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PhD scholarship Higher yielding crops through changes in grain number

University of Queensland

Research Environment

UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 46 in the QS World University Rankings, 42 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 66 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 54 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The student will be an integral part of a cross disciplinary team and will be exposed to a range of research methods including bioinformatics, genomics, crop model-based trait dissection and high throughput phenotyping which will provide the candidate with an excellent platform to launch into a career in science or agriculture. The project will be based at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Hermitage Research Facility at Warwick Queensland.

The award

Supervisor – Professor David Jordan

A PhD scholarship is available to investigate the genetics of grain number in sorghum. Grain number, along with grain size, is a fundamental component of crop yield and is known to vary in response to genetic and environmental factors. Understanding these gene networks and their interactions with environment are fundamental to efforts to improve productivity in sorghum and other cereals and as such will contribute to meeting the food requirements of the anticipated 10 billion people on the planet in 2050. Sorghum is an important crop in Australia and the world’s fifth most important cereal and crop species that is highly tolerant of environmental stress particularly heat and drought. It is a currently a key food security crop for more than 0.5 billion people and its importance is likely to increase as the world becomes hotter and drier.

This project aims to develop an understanding of the gene networks controlling grain number and to contribute to an understanding of their interactions with environmental factors. The student will be supervised by Prof Graeme Hammer, Dr Emma Mace, Prof Mark Cooper and Prof David Jordan who are world leaders in sorghum physiology, genomics and genetics. The project will be part of a large well-resourced team working on sorghum crop improvement which is linked to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture.

A working knowledge of plant breeding, genetics or plant physiology would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Selection criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must also meet the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at UQ.

This scholarship is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents and International students who are currently in Australia at the time of application and commencement.

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of breeding, genetics or plant physiology and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of genomics is highly desirable.

Job No: 516172
Area: Qld Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Salary (FTE): RTP Scholarship NON-BANDED ($28,597.00 – $28,597.00)
Work type: Full Time – Scholarship
Location: Other


The 2022 Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate is AUD$28,854 per annum (indexed annually), which is tax-free for 3.5 years, with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy (conditions apply).


For further information, please contact Professor David Jordan at +61 7 4542 6722

Fully Funded Scholarships for International Students to Work and Study Abroad

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select ‘I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship’.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘GRAIN-JORDAN’ in the ‘Name of scholarship’ field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Applications close: 11 October 2021 (11:00 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

Advertised: 09 Sep 2021
Applications close: 11 Oct 2021 (11:00 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

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