Title PhD Scholarship – Epigenetics of Pests
Salary $42,192 per annum stipend
Location Canberra, ACT, AU Darwin, NT, AU
Job Information

PhD Scholarship – Epigenetics of Pests

Date: 19 Dec 2023

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU Darwin, NT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

Child Safety

CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs. View our Child Safe Policy.

The Opportunity


  • PhD scholarship opportunity with CSIRO and Charles Darwin University
  • $42,192 per annum stipend

CSIRO and Charles Darwin University are coming together to offer a PhD opportunity in Epigenetics of pests.

We seek an outstanding graduate to study for a PhD with Charles Darwin University co-supervised by CSIRO and working with the Australian Horticultural Industry to tackle a major issue for diagnosis of pathotypes of biosecurity pests.   This opportunity combines an intellectually challenging problem, cutting-edge technology, and working with partners spanning the gamut of the innovation spectrum.   We offer access to leading scientists and mentors, first-class facilities and first-hand experience in an environment where innovative research can change the world for the better.

You will be a student of Charles Darwin University, with all rules relating to degree candidature applying, undertaking research at CSIRO as well as the university, but not being an employee of CSIRO.

We seek someone who is flexible, in recognition of which we offer flexibility of location between the primary centres of the research in Canberra and Darwin.

Project Title: Epigenetics of pest nematodes

Project Details: Some root-knot nematode species include strains with widely varying virulence.   Significantly, these strains cannot be differentiated using morphological or any standard genetic means.   This variation in virulence is likely mediated by epigenetic control.   A multi-omics approach is needed to identify makers which can diagnose nematode populations with varying virulence to inform crop selection and rotation.

Contact Details


For more information on the research project please contact

Mike Hodda (Team Leader Insect & Nematode Biosecurity, National Collections & Marine Infrastructure, CSIRO Canberra), phone (02) 6246 4371, email mike.hodda@csiro.au


Maxine Piggott (Professor of Tropical Biosecurity, Charles Darwin University Darwin), phone (08) 8946 6763, email maxine.piggott@cdu.edu.au


Location: Canberra and/or Darwin (the successful candidate will be expected to spend time at both locations, but can be primarily located at either)

Scholarship: $42,192 per annum stipend, plus a learning and development budget of $5,000 over the term of the studentship, and a generous research budget.   Note that the scholarship already includes a top-up amount above base scholarship level and therefore is not eligible for additional funding from CSIRO.

Tenure:   3 to 3.5 years (subject to conditions)

Reference:  95516


The applicant must enrol in a PhD programme at Charles Darwin University, and as such will need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria for admission.
In addition, to be eligible to apply you must have (or expect to gain):

  • a BSc Honours degree, MSc by research, or equivalent in a relevant research field (e.g., bioinformatics, microbiology, genomics or biochemistry);
  • be eligible for admission to Charles Darwin University as a PhD student and enrol as a condition of appointment;
  • not be in receipt of any other Scholarship simultaneously with this one;
  • be available to commence with CSIRO during the first half of 2024, and
  • not have previously completed a PhD.

Applications will be assessed on:


Academic calibre and research potential of the applicant as demonstrated by academic record, publications, experience, referee reports and quality of application.

As such applicants should:

  • Be capable of demonstrating academic and research excellence, involving imagination, persistence and a desire to understand complex phenomena;
  • Have a high level of written and oral communication skills;
  • Have a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and proactively as a team member;
  • Have a demonstrated ability to work on research projects individually or in teams; and
  • Demonstrate self-direction, independence, and the ability to manage their own time effectively.


Highly desirable are:

  • Experience working in a molecular laboratory; and
  • Skills in bioinformatics.

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.


CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.


Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship:

Click on the link Apply:
You will be required to:

  1. submit a Resume/CV and Cover Letter (as one document) in the ‘Resume/CV field which includes:
    • the names and contact details of two previous supervisors or academic/professional referees; and
    • a one-page proposal stating why your research interests and potential mean you want to deliver the project aims.
  2. upload your academic results in the ‘Cover Letter’ field.

If you experience difficulties applying online call 1300 984 220 and someone will be able to assist you. Outside business hours please email: careers.online@csiro.au.

Applications Close

2 February 2024, 11:00pm AEDT

CSIRO National Collections and Marine Infrastructure’s goal is to solve Australia’s greatest challenges by leading Australia’s landmark marine and biodiversity infrastructure and carrying out innovative science.  For more information please see our website at National Collections and Marine Infrastructure .

Charles Darwin University is a research-intensive university with a commitment to building collaborative, co-designed research support. At CDU we actively celebrate our diversity. We innovate, embrace new ideas, and act with courage and kindness. We’re about what we can give to the world rather than what we take, and we believe in the transformative power of education. We work hard to make sure every member of our university community feels that they truly belong. Understanding that it is through our focus on our people and leveraging our differences that will make CDU the most connected university in Australia, we are striving to ensure that our culture and our community is inclusive of all our staff, students and visitors. We are committed to maintaining a culture where everyone feels respected, safe, encouraged to speak up and supported in achieving their professional goals. Applications from First Nations people, women at all levels, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people with disability, neurotypical and neurodiverse people, LGBTIQ+ people, people with family and caring responsibilities and people at all stages of their careers are welcomed. You make CDU. And we want you to be exactly who you are.