The CSIR’s research career ladder

The CSIR’s career ladders for research and personnel development provide researchers with growth opportunities, while developing their expertise, gaining experience and growing their profiles. Researchers are afforded a robust and transparent process to measure their progression and reward their career advancement from junior (candidate researchers) to very senior levels (principal and chief researcher levels).



The career ladder for CSIR researchers has five levels and researchers will be promoted from one level to the next as they gain experience and skills.


Advancing up the research career ladder is usually done in step-wise increments, which provide the opportunities to increase either technical or managerial aspects of the job, which are both necessary. Completing a PhD or finalising the publication of results from a completed research project, are examples of advancing in terms of technical skills and experience. Managing a challenging research project or assuming responsibility as a research group leader, are examples of advancing in terms of management and leadership. From time to time, researchers should assess where they are in terms of this model and should look for opportunities to gain appropriate experience.