Want to become a professional scientist?
We’ll help advance your knowledge and skills beyond your undergraduate training and prepare you for a future career in the life sciences.
- industry exposure to a leading employer of scientists
- the chance to work in a state-of-the-art biosecurity containment facility
- modern, well-equipped laboratories
- opportunities to build networks with a large, national government department and our industry partners
- pathways to real employment opportunities and prospects
- experience working with professional, leading scientists in their fields.
Students will need to:
- be professional, motivated and self-driven with a ‘positive can do’ attitude and open mind
- meet with the PIC team as part of the selection process
- undergo a Federal Police check
- be able to provide 100 points of certified ID
- complete an induction process
- complete several online e-learning modules (equivalent to roughly 0.5-1 week of time)
- meet all quarantine and WHS requirements applicable to working in a Biosecurity Activity Zone.
Our Honours/Masters co-supervision courses will help you develop the necessary skills to become a successful professional scientist. We will help advance your knowledge and skills beyond your undergraduate training and prepare you for a future career in the life sciences. This is also a very exciting and challenging period as it may be your first opportunity to work on a project you are genuinely interested in.
We offer a $5,000 stipend (payable in 2 x $2,500 instalments) and the opportunity to help develop your network and get early career experience in industry.
Interested? Contact the PIC team today: PICteam@agriculture.gov.au or speak with your university Hons/MSc coordinator about co-supervision opportunities.
If you’re a student who has already completed Honours and/or Masters, or are already in the workforce and have considerable experience in a relevant field, you may be eligible to undertake a PhD co-supervised with the PIC team via one of our partner universities. This is the highest level of study in Australia and can potentially open the door to further employment, better wages and conditions, greater independence and autonomy in your science field (you can work on what interests you, not what someone else thinks is interesting) and industry recognition. At the completion of your studies you will submit a thesis which demonstrates you have made a significant contribution of original research to your scientific field and will be eligible to use the title of ‘Doctor’.
Doing a PhD with the PIC means you will be able to work with cutting edge technology and gain hands on experience with our highly skilled research team. You will develop innovative solutions to real-world biosecurity problems and help protect our country from dangerous exotic pests and diseases.
We offer a scholarship of $35,000 (tax free) per year, plus $25,000 per year to attend conferences and build your professional network.
PhD students are also able to work 1 day per week to earn additional income.
All other financial support (study fees etc.) are provided by your university via a Research training program Fees offset scholarship through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
Interested? Contact the PIC team today: PICteam@agriculture.gov.au or speak with your university PhD coordinator about co-supervision opportunities.
Completing undergraduate studies?
Apply for our University Vacation Employment Program (UVEP) here.
We may also make occasional exceptions for high-performing or highly motivated students to experience work at the PIC.
If you have a keen desire to work in plant biosecurity and a strong academic record with professional references, please get in touch with us: PICteam@agriculture.gov.au
Discover your future in science on our website.
Thomas Farrall, PhD candidate (University of the Sunshine Coast and DAFF Plant Innovation Centre)
After working with the department as a University Vacation Employment Program student and then as a molecular researcher in the Plant Innovation Centre, I was presented with the opportunity to further my scientific knowledge and start my PhD studies. My enthusiasm for new technologies drives me in understanding how we can improve our ability to detect diseases, with the focus of my PhD in Developing cost-effective third-generation sequencing pipelines for plant virus detection.
Submit a project idea
We welcome project suggestions related to plant disease and virus detection, identification and management. Submit your idea via PICteam@agriculture.gov.au