Consumer insights, drivers, and barriers for Australian tropical fruits in domestic markets

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.

The development of new horticulture varieties is a balancing act, delivering selections with high consumer appeal as well as improved characteristics for producers. This project seeks to understand current consumer preferences, purchasing and consumption patterns and the part that fruit sensory qualities (taste, smell, look and feel) contribute to these behaviours. The underlying biological contributors to these sensory qualities will be profiled and the genetics of each explored and developed into a suite of tools that can implemented into active mango, papaya, pineapple and strawberry breeding programs. This will allow the co-development of consumer and producer related traits, adding efficiency to these tropical and sub-tropical fruit programs and delivering superior varieties to market sooner. Along the way, new opportunities for premium or niche varieties may add substantial value to industries currently worth almost $670 million annually.

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)


Associate Professor Heather Smyth

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 theories and models in consumer sciences, consumer evaluation, market analysis and horticultural crops would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of consumer and sensory research, psychology, agribusiness, food science and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of plant science, agronomy and horticulture is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2024. 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