The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is a research institute of The University of Queensland (UQ), supported by the Queensland Government. As one of the few research-intensive universities worldwide located in a subtropical environment, UQ is a global leader in agriculture and food science research in subtropical and tropical production systems. Agriculture-related research at UQ is consistently ranked among the best in the world.

We have a competitive PhD Top Up scholarship valued at AUD$30k/year aligned to a collaborative research grant between UQ and CSIRO on chickpea agronomy. Selected applicants will require to apply for a competitive UQ Scholarship.

The position offers the student the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance. The successful candidates will be working under the supervision of Prof Daniel Rodriguez and Dr Peter de Voil (QAAFI-UQ), Dr Fer Dreccer and Dr Jeremy Whish (CSIRO).

Chickpeas can increase profits, diversify income, and increase sustainability. Megatrends in global food markets favour consumption of plant-based protein. However, significant productivity gaps remain, driven by lack of understanding of pulse physiology and agronomy.

As part of a collaborative effort between UQ-QAAFI Centre for Crop Sciences and CSIRO, this project aims to improve our understanding of the impact of different water availabilities and temperature relationships on chickpea growth, development, and yield potential.

The student will join a team of field agronomists, crop modellers, and crop physiologist that are conducting on-farm and on-research station trials to research the impacts of water availability and temperature regimes during critical periods of biomass partitioning and yield formation for chickpeas.

The focus of the trials is to improve our understanding of the dynamics of yield formation under contrasting stresses.Field, trials will be conducted during at least two seasons  to improve and validate the APSIM model that will be used to assess yield and risks associated to contrasting GxExM combinations. Frequent travelling to the field and working outdoors in farmers’ fields will be required. During the PhD, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to attend (inter)national conferences to present their research.

Applications will be assessed on a competitive basis considering: 

  • previous academic record
  • publication record in Q1 international journals
  • honours and awards; and
  • employment history

Applicants should possess a BSc Hons, MSc, or equivalent, majoring in agriculture or a relevant discipline e.g., crop physiology, crop modelling, agronomy. A working knowledge of biophysical modelling would be of benefit to someone working in this project. A background or knowledge of R would also be helpful. Excellent oral and written communication skills, motivation, and the ability to work as part of a team is also required. One or more peer-reviewed publications in Q1 international journals. 

To apply and Enquiries: 

To discuss the position please contact Prof Daniel Rodriguez  by sending your CV and list of publications. 

Applicants must be eligible to enrol in a PhD with the University of Queensland. For a complete list of the University of Queensland’s minimum entry requirements please refer to:  The position might require long distance driving in regional areas; therefore, a full driver’s license will be required. If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements. 

The positions will be based at UQ Gatton Campus or will require the student to visit UQ Gatton Campus at least twice a week. There is a free bus from St Lucia in Brisbane to Gatton Campus.

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