Thursday, April 25, 2013

From the inbox: CSIRO polymer/drug discovery postdoc, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Pretty interesting postdoc, for a number of reasons:
Postdoctoral Fellow - Antiviral polymer therapeutics via RAFT polymerisation for Hepatitis C treatment
  • Establish the use of high-throughput techniques in the accelerated discovery of antiviral polymer-based prodrugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C 
  • Design, develop and characterise novel functional copolymers
  • Join CSIRO, Australia's leading scientific research organisation
Applications are invited for an Postdoctoral Fellowship in a project that will establish the use of high-throughput techniques (HTT) in the accelerated discovery of antiviral polymer-based prodrugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C. This disease affects over 200 million people worldwide yet the available treatment suffers from poor effectiveness and significant side effects. 
To address this global challenge, there is an opportunity to identify successful polymer carriers for delivery of antiviral drugs to the liver and accomplish this using HTT for polymer synthesis, characterisation and evaluation. 
Location: Clayton, Victoria, Australia 
Salary: $81k - $88k plus up to 15.4% superannuation Reference Number: VIC13/01482
A couple of questions:
  • Is there really more need for Hep C treatments? Do the available treatments really suffer from poor effectiveness? 
  • Are Australian postdocs really paid this much?!? Perhaps I'm wrong, but it appears that they're paying a postdoc $83,000 US. Wow! 


  1. ive read that baristas make upwards of $25/hr in australia. australia's median wealth is four times that of america's. even the postdocs are paid well. it's the land of milk and honey

  2. Yes, current hepatitis C treatment are not nice (interferons have nasty side effects) and not as effective as we would like them to be. A couple of new drugs are under testing, so the situation may change in the next few years.

  3. This salary looks to be a bit on the high end for a postdoc in Australia, but not excessively so. The lowest postdoc salary I've seen recently is over $75k. From what I've heard, though, the general cost of living is much higher here than in the US.

  4. It is on the (slightly) high side of PD salaries - but the CSIRO is a research organisation that pays higher than universities.

    Re: cost of living. Yes, it's higher here than the US. If you want to live in an apartment on your own, you can expect to pay $350+/*week* for a reasonably nice one. It's very common to share accommodation in Australia.

  5. Minimum postdoc salary (see the A-6 level in the link below) at my institution in Sydney is $79k, plus 15% superannuation (401k, basically), 4 wks paid vacation and about $1k in leave loading. That last one's basically a Christmas bonus. Total compensation works out to be about $92k in the end.

    I moved from a postdoc in the States to a Research Scientist job here and my pay literally doubled.

    Sydney and Melbourne are two of the most expensive cities in the world to live in (they both have Manhattan and LA beat by a ways). $1600/month will get you a tiny studio, a 6-pack is $18, and the Mexican food sucks. Plus you are far away from basically everyone. Fiji is considered a 'short flight away' at 2000 miles. But the weather is lovely, the people are nice, the pay is good, and you get to see parrots on your way to work every day.

  6. A pint of beer in a normal pub in Perth costs $12 - 15 (depending on whether you like average stuff or premium beer). All this inflation is due to iron ore mining boom.

  7. Yes, that is a standard Post-doc salary in Australia. The grad-student stipend is also very high relative to the US at 27k, however as previous commenters have noted, the cost of living in Australia is significantly higher than the US and Western Europe.

  8. Stop whining about the beer and get bag wine. That's what I heard exchange students do these days in Australia to save money. They still sell wine from Australia in lots of places even though you won't find any Australian beer anymore (not competitive). Plus wine makes you more classy.

  9. Homebrew, bag wine (or goon), and cook your own dinner, it's the most efficient way of living down there (and finding deals at the pubs) Cost of living may be higher, but it is far outpaced by the pay you get. That and the AUD is higher than the USD and if you are a US citizen when you leave you fill out some paperwork and they cut you a check for you superannuation.