Postdoctoral Research Associate, Synthetic Biology

Perth (Suburb), Western Australia (AU)
$74,236 - $99,905 p.a. plus 17% superannuation
26 May 2023
End of advertisement period
25 Jun 2023
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Molecular Sciences

  • Opportunity to join an exciting project developing novel synthetic biology tools for sustainable biotechnological applications
  • Level A, full-time appointment on a fixed term basis for two years
  • Base salary range: $ 74,236 - $99,905 p.a. plus 17% superannuation

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world and a member of the prestigious Australian Group of Eight research intensive universities. With a strong research track record, vibrant campus and working environments, supported by the freedom to innovate and inspire, there is no better time to join Western Australia’s top university.

About the team

This position is based within the Synthetic Microbiology Laboratory, led by Dr Georg Fritz and located in the UWA School of Molecular Sciences, and will be conducted in close collaboration with Prof Susanne Gebhard from the University of Mainz (Germany). The Fritz Lab uses multi-disciplinary approaches from molecular biology, bioinformatics, and computational physics to undertake a diverse range of fundamental and applied research projects in systems and synthetic biology. A key focus of the lab is on engineering microbial systems for biotechnological applications, including the production of antimicrobial peptides and bioplastics. Complementary to this, the Gebhard lab has strong expertise in engineering Gram-positive microbes for self-healing concrete applications.

About the opportunity

You will undertake an applied research project encompassing the engineering of synthetic genetic circuits, to enable precise temporal control over the expression of heterologous metabolic pathways in microbes. You will work on applications of these circuits to two metabolic pathways, involving the production of antimicrobial peptides and the control of biomineralisation in self-healing concrete. To this end you will perform experimentation involving molecular biology and genetic manipulation of bacteria, as well as the development of bioassays for pathway characterisation. You will be expected to apply your existing technical knowledge to work independently, with guidance from the two project leads. Your role will involve the preparation and presentation of results for dissemination, supervising graduate and undergraduate students, playing a role in bids for research funding, and engaging with a network of contacts in local, national and international institutions for the purposes of research collaboration.

To be considered for this role, you will demonstrate:

  • PhD in molecular biology, biotechnology, or related discipline
  • Experience in molecular cloning methodologies
  • Experience in analytical chemistry and/or separation chemistry techniques (HPLC, LC-MS, GC-MS)
  • Ability to undertake and publish high quality and impactful research
  • Ability to write and publish manuscripts in high-impact international journals
  • Highly developed research, analytical and problem-solving skills

About your application

Full details of the position's responsibilities and the selection criteria are outlined in the position description: Research Associate (Synthetic Biology) 514631.pdf

You are required to address the selection criteria in your submission in a separate document. For information to assist you with compiling statements to answer the selection criteria, please visit Addressing the selection criteria

Closing date: 11:55 PM AWST on Sunday, 25 June 2023

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Dr Georg Fritz on

This position is open to international applicants.

Application Details: Please apply online via the Apply Now button.

Our commitment to inclusion and diversity

UWA is committed to a diverse workforce and an equitable and inclusive workplace. We celebrate difference and believe diversity is fundamental to achieving our goals as a globally recognised Top 100 educational and research institution. We are committed to creating a safe work environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the LGBTIQA+ community and people living with disability.

  • We have a globally competitive, gender neutral parental leave policy with 26 weeks paid leave after 12 months service and 36 weeks after 5 years.
  • We have on-campus childcare facilities for child 6 weeks to kindy.
  • We facilitate flexible working, with part-time and job-sharing arrangements considered.
  • We have an ongoing partnership with Pride in Diversity and were recently awarded a Bronze Employer status for LGBTIQA+ inclusion.
  • We have Athena SWAN Bronze accreditation and actively work to improve gender equity. 

Should you have any queries relating to your application, please contact the individual named in the advertisement. Alternatively, contact the Talent team at with details of your query. To enable a quick response, please include the 6-digit job reference number and a member of the team will respond to your enquiry.