Reducing plate waste in hotels - which interventions are most effective?

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.

This project aims to quantify the comparative effectiveness of belief-based and choice-architecture-based interventions in reducing food waste generated by tourists at hotel buffets. Expected outcomes include: new insights into effective triggers of pro-environmental tourist behaviour; the first empirical data on carbon emissions caused by plate waste in tourism; an automatic plate waste measurement system and benchmarking app for monitoring and comparison; and effective practical measures to reduce avoidable food leftovers generated by tourists. This should provide significant benefits by: lowering food cost for the struggling tourism industry, reducing carbon emissions, and contributing to Australia’s aim of halving food waste by 2030.

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 Sara Dolnicar

School of Business


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 software engineering, machine learning, computer networks, human-computer interaction would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of software engineering, computer systems & networks, machine learning and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of software engineering, machine learning, computer networks, human-computer interaction, mathematical modelling is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 4, 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