Posted on: 19 December, 2018
Application deadline: February 4, 2019

Postdoctoral fellowship: Policy and regulatory aspects of synthetic biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Policy and Regulatory Aspects of Synthetic Biology

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Job no:506678 Area:Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Salary (FTE):Academic Level A ($66,283.50 – $89,285.83) Work type:Full Time – Fixed Term Location: St Lucia, Brisbane

The Centre for Policy Futures was established in August 2017 to provide a forum for The University of Queensland’s (UQ) researchers to inform policy debate and shape public policy by connecting academic research with policy and program development. Through robust, rigorous and timely research and sustained policy engagement, the Centre aims to enhance the University’s position as a key source of ideas and insights on the policy priorities that matter to Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. A multi-million, multi-year CSIRO-UQ Responsible Innovation Partnership is located within the research program of the Centre. This research partnership with the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ( is designed to undertake collaborative research on Responsible Innovation in relation to CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms, including in synthetic biology.

Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary branch of biology and engineering that applies disciplines such as biotechnology and genetic engineering to build artificial biological systems for research, engineering and medical applications. New synthetic biology parts and tools are providing a new toolset to create niche synthetic biological substances aimed at helping to protect or enhance species and ecosystems to be more resilient to threats, and improving human and animal health through novel preventative treatments, diagnostics and therapeutics. Such developments generate questions around the policy and regulation of the creation and deployment of new synthetic biological entities, the governance of such entities into the biosphere and human food and health systems, the impact on human in/equalities and ecological diversity and environmental conditions, and social responses and adoption.

The role

The postdoctoral fellow will undertake a research program that contributes to our understanding of the national and international regulatory contexts in which synthetic biology technologies exist. It will give particular attention to the regulatory and policy barriers that may confront different applications of synthetic biology technology along the value chain and across borders. As such, it will examine (i) the existence of regulatory and/or technical barriers that impede the trade of synthetic biology products (ii) the potential role of standards-setting and policy reforms to overcome those barriers and/or facilitate the uptake of synthetic biology technologies in the global market place and (iii) the national and international fora where such reforms could usefully be pursued.

The successful appointee will have access some project resources, and will be encouraged to apply for their own research funding. There will be opportunities to work closely with CSIRO scientists and to supervise and doctoral students. The successful appointee will pursue a strong and productive research program in partnership with UQ academics and CSIRO researchers. There will be a strong connection with CSIRO researchers working in the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform with the opportunity for co-location across UQ and CSIRO sites during the Fellowship. The successful appointee will also be appointed as a Visiting Scientist at CSIRO to enable effective cross-institutional collaboration and provide the opportunity to conduct their research in both academic and applied research settings.. The appointee will also benefit from being part of an international network of scholars relating to these issues.

The person

Applicants should possess a PhD in a relevant social science discipline including, but not limited to, science and technology studies (STS), policy studies, political science, law, public administration, and sociology. You should also have a strong desire to work in a multidisciplinary environment and to develop a successful and highly-productive research career in synthetic biology, good general research skills, a strong methodological background, enthusiasm for working in a multidisciplinary environment, excellent research analytic skills, and very good writing abilities.

The University of Queensland values diversity and inclusion and actively encourages applications from those who bring diversity to the University. Please refer to the University’s Diversity and Inclusion webpage ( for further information and points of contact if you require additional support.

This role is a full-time position; however flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.

Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to


This is a full-time, 3 year fixed term appointment at Academic level A. The remuneration package will be in the range $83,296 – $89,286 p.a., plus employer superannuation contributions of up to 17% (total package will be in the range $97,456 – $104,465 p.a.).

The University of Queensland also offers other competitive options including salary sacrificing, on campus childcare, leave packaging and discounted private health insurance as well as many other benefits.

Position Description

Download File 506678_New_Postdoctoral Research Fellow Regulatory Aspects of SynBio FINAL.pdf


To discuss this role please contact Associate Professor Paul Henman on +61 7 3443 3142 or

To submit an application for this role, use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply the following documents: Cover letter, Resume and Selection Criteria responses.

For information on completing the application process click here.

Advertised:  Applications close: E. Australia Standard Time

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