About this scholarship: Supervisor: Professor Paul Gauthier: p.gauthier@uq.edu.au

Our Food supply chain system is challenged by unpredictable weather and crop production seasonality. With climate change, these challenges have increased in frequency and threatened our agriculture system. Indoor Farming and Protected cropping are high-technology solutions that allow us to tackle some of these challenges but much remains to be explored and learned on how to make it energy efficient and economically viable. This project aims to explore the impact of Indoor growing on the fundamental physiology of tropical and subtropical crops.

Through the study of Carbon balance allocation, the candidate will study environmental and biological mechanisms to enhance the production of flowers and accelerate the grown and yield of crops grown indoor. Areas of research can include: (1) Enhancement of flowering and crop yield through manipulation of environmental conditions in berries and other future crops; (2) Understanding the impact of indoor environmental factor on carbon allocation in fruit crops; (3) Challenging the law of the minima to accelerate plant growth under indoor environments; (4) optimizing resource use efficiency as a way to optimize profitability of indoor cropping; (5) Development of hydroponic methods to develop at-scale solutions for Australian Native crops, and (6) Optimizing crops yield through the evaluation of different growing methods in Protected Cropping.

The Project will require the candidate, skills in data science management and high attention to detail as well as fundamental knowledge into basic mechanical engineering (associated with Hydroponic systems) and coding. High attention to details is a must for this project.

Research environment

As a graduate student, you will be joining the newly formed Gauthier Lab. Professor Gauthier is UQ professor of Protected Cropping and you will be reporting directly to him. While you will be based at UQ Long Pocket Campus, you will have access to top of the art, greenhouse facility in Gatton, as well as brand new Plant Growth Facility on St Lucia Campus. You will also be working closely with the Tissue Culture Team and be part of Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Future Innovations (QAAFI). You will receive support from Research Assistant and Postdoctoral fellow and interact with other graduate students of the team.

Enrolment status:Future UQ student

Student type: Domestic, International Study level

Postgraduate research (HDR) Study area: Agriculture and animal sciences, Architecture, design and urban planning, Engineering, Environment

Scholarship focus:Academic excellence

Funding type; Living stipend, Tuition fees

Scholarship value: $29,863 per annum (2023 rate), indexed annually

Scholarship duration: 3.5 years with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy

Number awarded: May vary

Applications open: 20 September 2022

Applications close: 18 October 2022

Selection criteria

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 hydroponic systems would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

You will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of horticultural science and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of plant physiology is highly desirable.


You’re eligible if you meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

How to apply

Before submitting an application you should:

You apply for this scholarship when you submit an application for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). You don’t need to submit a separate scholarship application.

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 ‘TROPICAL-GAUTHIER’ in the ‘Name of scholarship’ field.

Start application

Applications close: 18 October 2022

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