Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Soil for Cocoa in PNG

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Darlington, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Job Type: FullTime

  • Full time, fixed term up to 30 May 2026, located on the South Eveleigh Campus at the School of School of Life and Environmental Sciences

  • Opportunity to make valuable contributions to research in developing management opportunities to secure soil for cocoa smallholders in PNG

  • Base Salary Level B $113,184 p.a. - $134,403 p.a. + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

We are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in securing soil for Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) cocoa industry, and who is passionate to understand soils and their impact on people's livelihoods and the environment. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will undertake research developing scientifically robust and actionable advice on options to sustainably manage soils in cocoa smallholdings in PNG under the supervision of Professor Damien Field and Professor Budiman Minasny .

The successful candidate will take a leading role as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the field of soil health and management.

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • participate in a research programme investigating, modelling, and extending novel soil management options to improve smallholder production of cocoa

  • demonstrate research excellence in integrating soil management opportunities that can be adopted by smallholders  

  • develop research collaborations leading to improved practice for small holder cocoa produces, as well as supporting the efforts of PNG’s Cocoa Board and private sector in their efforts to extend these practices across the cocoa growing regions

  • assist with grant writing and publishing original work

  • be involved in student supervision at the undergraduate and postgraduate level

  • contribute to successful applications for competitive research grants and/or funding to deliver research impacts

  • enhance relationships with outputs such as research and development, commercialisation, improved practices, and policy development.

The School of Life and Environmental Sciences (SOLES) brings together researchers in the life, earth, and environmental sciences to improve teaching and build new infrastructure to support and enhance capacity in research and teaching.

To learn more about the School of Life and Environmental Sciences (SOLES), click here .

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity.  As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow who has:

  • a PhD (or near completion) in soil science or related area

  • experience in developing and maintaining networks and supervising or mentoring others, including coordinating team activities

  • primary research interests in soil security, soil health/condition, and diagnosis and improved management, including integrating socio-economic information to inform soil management options

  • proven research excellence in this area of soil management, extension, and training

  • desirable experience in digital soil mapping and related spatial information system

  • the ability to supervise students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels

  • experience in research record keeping, preparation of research papers and presentation of seminars

  • demonstrated excellence in written and oral communications skills, interacting with a variety of researchers and stakeholders

  • the ability to travel to PNG and follow medical advice for vaccination is a requirement for this role.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive.  We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve.  We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People , women , people living with a disability , people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds , and those who identify as LGBTIQ .  We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page. 

For employees of the University or contingent workers, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard.  Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or any documents in alternate formats, please contact Helen Efstathiou, Recruitment Consultant.  Recruitment Operations, Human Resources on +61 2 8627 7137 or by email

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Applications Close

Thursday 02 March 2023 11:59 PM
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