Development of a clonal micropropagation system for Australian Macadamia

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Macadamia is Australia’s only globally traded native food commodity. The industry is worth A$850M and employs thousands of regional Australians. Demand for macadamia is booming at 7% annually. However, limitations are crippling industry growth: plants cannot be produced quickly enough to fuel industry expansion; plant supply bottleneck restricts the adoption of more productive varieties from Australian breeding programs. On top of this, Australia’s unique wild macadamia germplasm for future crop breeding is at serious risk of extinction.
This project aims to innovate a novel high-throughput tissue culture-based propagation system for macadamia to supply the highest-quality plants and reduce the adoption time for new varieties. The project is supervised by experts at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, based in a new million-dollar state-of-the-art tissue culture facility located at UQ’s Long Pocket Campus in Indooroopilly. The project will form part of a larger industry-linked collaboration that brings together a critical mass of research and industry expertise through the macadamia value chain.
The successful PhD candidate will be involved in cutting-edge research alongside additional PhD students in the team and additional experts in macadamia conservation and genomics, providing a diverse and supportive learning environment. The student will experience and value-add relationships with the macadamia industry and will have the opportunity to travel to industry nursery and field sites.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Neena Mitter

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of plant tissue culture (especially woody crops), plant husbandry, physiology and care, industry-linked projects, and agribusiness would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of agribusiness and/or plant science and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of agribusiness, plant husbandry and plant tissue culture is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 4, 2023. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process