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ARC Grant Funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow (A) -Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space

Adelaide, Australia
$75,888 to $106,040 per annum
Closing date
12 May 2024

Level A ($75,888 to $106,040) per annum plus an employer contribution of up to 17% superannuation applies.

Fixed-term position available for 36 months.

Be part of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space and contribute to world-leading research projects.

This role will investigate the genetic and molecular basis for inflorescence, flower and seed development in aquatic plant species suited to growth in controlled environmental conditions.

Working within a collaborative and dynamic team at the University of Adelaide and with other P4S partners, the successful candidate will identify and characterise key pathways that influence developmental transitions, and develop genetic and molecular strategies to alter these pathways in transient and stable experiments. New plant lines will be assessed for changes in growth rate, reproduction and composition, and compared to model species to assess conservation of function.

The tasks of the Postdoctoral Researcher will include:

  • Molecular and genetic analysis of meristem and seed development
  • Development of transient and stable genetic strategies to assess gene function
  • Application of histological and/or morphometric methods to track changes in growth, development and composition

Outputs will include:

  • Genetic pathways influencing developmental transitions in aquatic plant species
  • Identification of molecular targets for manipulation of plant growth and composition  
  • A testable model for cell division and differentiation capacity in different organs

This exciting role will contribute to ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space’s goal to re-imagine plant design and bio-resource production to support long-term habitation in Space and solve sustainability challenges on Earth.

To be successful you will need:

  1. A completed or nearly completed PhD in Plant Sciences, Development, Molecular Biology, Plant Biochemistry or related subject.
  2. Demonstrated experience in a combination of genetic analysis, molecular biology, cell biology or confocal microscopy.
  3. Demonstrated understanding of plant development, shoot growth and/or reproduction.
  4. Fluency in written and spoken English, with an ability to communicate scientific ideas to an expert audience.
  5. A strong work ethic, and the ability to work well independently, and as a member of a broader team, including with industrial partners.
  6. Commitment to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Desirable characteristics:

  1. Understanding of bioinformatics.
  2. Research experience in multiple model systems.
  3. Skills in morphometric modelling of sub-epidermal cell types.

Enjoy an outstanding career environment

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space is a >$90 million initiative led by the University of Adelaide with more than 35 partners across Australia and around the world. P4S aims to create on-demand, zero-waste, high efficiency plants and plant products to address grand challenges in sustainability for Space and on Earth. The multi-disciplinary team in plant, food, and sensory science; process and systems engineering; law and policy; and psychology will deliver transformative solution for Space habitation – and create enhanced plant-derived food and bioresources to capitalise upon emergent and rapidly expanding domestic and global markets. Anticipated outcomes include industry uptake of innovative plant forms, foods, technologies, and commodities; and an ambitious education and international co-ordination agenda to position Australia as a global leader in plant-based research supporting Space habitation. Find out more at

The University of Adelaide is a uniquely rewarding workplace. The size, breadth and quality of our education and research programs - including significant industry, government and community collaborations - offers you vast scope and opportunity for a long, fulfilling career.

It also enables us to attract high-calibre people in all facets of our operations, ensuring you will be surrounded by talented colleagues, many world-leading. Our work's cutting-edge nature - not just in your own area, but across virtually the full spectrum of human endeavour - provides a constant source of inspiration.

Our culture is one that welcomes all and embraces diversity consistent with our Staff Values and Behaviour Framework and our Values of integrity, respect, collegiality, excellence and discovery. We firmly believe that our people are our most valuable asset, so we work to grow and diversify the skills, knowledge and capability of all our staff.

We embrace flexibility as a key principle to allow our people to manage the changing demands of work, personal and family life. Flexible working arrangements are on offer for all roles at the University.

In addition, we offer a wide range of attractive staff benefits. These include: salary packaging; flexible work arrangements; high-quality professional development programs and activities; and an on-campus health clinic, gym and other fitness facilities.

Learn more at:

Your faculty’s broader role

The Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology is a multidisciplinary hub of cutting-edge teaching and research. Many of its academic staff are world leaders in their fields and graduates are highly regarded by employers. The Faculty actively partners with innovative industries to solve problems of global significance.

As a member of Australia’s G08, the University of Adelaide is recognised as one of the nation’s most respected research-intensive universities, challenging and inspiring graduates to make a real difference. The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) holds an outstanding reputation for teaching, research, and quality graduates. Comprised of eight schools, 21 centres and five institutes, the Faculty of SET is responsible for teaching over 8,500 students across our three campuses, North Terrace, Waite and Roseworthy, and has an annual budget of $300 million. The faculty is a significant contributor to the University’s research reputation, earning annual research revenue above $120 million. Many of our research areas have achieved a world-class research rating of 5 in the 2018 ERA rankings. The faculty is responsible for teaching and research across wide range of disciplines including Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Architecture, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences, Agriculture, Food and Wine and Animal and Veterinary Science. The Faculty of SET is an innovative and agile working environment that champions excellence, diversity and inclusion in our teaching, research, and global engagement leadership.

Learn more at:

How to Apply

Click on the link below to view the position description and to apply for this position:

Please ensure you submit a cover letter, resume, and upload a document that includes your responses to all of the selection criteria for the position as contained in the position description.

***Applications close 11:55 pm (South Australia time), Sunday 12th May 2024***

For further information

For a confidential discussion regarding this position, contact:

Professor Matthew Tucker

The University reserves the right to close this advertisement before the closing date if a suitable candidate is identified.

The University of Adelaide is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity and inclusion. Female applicants, people with a disability and/or and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who meet the requirements of this position are strongly encouraged to apply. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at time of application.

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