Current Vacancies

Senior Biologist, APS Level 5, National Measurement Institute

Apply now Job no: 507802
Employment type: Ongoing
Location: Melbourne
Categories: National Measurement Institute, APS Level 5

About the team 

The National Measurement Institute (NMI), a division within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, is Australia's peak measurement body responsible for biological, chemical, legal, physical and trade measurement. Our vision is to provide measurement policy, science and regulation that underpins the economy and well-being of Australia.

The Food Biological Laboratory (FBL) Section (NMI, Port Melbourne) is a team of 8 staff providing a unique and extensive range of microbiological, species, allergens and viral identifications in food. The Food Biological Laboratory operates with a combination of APS and contract staff in order to meet the testing requirements of Government clients and stakeholders as well as private industry clients.

We provide analytical services and technical expertise for both private and government clients across the environmental, food and health sectors, enabling them to meet their business, research and regulatory compliance needs.

We are seeking an experienced biologically trained individual to coordinate the Section operations, including;

  • staffing resources,
  • consumables,
  • analysis reporting and
  • quality systems.

The successful candidate will report directly to the FBL Manager, supervise a small team of analysts, take on a leading role in capability development and process improvement for the Analytical Services Branch and actively contribute to activities and forums across the NMI.

Our ideal candidate 

Our ideal candidate will have contemporary experience in food microbiology and food allergen measurements and hold relevant qualifications in science/biology. They will have demonstrated ability to effectively manage a high demand, high quality and service based laboratory operation consisting of a team of staff with complex equipment, methods and resource requirements, with a focus on food analysis for biological parameters.  

Our ideal candidate will possess the following skills and capabilities: 

  • Demonstrated laboratory operations management ability in a high demand, high quality, and complex environment
  • Excellent communication capabilities with a demonstrated history of communicating effectively at multiple levels across an organisation
  • Demonstrated leadership in engendering a culture of respect, flexibility, adaptability and Continuous Improvement to enable agile responses to new demands and improve laboratory processes and service outcomes
  • Commitment to a workplace culture that values respect, inclusion and diversity with a strong focus on all aspects of Work Health & Safety including psychosocial wellbeing
  • Ability to work safely according to procedures and site protocols with a proven understanding of adherence to WHS procedures and use appropriate safety equipment associated with the operations of the section
  • Supervise and train staff in Microbiological techniques and methods based on Australian and/or ISO standards
  • Manage time and work hours to maximise laboratory efficiency and sample turn around
  • Demonstrable ability to prioritise and conduct routine microbiological food testing and analysis without supervision, including sample splitting and addressing issues with sample information, quantity and integrity
  • Demonstrable ability to implement Quality Systems required to comply with NATA accreditation
  • Understand and implement quarantine measures for the storage, handling and testing of food samples to comply with Australian biosecurity regulations
  • Demonstrable ability to improve methods and work practices to deliver productivity and other improvements
  • Co-ordinate laboratory calibrations as per periodic schedule
  • Co-ordinate the laboratory proficiency testing program to ensure deadlines are met.

What you will do

The FBL is a high quality, high demand and complex laboratory operation, delivering a variety of important services to a range of government, industry and research stakeholders.

As the Senior Biologist, you will contribute strongly to the strategies and development activities of the FBL. You will contribute to broader NMI activities and forums, working collegiately with colleagues from across the organisation.  

Key functions and roles for this position include:

  • Coordinate daily operations, resources and work arrangements of the FBL to meet safety, quality, budgetary and turnaround requirements
  • Develop productive working relationships with clients and staff across the Branch, NMI and Department
  • Ensure the Section WH&S and Quality Systems are effective, including reviewing and updating documents, calibrations and training records. Lead the Section response to audits and Corrective Actions
  • Engender and lead a culture of flexibility, adaptability and Continuous Improvement to enable agile responses to new demands and improve laboratory processes and service outcomes
  • Contribute strongly to the strategic objectives and goals of the Branch and NMI, including through cross organisational collaborations and stakeholder engagement
  • Prioritise and conduct food microbiological and Food Allergen analysis without supervision, including sample splitting, addressing issues on sample information matters, quantity and integrity
  • Understand and implement quarantine measures for the storage, handling and testing of food samples to comply with Australian biosecurity regulations QC1 and QC2.


To be eligible for employment in the APS and the department, applicants must be Australian Citizens. 

In addition, the suitable candidate will have; 

  • Tertiary qualifications in a scientific field (microbiology, biochemistry or equivalent).
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience working in an analytical testing laboratory, including significant managerial responsibilities
  • Holding a NATA signatory status for food allergens and food measurements.

Security Clearance

These positions require a Baseline security clearance. The successful applicants will be required to obtain and maintain a clearance at this level.


This full time position is based at NMI Port Melbourne.

How to apply

Your application must not contain any classified or sensitive information. This includes in your application responses, CV and any other documents. Applications containing classified information may not be considered by the selection panel.

You are required to complete your application online. Provide a pitch explaining how your skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role and why you are the best candidate for the position. Your pitch can contain no more than 5000 characters (approximately 750 words) and should align to the job description.

You are also required to provide your current CV with your application. (CVs must be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format)

Contact information 

For more information regarding this opportunity, please contact Dean Clarke via email at or phone (03) 9644 4888. 

Learn more about the department

The department’s Enterprise Agreement and policies provide for a flexible working environment to assist staff balance their work and home life. Staff and managers work together to balance the operating needs of the work unit with the needs of the individual. Options may include part time working arrangements, working from home or other arrangements as agreed by all parties.

The department is committed to a workplace culture that is respectful, inclusive, and diverse, where all employees have a sense of belonging and can bring their authentic whole selves to work every day. We encourage applications from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, mature age, people with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse people and people of the LGBTIQA+ community, including transgender, gender diverse, and intersex people. Please contact our Inclusion and Capability team at for a confidential discussion if you identify from any of these diverse backgrounds and would like to discuss this in more detail.

Please contact or (02) 6276 1235 if you require assistance with your application. Alternatively please refer to our Applying for a position information.

Select the links on the left-hand side of the page for more useful information about a career with the department.

Advertised: AUS Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: AUS Eastern Standard Time

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