Senior Research Fellow in People and Ecosystems

Townsville, Australia
19 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
19 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


The ARC Centre of Excellence forCoral Reef Studies isthe world’s leading coral reef research group, encompassing 250 researchers and graduate students, with ongoing research projects in 30 countries. The vision of the Centre is to provide the scientific knowledge necessary for understanding the world’s coral reefs and their interaction with people in order to foster their sustainable use, secure the benefits they provide to tropical societies and economies, and enhance the effectiveness of coral reef management world-wide. The Centre fosters a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional approach to its research programs drawing on expertise from its collaborating universities and other national and international partners.

Employment opportunities for four outstanding early to mid-career Research Fellows are now available on the Townsville campus of James Cook University. Appointments will be for three years with the potential for extension. We are seeking candidates with some postdoctoral research interests across a broad range of disciplines in both the natural and social sciences.

Appointees will make a major contribution to their field of expertise and play a significant role within their discipline, nationally and internationally. These fellows will develop leadership roles and foster research excellence within the Centre. We are seeking people with broad areas of expertise which would contribute to the following research themes of the Centre:

People and Ecosystems (1 position):

The key objective of this program is to improve the governance and management of natural systems and to enhance our capacity to sustain both human and natural capital. We are seeking to build an extensive international team that transcends the disciplinary constraints of the biological, oceanographic, geochemical, anthropological, economic and policy sciences, to create an exciting research agenda that focuses on the local and global resilience of coral reefs from both social and biological perspectives.

Responding to a Changing World (1 position):

This program will focus on advancing fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning coral reef function and resilience. Topics of interest include coral calcification and the integrity of coral reef frameworks, physiological plasticity, and the capacity of coral reef organisms, including corals and their associated microbes, to adapt to changing conditions.


  1. Conduct research independently and as part of a team and make original contributions to the research aims of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  2. Publish research in high quality, peer-reviewed journals
  3. Plan, prepare and submit research proposals to external funding agencies
  4. Where appropriate, supervise research program staff
  5. Contribute to the research culture of the Centre
  6. Co-supervise graduate students where appropriate.


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

  1. The 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 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 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. 


Key Selection Criteria

  1. PhD in related discipline
  2. Excellent publication record for stage of career
  3. Evidence of outstanding research ability in one or more discipline(s) relevant to the Centre of Excellence
  4. Established national and international links with appropriate research organisations and personnel
  5. Demonstrated effective interpersonal and communication skills.

Desirable Selection Criteria