First listed on: 13 July 2020

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social and Behavioural Science

The Opportunity

  • Develop approaches to understand how to ‘mainstream’ energy efficient housing
  • Undertake social and behavioural research on how mass-media influences consumer perceptions of energy efficiency
  • Join CSIRO - Australia's premier science and technology research organisation!

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

This role is for a social scientist to lead CSIRO’s work in understanding the social factors that influence housing and construction choices related to energy efficiency. The social scientist will be required to develop experimental approaches to understanding how to ‘mainstream’ energy efficient housing. The scientific work will be applied in an industry context working with CSIRO’s project partners including television producers, social media channels, online platform businesses and in the volume housing market. The ultimate aim of the work is to ensure that CSIRO’s 60+ years of research into residential building energy efficiency is understood and integrated into consumer decision making – leading to lower energy bills, better health and comfort and lower carbon emissions in the residential built environment.

This role involves undertaking social and behavioural research, particularly focussed on the use of mass-media (reality TV) to influence consumer perceptions of house energy efficiency and to convey energy efficiency messaging effectively to disengaged audiences. This will involve designing research programs, undertaking interviews and focus groups, developing and delivering surveys, coding and analysing responses (quantitative and qualitative analysis), writing reports, writing and publishing peer-reviewed research papers. The successful applicant will also be responsible for some customer/stakeholder liaison, communicating the research program to non-scientists, applying for funding and grant programs and developing ethics committee applications.

Your duties will include:

  • Understand and synthesise information from different disciplines to understand the information that needs to be conveyed to consumers.
  • Using the latest literature, work with television producers to suggest approaches to conveying energy efficiency information to households through reality television.
  • Guide the development of online and social media resources and experimental approaches to determine the most effective use of these resources.
  • Develop experimental approaches to determine if the energy efficiency information conveyed has been understood and converted to action.
  • Test various message framing and with different consumer groups to determine how to maximise impact across the rent/buy/renovate/retrofit/sell/invest spectrum of property interactions.
  • Prepare and deliver online surveys, focus groups etc. as required to execute experimental plans.
  • Undertake analysis (qualitative and quantitative) of experimental data.
  • Write reports detailing experimental findings for project partners, industry and the public.
  • Write scientific publications for peer-reviewed journal publications and present findings at events/conferences.

Location:  Melbourne or Brisbane
Salary:  AU$83k – AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years
Reference:  68006

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline, such as psychology, behavioural science or similar. To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Experience designing, conducting, analysing and reporting qualitative and quantitative consumer surveys.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively, including the presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.
  • A sound history of publication in peer reviewed journals and/or authorship of scientific papers, reports, grant applications or patents.
  • A record of science innovation and creativity, including the ability and willingness to incorporate novel ideas and approaches into scientific investigations.
  • Experience in the use of social science in the environmental sciences, and particularly the energy efficiency domain is highly desirable, as is experience in the use of social psychology in marketing and mass media communications and analysing social media content.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

Applicants must be Australian/New Zealand citizens, Australian permanent residents or Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by December 2020/January 2021.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work.  Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you.  Balance

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish.  Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

16 August 2020, 11:00 pm AEST/AEDT

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