CSIRO workers are "in a state of shock" over planned changes to the workforce in the organisation, with staff expecting to be hit by cutbacks of up to 350 jobs nationally.
CSIRO Australian National Outlook 2015
The Australian National Outlook Seeks to provide a better understanding of Australiaâs physical economy.
Canberra science brain drain looks set to continue with a CSIRO staff association spokesman saying many Canberra staff worked in the Land and Water unit, the section expected to be targeted with more than 100 job cuts nationally.
A small number in the national capital worked in the Oceans and Atmosphere unit.
"Behind Victoria, the CSIRO has more staff in Canberra than anywhere else so there will be impacts at the Canberra work sites," the spokesman said.
It means CSIRO employees in the ACT, who make up about a fifth organisation's total workforce, are now entering their fourth consecutive year of unrest.
They have been going through a period of consolidation - where all workers will be moved to Black Mountain - and cutbacks which saw CSIRO reduced by 1300 positions, or 20 per cent of the organisation's workforce across Australia.
Staff also were unsure whether job losses would be contained to the Land and Water and Oceans and Atmosphere units and the areas of Data and Manufacturing.
As of noon on Friday Oceans and Atmosphere staff were being given details of changes announced by recently appointed chief executive Larry Marshall on Thursday.
Mr Marshall had told staff the organisation could not rest on its laurels "as that is the path to mediocrity".
He wanted CSIRO to concentrate on what Australia should be doing about climate change.
The CSIRO Staff Association, blindsided by the initial email sent to staff by Mr Marshall, was considering whether to notify Fair Work Australia of a formal dispute because it said there had been no acceptable forewarning.
Some staff found out about the restructure through the media before they had time to read the chief executive's email.
CSIRO's latest annual report showed at June the agency had 5269 staff and a full-time equivalent workforce of 4836.
In the last financial year alone the number of research science staff decreased by 15.5 per cent.