Professor of Plant Synthetic Biology

University of Adelaide



To enhance our research excellence, the University of Adelaide is investing in new elite academic talent and a new role of Professor of Plant Synthetic Biology has been created to provide academic and research leadership in the field within the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine (AFW) and the School of Biological Sciences (SBS).

Your outstanding research will advance the University’s national and international leadership in the areas of Plant Synthetic Biology.

Your commitment and engagement will promote robust interdisciplinary initiatives and collaborations across the University as well as with our external partners, to enable excellence in teaching along with research outputs that have national and international impact.

As a leader in your field, you will encourage and lead an environment of creativity and innovation, building capacity in Plant Synthetic Biology research and expertise across multiple Faculties, and engaging with the broader academic, professional and industry community to promote and enhance the national and international profile of the University.

To be successful you will need:

  • An outstanding international record of academic distinction in synthetic biology in plant-based systems.
  • Evidence of an inspirational leadership style that promotes a culture of engagement, collaboration, commitment and performance.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop research programs of significant scope and scale.
  • Demonstrated ability to consistently secure research funding from national competitive agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to forge meaningful external relationships with relevant stakeholders. 
  • Evidence of curriculum development and teaching at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level. 
  • PhD in in a related discipline with extensive experience and track record in the field of Plant Synthetic Biology research.

Your division's broader role

The School of Agriculture, Food & Wine (AFW) and the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) provide education and research leadership in plant science. These schools represent a world-class concentration of scientific research, education and innovation, with outstanding infrastructure and resources at the North Terrace Campus, and particularly the Waite Campus, as the centrepiece of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest collection of expertise in plant genomics, crop improvement, sustainable agriculture, soil science, dryland farming, viticulture, and oenology.

Research in the two schools is translational, and as such the outcomes cut across the fundamental understanding of controllable genetic circuits and the biochemical and biophysical characterisation of biomolecules; to crucial applications including sustainable agricultural production for healthier and environmentally resilient outcomes, optimising the economic and nutritional value of South Australia’s clean, green food and wine products and assessing and overcoming current and potential environmental threats to a wide range of crops.

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Enjoy an outstanding career environment

The University of Adelaide is a uniquely rewarding workplace. The size, breadth and quality of our education and research programs - including significant industry, government and community collaborations - offers you vast scope and opportunity for a long and fulfilling career.

It also enables us to attract high-calibre people in all facets of our operations, ensuring you will be surrounded by talented colleagues, many world-leading. Our cutting-edge work - not just in science, but across virtually the full spectrum of human endeavour - provides a constant source of inspiration.

Our core values are honesty, respect, fairness, discovery and excellence. Our culture is one that welcomes all and embraces diversity. We are firm believers that our people are our most valuable asset, so we work to grow and diversify the skills of our staff.

In addition, we offer a wide range of attractive staff benefits. These include: salary packaging; flexible work arrangements; high-quality professional development programs and activities; and an on-campus health clinic, gym and other fitness facilities.

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If you want to change tomorrow, act today

Click the link to the online application form below and address and upload your responses to all selection criteria in the Role Statement. Applications close 11:55pm, 15 October 2019.

For a confidential discussion regarding this position, contact:

Associate Professor Christopher Ford
Interim Head of School – Agriculture, Food and Wine
P: +61 (8) 8313 6713


Professor Megan Lewis
Interim Head of School – Biological Sciences
P: +61 (8) 8313 5328

In your application, please refer to


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