Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowships



The CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowships scheme is funded through the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBio FSP). The scheme aims to attract outstanding national and international early- to mid-career post-doctoral researchers (equivalent to Academic Levels A and B, or in exceptional circumstances, Level C) to expand Australian research capacity in synthetic biology. A key element of the SynBio FSP is establishment of a collaborative community of practice extending across CSIRO and Australia, and linking into international efforts in the field.

Fellowships will be hosted at a Host Organisation (usually an Australian University, but other Australian research organisations may also be eligible). The Fellowships program is a partnership between the Fellow, CSIRO, and the Host Organisation. Fellows will be employed by the Host Organisation but will maintain a strong linkage to CSIRO through a partnering CSIRO Mentor(s) and various joint activities designed to support development of a synthetic biology community of practice. Fellows will have a Visiting Scientist appointment at CSIRO and may spend a portion of time physically located within a CSIRO research group if appropriate for the Fellowship project.

The Fellowships are co-funding agreements, requiring a 1:1 cash commitment from the Host Organisation (and/or other funding sources) to match the cash commitment from the SynBio FSP. The Fellowships will provide three years of funding (salary and operating expenses) to be administered by the Host Organisation. Operating expenses may be used for experimental costs, equipment, travel, and other expenses directly related to the CSIRO Future Science Fellow’s research. A host organisation financial commitment must be provided in order for the proposal to be assessed.

The SynBio FSP is built on a philosophy of responsible development of synthetic biology technology, striving for ethical outcomes and working within the bounds of social acceptance. Project proposals in the social sciences, as well as in lab-based research, are encouraged.

The 2019 round is the third call funded by the SynBio FSP and will support Fellowships to start by 1st November 2019. Further calls under this scheme may be made in the future pending funding arrangements and prior success of the CSIRO-Partner Organisation collaboration. Fellowships will be funded for three years.

The scheme opened on 14 December 2018. Applications must be submitted through the Host Organisation’s Research Office by 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time Friday, 1 March 2019.

2019 Program Priority Areas

Application Domain Priorities

The priority areas for the 2019 Fellowship round are the Health & Medicine and Maximising Impact Application Domains. However, we will consider Proposals across all five Application Domains. We also have a technical priority area: BioFoundry use. Please see details in the Priority Areas section under ‘Projects’ here.

Diversity and Inclusion

CSIRO has a large and diverse workforce and its people and culture are fundamental to its ability to innovate and deliver solutions that provide profound impact for Australia and globally.

The SynBio FSP strongly supports women and other minorities in STEM disciplines. We welcome applications from such individuals and greatly value the diversity they bring to the SynBio FSP. We recognise that women are less likely to apply for engineering-related Fellowships and Fellowships in general, and would therefore like to encourage applications from women. Process are in place to recognise and properly assess output relative to opportunity, and opportunities for flexible working arrangements and career interruptions are embedded in the Fellowship rules.

Next: Instructions to Applicants