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Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Policy and Regulatory Aspects of Synthetic Biol

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The University of Queensland

UQJob: 506678

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.

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.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.

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


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.


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.

Application Closing Date

4 February 2019 11:55pm E.Australian Standard Time

02/01/2019 $0 Brisbane Australia 1 Education & Training
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