First listed on: 17 January 2020

Molecular Diagnostic Scientist

The Opportunity
  • Join CSIRO - Australia's premier science research organisation
  • Provide high level development and validation of PCR based molecular diagnostic tests
  • Support world-leading scientific research in a state-of-the-art high facility

The Diagnosis, Surveillance and Response Program (DSR program) at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) provides diagnostic and research capability required to investigate and respond to high impact and newly emerging diseases affecting livestock and other animals, including zoonotic agents.

The successful candidate will be required to perform day-to-day routine molecular diagnostic assays under NATA/ISO 17025 accreditation, contribute to the development/re-development and validation of PCR based molecular diagnostic assays and updating laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

You will also work and provide diagnostic training in overseas laboratories as required, to meet the project objectives of AAHL’s international animal health reference laboratory responsibilities. Overseas work will only be undertaken once the required competency standards are met and may involve multiple trips of 1-2 weeks duration, potentially up to 4 weeks, in primarily Asia/Pacific countries.

The appointee must be able to meet AAHL’s microbiological security and security assessment requirements.

Your duties will include:
  • Work within BSL3 laboratories to perform day-to-day routine molecular diagnostic PCR assays and ‘on-call’ duties under NATA/ISO 17025 accreditation for routine and emergency disease investigation.
  • Work in overseas laboratories and/or hosting visiting scientists and collaborators from overseas institutions to develop and provide structured training in diagnostic test development.
  • Perform development and validation of PCR based molecular diagnostic assays, contributing to development and updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and to applications for NATA accreditation.
  • Cross-train and participate in a range of research and technical activities within the AAHL Molecular Diagnostics Team, as well as contribute to laboratory house-keeping and maintenance activities.
  • Contribute to QA requirements, including reporting and authorising tests, maintaining up-to-date and accurate test records, and proficiency testing.
  • Work independently or collaboratively with colleagues on assigned research and development activities, including experimental design, implementation and timely completion of this work.
  • Assist the team leader and veterinary investigation team by providing oral and written advice upon request.

Location: Geelong, VIC
Salary: AU$83k - AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 64800

To be considered you will need:
  • Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent relevant experience in Biological Sciences or a related discipline.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and technical skills in relation to conducting diagnostic conventional and real-time PCR, ideally within an accredited diagnostic laboratory environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate and develop of molecular assays/procedures, including high-throughput sample processing and testing workflows (e.g. nucleic acid extraction and testing procedures).
  • Demonstrated experience in troubleshooting PCR-based tests.
  • Demonstrated experience in diagnostic and research projects, including planning, scheduling, executing and satisfactory completion of activities.
  • High level interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills including the ability to document results and communicate effectively with colleagues and clients from diverse cultural backgrounds in order to meet project goals and timelines.
  • Willingness and ability to travel overseas for periods of between 1 to 3 weeks to deliver project work and to provide structured training for overseas collaborators. 

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish.

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirments of this role.

Applications Close

Thursday 6th February 2020, 11:00pm AEDT

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