Career pathways

There are a number of different and exciting pathways in a plant biosecurity career.

Open positions

We have a vacancy for a highly talented and experienced Post Entry Quarantine Facility Manager to lead a team of 8-10 staff in plant post entry quarantine at the Ministry for Primary Industries, Auckland. In this role you will work closely with the other laboratory managers across MPI. The scope of the work includes leading the post entry quarantine Level 3B greenhouse and Level 3 Tissue Culture work programmes and processes:

You will possess advanced skills in project and relationship management. You are also expected to provide services to the incursion and compliance investigations and responses for the exotic plants found in post border, contribute to the laboratory's strategic objectives and projects, develop and get funding for relevant research opportunities and publish the team's results in international peer-reviewed journals. You will provide support and input on work across the branch and/or other parts of MPI and externally and work closely within and beyond MPI with opportunities to work nationally and internationally with other scientific organizations. You will be working with a diverse range of stakeholders, including industry representatives, and sometimes in pressure situations, meaning your communication and negotiation skills will be second to none. Our ideal candidate will have the following: Minimum of a post-graduate university qualification (preferable doctoral) related to horticulture. Proven experience of managing and developing highly qualified scientific staff and in leading a high performing team Expert technical knowledge and broad experience of managing post entry quarantine programmes and processes. Expert operational management skills. Proven leadership skills Excellent oral communication and writing skills Experience of budget management You will be an approachable leader who can quickly establish rapport with your team. You will also be a member of a dynamic leadership team that takes pride in its people and the results they deliver together. How to ApplyTo view the position description and/or apply online, please click “APPLY FOR THIS JOB” or visit the MPI Careers Site. Applications close on 30 September 2022.

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Due to parental leave an opportunity has become available for a Technician to provide assistance to SRA’s Plant Pathologists, by undertaking a range of technical duties. These duties require a good understanding of relevant scientific principles and processes in sugarcane pathology. Specifically, the role is required to: accept appropriate leadership and responsibilities for processing sugarcane vascular and/or leaf sheath extracts using molecular assays for sugarcane diseases. work with other technicians to ensure efficient processing of samples through the laboratory. conduct regular molecular assay quality control checks, maintain records and maintain consumable stocks for the laboratory. liaise with customers regarding supply of samples, to report results within specified timeframes and to handle queries. assist research on new diagnostic procedures for sugarcane diseases. assist research groups to conduct field and glasshouse experiments as required.

You will be able to work in a diagnostics laboratory to deliver an accurate and reliable diagnostic service for sugarcane disease testing. You ensure that all reporting schedules are adhered to as outlined in the SOPs and maintain standards of the diagnostics laboratory. You ensure you keep good records to provide data when requested and ensure that customer service is a primary focus. You work well in a team and are flexible in your approach. You are able to assist with the designing, testing and implementing of improvements to diagnostics assays and also assist with research trials conducted under hot and physical conditions in the field. In addition, it is essential that you have: Experience in qPCR diagnostics techniques and sugarcane or other crop field work. Experience in pathology laboratory methodology and research practices. Experience with coordinating and supervising casuals to manage workloads. Ability to work in a team with minimal supervision, but in consultation with the project leader. A high level of competence in recording and maintaining accurate records. A high level of motivation and initiative with excellent organisation skills. If you believe you match the above criteria, and want to work as part of a team that explores new initiatives and seeks excellence in research practices, please send your application by clicking ‘Apply Now’ to submit your application, no later than A full position description can be viewed by copying the following into your internet browser: Applicants must have a right to work in Australia in order to apply. A working-holiday visa is not suitable due to the restriction of no more than 6 months’ work with any employer. The successful applicant will be required to undertake a medical screening and a police check.

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The role of the Research Scientist will provide technical support to entomology and other laboratory activities to support Victoria’s agricultural biosecurity and public health, within the Agriculture Victoria Research at AgriBio, The Centre of AgriBioscience, Bundoora. This position will report directly to the Research Scientist, Microbiology within the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, while supporting entomological activities in the Crop Health Services Laboratory.

The Research Scientist will require a high level of technical and theoretical laboratory skills and knowledge. They will be responsible for ensuring that laboratory reagents and equipment are efficiently, and accurately maintained to support our quality management system and regulatory accreditation. The position will also be responsible for conducting routine diagnostic testing though applying a range of entomological skills, such as morphological identification using microscope and molecular methods. Also, this role will be central to the curation of the invertebrate reference collection to support Victoria’s agricultural biosecurity and public health. Many of the duties will be repetitive and will require independent work. The job application deadline is 18th September 2022.

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A vacancy is available at Plant Health Australia for a Project Officer, Diagnostics and Surveillance. The role will support the National Manager, Diagnostics, with primary responsibility for coordinating the development and review of national diagnostic and surveillance protocols on behalf of the SPHD and the SNPHS. The role will work closely with the Networks Coordinator to drive activities that support relevant networks, such as the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network.

Please direct enquiries to Lucy Tran-Nguyen (National Manager, Diagnostics) via email in the first instance: This role is advertised on Please provide your up-to-date CV/resume, along with a brief covering letter outlining your suitability for the role. Applications close on Monday, 19 September 2022.

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Scion specialises in research, science and technology development for the forestry industry, wood products and wood-derived materials sectors. We lead new technology development for renewables, bioproducts, and energy; and the establishment of a broader based bioeconomy. We are a Crown Research Institute dedicated to forestry and are home to more than 300 science and support staff on our two main campuses in Rotorua and Christchurch. Scion also values a culture of ensuring employees can pursue innovation and excellence in their science deliver

An opportunity exists for a Senior Scientist - Molecular Forest Pathology to join our Pathology Diagnostics and Collections Team based at our Rotorua Campus. The successful applicant will be part of a team delivering innovative research that addresses some of the most critical issues facing forestry, including the interaction between pathogens, their hosts and environment. You will have opportunities to lead, define and develop projects in molecular biology, "omics" and bioinformatics, and offer mentoring and coaching to others with a focus on advancing Scion's science excellence! Applications Close: 10 September 2022

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Join our network

Everyone working in plant biosecurity diagnostics in Australian or New Zealand is encouraged to join NPBDN. Relevant disciplines include bacteriologists, botanists, entomologists, general plant pathologists, molecular biologists, mycologists, nematologists, phytoplasmologists, virologists and weed scientists.

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