First listed on: 17 September 2022

Principal Research Scientist - Crop Farming Systems


Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity

  • Lead innovative research and development within CSIRO’s Cotton Research
  • Bring your expertise in farming systems science 
  • Join CSIRO Agriculture and Food and make a difference!

Role overview:

CSIRO Agriculture and Food develops and delivers science and technology to increase the resilience and sustainability of Australian agricultural systems. Our approach is impact-focussed, working with industry and stakeholders to ensure that we deliver outcomes that build resilient farming systems across a portfolio known as our ‘Resilient Farming Systems Impact Area’. The core of the Impact Area Portfolio’s science lies in a better understanding of the parts, or components, of the system and how each component interacts, interconnects, interrelates, and in some cases influences each other. CSIRO Agriculture and Food are seeking to appoint a Principal Research Scientist (PRS) to lead the area of cotton-centric farming systems science to grow our resilient farming systems impact in cotton-facing systems, including the emerging industry in northern Australia.

As the Principal Research Scientist – Crop Farming Systems, you will focus on developing the science and go to market strategy for cotton-centric integrated farming systems with a focus on agricultural decision-making including land management that improves farm efficiency and profitability, is future focussed towards sustainable impacts on and off farms and is connected to markets and the supply chain. You will establish yourself as a key contact point at CSIRO’s Myall Vale site, and within the regionally dispersed integrated farming systems science group, for external stakeholders and the wider innovation system.

Your duties will include:

  • Define and articulate the integrated science strategy to enhance the resilience and profitability of cotton-centric farming systems with minimized environmental impacts through multi-disciplinary science.
  • Develop creative pathways of scientific investigation informed by the needs of industry and its supply chain and global benchmarks in science excellence.
  • Build high-performing, collaborative and diverse science teams within CSIRO that work with key partners to deliver impact in resilient farming systems.
  • Conceive, develop, champion and manage novel science delivery through projects delivering to industry/community and accessing diverse funding sources.
  • Maintain active national and/or international research collaborations to access/share leading edge concepts and technology to advance projects.
  • Identify trends in research and development to inform portfolio analysis and influence the Business Unit’s research directions.
  • Liaise with the business manager and/or account managers to assess commercial opportunities and to protect intellectual property.
  • Utilise knowledge and understanding of clients’ business and demonstrate creativity in anticipating client needs.
  • Other duties as directed 

Location: Narrabri, NSW
Salary: AU$141k - $157k pa plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Indefinite
Reference: 85528

To be considered you will need:

  1. A PhD (or an equivalent combination of qualifications and research experience) in a field relating to farming systems science that could include agronomy, crop physiology, integrated pest/weed/disease management, natural resource management or related disciplines.
  2. Current full Australian C Class drivers’ licence. 
  3. Demonstrated ability to support others to achieve their goals, promote wellbeing, safety and foster creativity in a multidisciplinary team of up to 20 staff
  4. Demonstrated ability to lead projects of varying complexity and scale, including management of multiple partners, stakeholders, financial and project performance. 
  5. Experience and/or demonstrated knowledge of the application of digital agricultural principles and precision farming technologies directed at farming systems research.
  6. Demonstrated success in gaining support to fund research projects and proven capacity to collaborate with key stakeholders including but not limited to growers, industry partners and research providers.
  7. A significant record of innovation and creativity in applying science to agricultural productivity improvements with demonstrated industry impact, including management of commercial and science delivery pathways. 
  8. Demonstrated ability to undertake original, creative and innovative research by generating and pursuing novel ideas and solutions to scientific research problems.
  9. A demonstrated publication history of authorship on scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and/or reports, grant applications or inventorship on patent applications.
  10. Established reputation and credibility in leading relevant science and/or impact domain with evidence of effective world-class science, research and/or innovation leadership.
  11. Willingness to travel for short durations regularly to regional and interstate meetings with collaborating scientists and industry partners as required.


  1. Experience in developing simulation and decision support models applied to natural or agricultural systems.
  2. An understanding of the main drivers of productivity and profitability of broadacre crop farming systems in Australia.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description 


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and international candidates. Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

To enter a CSIRO site, CSIRO will require you to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (or show a valid medical exemption from vaccination). If you are unable to meet this requirement, then you must return a negative result on a Rapid Antigen Test (within 48 hours prior to attending site) and wear a face mask whilst on the CSIRO site. These requirements apply if you are attending a CSIRO site as part of a recruitment process.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

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 requirements of this role.

Applications Close

17 October 2022, 11:00 pm AEDT

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