake research under limited supervision and delivering against research objectives, as evidenced by a record of contributions in peer-reviewed publications and presentations to scientific and industry audiences.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in plant-soil microbiome interactions, plant rhizosphere signalling molecules, soil biodiversity.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in high-throughput sequencing, bioinformatics, and statistical modelling approaches.
  • Knowledge in plant beneficial microbes, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and designing of synthetic communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish research findings in high-impact scientific journals.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with relevant professional and industry bodies and stakeholders to foster collaborative partnerships.
  • Demonstrated high-level organisational and administrative skills with the ability to prioritise a range of tasks, manage time effectively and meet deadlines in a busy environment.
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to build and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and an ability to tailor information to difference scientific audiences in a diverse environment.


  • Experience in isolating and identifying pure cultures of microbes from plant and soil samples.
  • Experience and knowledge in biological fertilisers, synthetic communities, and microbiome-based products.

To ensure the University provides a safe environment for children, this position requires the incumbent to hold a current and valid Working with Children Check.

For information to assist you with compiling short statements to answer the selection criteria, please go to:


  • Maximise your benefits through our Salary Packaging scheme
  • Flexible family friendly policies, providing generous leave and working conditions
  • The opportunity to work in a culturally rich environment
  • A substantial discount to eligible staff and their immediate families in undertaking further studies at the University of Melbourne

To find out more, go to

Position Description


Applications close: 10 Nov 2021 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Daylight Time