Increasing the pulse of world food security: Innovative phenotyping technologies to harness genetic diversity in tropical crops

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.

To develop tropical crops best adapted to future environments harnessing genetic diversity is critical. While genebanks have preserved genetic diversity that could be utilised in crop improvement, a major bottleneck is the availability of low-cost, high-throughput methods to identify germplasm with desirable traits such as tolerance to drought or salinity. This project builds on technological advances including the use of drones mounted with sensors, low-cost computing, image analysis and genomics to design novel phenotyping solutions applicable to a range of tropical crops important to Australia and our nearest neighbours. This PhD project is an excellent opportunity for a dedicated student to obtain skills in crop improvement across commodity crops in Australia and contribute to international efforts to strengthen food security through agriculture for development.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Dr Millicent Smith

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 science would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

A background or knowledge of crop physiology and genetics is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 3, 2022. 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