Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Archaeological Science

Cairns, Australia
19 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
15 Jan 2018
Academic Discipline
Arts & Humanities, Archaeology
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Position Overview

James Cook University (JCU) is host to a major node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH). CABAH, headquartered at the University of Wollongong, brings together eight Australian universities (University of Wollongong, JCU, University of New South Wales, Australian National University, University of Adelaide, Flinders University, Monash University and University of Tasmania), with a range of partner organisations, including major public education and engagement institutions in Australia (Australian Museum, Queensland Museum, South Australian Museum and State Library of New South Wales) and overseas (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, France, Germany, Denmark, the UK and the USA). The CABAH team consists of 27 researchers based in Australian and international universities and research institutions, as well as a range of other Australian and international leaders in research, science communication, and education and engagement.

The Centre commenced in June 2017, with significant funding from the Australian Research Council, the NSW Government and participating universities, museums, and other organisations. CABAH will support around 40 new research positions and more than 50 research students over its 7-year life.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage is committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion and respect. All positions will be offered either full-time or part-time. Applications are particularly encouraged from Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. Women are also strongly encouraged to apply.

This position at the James Cook University CABAH node is a 3 year, fixed-term Postdoctoral Research Fellow in archaeological science who will undertake essential field and laboratory research to support the CABAH research program. The position specifically involves advanced analyses of archaeoicthyological and other archaeological marine faunal remains. The appointee will be responsible for undertaking this research through the development of projects under the direction of the supervisor, for undertaking fieldwork in support of the research and for training PhD and Honours students in the analysis of coastal archaeological assemblages.

Significant funding has been committed to CABAH’s Irinjili Research Training Program, designed to build future research capacity within STEM disciplines and at their interface with the humanities. Through this program, you will participate in regular Masterclasses, Short Courses and Thematic Workshops, with a transdisciplinary emphasis, to improve your technical, professional and communication skills. Cross-node projects, supervisory and mentoring arrangements, and researcher exchange fellowship opportunities will be integral to your CABAH research training experience.

Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders will have access to additional support through dedicated Indigenous Australian initiatives such as mentoring, bursaries and top up grants. Women will be supported through a range of initiatives, including internships and travel grants. Early- and mid-career researchers will also be provided with exceptional opportunities for research leadership development, as part of CABAH’s succession planning.

Organisational Charts

James Cook University

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Undertake laboratory and field research in support of research undertaken by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, as directed by the primary supervisor.
  2. Deliver high-quality research results in a timely fashion to meet strict deadlines in a team environment, as directed by the primary supervisor.
  3. Prepare refereed research papers and external grant applications in collaboration with the primary supervisor and others.
  4. Train students in the analysis of archaeological assemblages and other techniques as directed by the primary supervisor
  5. Co-supervise honours, masters and PhD students.
  6. Collaborate with a large team of colleagues working in an interdisciplinary research environment.
  7. 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.
  8. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values.
  9. 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 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 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 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 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 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 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

  • Travel is a key component of the job. Regular urban, regional and remote travel for fieldwork and training is required.

Selection Criteria

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. PhD in archaeoicthyology or coastal archaeology.
  2. Demonstrated expertise in archaeoicthyology of the Pacific.
  3. Demonstratedexperience in remote area fieldwork campaigns.
  4. Demonstrated track record of relevant publications, with the ability to write high-quality research publications for peer-reviewed journals.
  5. Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with other staff and with research students.
  6. A demonstrated ability to work in a laboratory environment.


  1. A demonstrated record of competitive grant success.
  2. A demonstrated record of supervising honours, masters and PhD students.