This is the seventeenth in a series of fact sheets to assist CSIRO union members better understand and enforce our rights at work.
The source of these rights is contained at Clause 3 of Schedule 2 of the new
CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 (EA) which is attached at right.. These
rights have been achieved through sustained advocacy by Post docs and
researchers in the Staff Association, and we encourage continued participation
to advance the work environment for Post docs and early career researchers.
Why does CSIRO offer Post-doctoral Fellowships?
The Science and Industry Research Act 1949 requires CSIRO to develop
scientists, including in training Post docs. A Post-doctoral Fellowship is
intended to enhance a person’s research capability so that they are better able
to pursue a career in science, either within CSIRO or beyond, as well as:
providing early career scientists with skills and experience to develop
capability for the nation;
assisting universities to produce a pool of potential employees;
refreshing and adding value to CSIRO’s research activities (through
original insights, new knowledge and/or techniques); and
identifying and recruiting potential science leaders.
What special conditions of employment apply to Post docs?
Post docs are employed on a maximum 3 year term, but in some
circumstances, can be offered a further term of up to 3 years. The total
period of relevant work experience of a Post doc cannot exceed 6 years
following confirmation of their doctorate.
Post docs must complete a training and development (T&D) plan, no later
than one month after commencement of their term. The T&D plan assists Post
docs to develop capabilities to those expected of an independent researcher,
and should provide opportunities to apply those capabilities in their work
The T&D plan will include defined opportunities for formal involvement
in research planning, conference attendance, publication and review of
scientific papers, and fully funded training courses for skills development
(unless otherwise agreed between CSIRO and the Post doc).
How do Post docs progress through CSOF Levels?
Post docs are appointed at a minimum CSOF Level 4.2. However, they may
be appointed at CSOF Level 4.1, until their doctorate has been confirmed.
Post docs advance through performance and development steps as part of the
If a Post doc has demonstrated CSOF Level 5 capabilities in prior
Post-doctoral work experience and CSIRO determines there is scope to upgrade
the role specification, a Post doc may be appointed at CSOF Level 5.
Where consecutive Post-doctoral Fellowships are offered, the previous
Fellowship will be regarded as continuous for the purposes of access to
rewards, including performance and development steps and promotion.