Research Officer/Senior Research Officer in Freshwater

Townsville, Australia
22 Sep 2017
End of advertisement period
22 Oct 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Position Overview

As part of the TropWATER Freshwater Ecology Group the Research Officer/Senior Research Officer will engage with a range of externally contracted research and consulting activities, and will manage multiple projects serving industry and other external clients across northern Australia. The incumbent will have significant experience and expertise in the fields of water quality, limnology and hydrology of freshwater, estuarine and coastal marine systems. The incumbent will deliver professional advice around the management of complex fresh water environments, with key aspects comprising water quality monitoring, stream sediment and vegetation condition surveys, evaluation of water and sediment chemistry, mass balance and transport modelling, and limnology assessments. The incumbent may have either a strong research background or a more applied background.


TropWATER undertakes projects across a range of activities from pure research to consultancy. The mix of research and fee-for-service projects varies between team members and over time, depending on availability of funds and opportunity. This combination of project styles creates a vibrant and diverse intellectual working environment. Our goal is to make a difference in the applied management of environmental issues. We also aim to gain research outcomes from the conduct of commercial projects, thus value-adding to the use of such funds.

Organisational Charts

James Cook University

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies


Principal Accountabilities

  1. Conduct both independent and team-based research and consulting activities associated with TropWATER projects.
  2. Prepare and negotiate research and consultancy funding proposals to external funding agencies, both independently and as part of a research team, including ensuring project salary income will cover salary costs of the position.
  3. Manage all aspects of project investigation, finances, field activities, data assessment and reporting to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of agreed project milestones.
  4. Deliver workshops outlining project goals and achievements and present scientific papers at seminars and conferences.
  5. Produce scientific technical reports, publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference and seminar presentations.
  6. Plan, organise and undertake field programs and be prepared to participate in field work in remote locations.
  7. Where required, present lectures and tutorials and mentor/supervise postgraduate research students.
  8. Undertake administrative functions connected with the position’s activities.
  9. Support the University's commitment to the principles of reconciliation, which exemplify respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the valuing of justice and equity for all Australians.
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values.
  11. Support the principles of the TropEco program and engage in commitment to JCU sustainability goals and objectives.

Generic Accountabilities

There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff.

  1. The Research Officer/Senior Research Officer is required to observe the lawful and reasonable directions, policies and decisions of the University Council, understand and comply with the Enterprise Agreement, the Statutes and Rules of the University, the policies and decisions of the University Council and other appropriate University authorities, as in force from time to time.
  2. The Research Officer/Senior Research Officer is required to demonstrate a personal commitment to ensure personal safety and the safety of others and contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. This includes the effective implementation and compliance with James Cook University WHS policies, procedures and safe systems of work, together with all relevant legislation, duties and obligations. Contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance.
  3. The Research Officer/Senior Research Officer is required to exercise proper discretion in all matters affecting the well-being of the University which involve public writing or speaking in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct.

Special Conditions

  • It is a requirement of this position to hold current CPR and First Aid Certification.
  • It is a requirement of this position to be prepared to undertake field work in remote areas and outside of normal working hours.
  • It is a requirement of this position to hold a current ‘C’ Class Queensland manual Driver’s licence

Selection Criteria

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. Possess either a PhD or a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 6 years of professional experience in a related field.
  2. Experience in project management either as an individual or contributing significantly to the management of projects as part of a team, including preparation of funding proposals, sourcing opportunities for projects, and developing relationships with potential clients, stakeholders and collaborators.
  3. Ability to conduct research and/or applied commercial projects in environmental science and aquatic ecology.
  4. Demonstrated experience in analyzing and interpreting water quality data and the preparation of technical reports and/or the publication of scientific results in peer-reviewed journals.
  5. Demonstrated ability to integrate water quality and biological data into resource management assessments.
  6. Demonstrated high level computing skills including the use of Microsoft and database statistical related software.
  7. Experience with organising and managing field programs or similar logistical operations, including in remote locations.


  1. An understanding of aquatic ecotoxicology principles
  2. Familiarity with the ecology, hydrology and other characteristics of tropical environments, particularly the dry savannahs of northern Australia
  3. Experience in evaluating environmental and water quality/quantity issues associated with mining and industrial activities
  4. Possess an understanding of the regulatory framework of the Queensland and national water quality guidelines.