Scholarships and awards

Find a scholarship with UQ

The University of Queensland scholarships can help you pursue your goals and develop your research career.

Current Opportunities

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cattle using microbiome variation

Principal Advisor: Dr Elizabeth Ross

This project will develop a new tool for methane mitigation from livestock – a saliva-based test that will allow producers to rank animals based on the amount of methane they will produce. The test is called “LESTR” (Low Emission Saliva Test for Ruminants). The key project outcome will be a predictive equation and testing methodology that allows identification of low methane emitting “commercial” animals based on a biological sample (e.g. saliva).

Apply by 31 March 2024

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Calf Alive: Nutritional interventions to increase milk delivery

Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Luis Prada e Silva

Poor nutrition and environmental stress during the last trimester of pregnancy through to early lactation have been identified as major causes of calf wastage. Reducing the mortality rate of cows and calves is an essential step in achieving long-term sustainability for the northern Australian beef industry. This project aims to assess the impact of nutritional interventions and environmental stress around calving on cow and calf mortality, and to validate the use of a practical tool for early detection of more efficient cows. By studying the interaction between nutrition and environmental stress on calf wastage and cow mortality, and by identifying the likely cause of losses on individual properties, this project will develop practical and targeted management strategies to overcome the major issues. Thus, the main purpose of this project is to assess the impact of nutritional interventions and environmental stress around calving on cow and calf mortality.

Apply by 30 September 2024

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Diversity and evolution of phytoplasmas infecting banana and coconut in Papua New Guinea

Principal Advisor: Professor Andre Drenth

Phytoplasmas are insect-vectored bacteria that affect many plant species, causing devastating yield losses in crops worldwide. Their transmission occurs through insects, planting material and seeds. Phytoplasmas are non-culturable, have small genomes and they require part of the machinery in cells of their hosts (plant and insect) for multiplication.

This project proposes to better understand the diversity of phytoplasmas infecting coconut and banana in PNG and banana in the Solomon Islands, define a genome-based phylogeny and hypothesise the most parsimonious ancestor host. We also propose to measure the genetic diversity of phytoplasmas associated with the same host at different time points and distinct geographical locations to estimate how fast this pathogen is evolving.

Appy by 31 December 2024

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Crop improvement and drought tolerance: the roots of the solution

Principal Advisor: Dr Dongxue Zhao

Under drought, the crop rooting system, its architecture, size, and activity, determine the capacity of the crop to take up water for growth and yield, underpinning agricultural productivity. Identifying desirable root phenotypes directly in the field would be the short route to help identify and incorporate traits that enhance drought tolerance in breeding programs, and to inform more resilient crop managements.

This PhD project aims to overcome the field phenotyping bottleneck for impactful root traits that limit the capacity of breeders and agronomists to achieve step gains in crop productivity. The successful candidate will develop new high-throughput phenotyping approaches through innovative use of above and below-ground sensing technologies to generate new knowledge on the association between crop root traits and improved yield and yield stability under drought stress. 

This PhD project is an excellent opportunity for a dedicated student to gain skills in crop phenotyping, agronomy, sensing and analytical techniques by working in close collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of experts in proximal and remote sensing, crop eco-physiology, agronomy, crop modelling and breeding. The successful candidate will get real-world experience and develop transferable professional skills through working closely with one of the largest breeding companies i.e., Pioneer Seeds and a digital agriculture company (Airborn Insight).

Apply by 30 June 2024

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Insights into the associations between functional above ground plant traits and root function for drought adaptation in sorghum

Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Andries Potgieter

Breeding for enhanced radiation and water use in cereals, including sorghum, remains a challenge due to the complex interactions between nitrogen and water on final yield for different genotype x environment x management (GxExM) combination.  More recently, the advances in sensing technologies and the ability to utilise data analytics, and radiative transfer models have enabled our ability to more accurately, cost-effectively and in-near real-time derive morphological, biochemical and physiological traits at canopy, breeder plot and field levels. 

This PhD project will explore the linkages between above (shoot) and below-ground traits relating to radiation use efficiency, nitrogen and water use at canopy levels across GxExM for sorghum crops. A functional data analytics approach will be applied to already existing multispectral UAV data, biomass, and yield across GxE in breeders’ and pre-breeders’ plots for sorghum in Australia.

Apply by TBA

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Genomic prediction to identify sorghum hybrids with improved lodging resistance

Principal Advisor: Professor David Jordan

When sorghum is subjected to water stress during grain filling, photosynthesis is reduced, and the plant uses stem reserves to fill the grain. In some varieties, this remobilization weakens the stem making it susceptible to stem breakage (lodging) causing yield loss and making mechanical harvesting difficult. This process is influenced by a complex set of environmental, physical and physiological factors making it difficult for breeders to identify superior varieties. This project will develop genomic prediction methods based on molecular information to help breeders to develop new varieties.

Apply by 31 March 2025

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Higher Degree by Research scholarships

Are you planning to commence an HDR program at QAAFI? Check if you are eligible to apply for the following scholarship and financial options.

When applying for a UQ HDR program, you need to provide evidence to the Graduate School that you have living and tuition funding to support you throughout your entire HDR program, typically in the form of scholarship. You need to discuss this with your potential HDR advisor when applying for advisor support and potential projects of interest to determine which of the following funding option/s you may be eligible for. Please remember that you need to be invited by QAAFI to complete Graduate School’s HDR admission application and that the outcome of this application will be dependent on whether you successfully secure minimal funding support (the living stipend needs to be at least the RTP base rate that is indexed annually, and the tuition offset will cover the Agriculture Band B rate).

Domestic students may apply at any time for a tuition fee offset with no living stipend scholarship, with the approval of your proposed Principal Advisor.

If you are a current HDR candidate you will need to investigate and discuss which of the following options may apply to you. 

UQ Graduate School Scholarship

Do you have outstanding research potential to be considered for a competitive Graduate School scholarship? Discuss with your potential advisor if they would like to nominate you, or what other funding options might be available.

Scholarship round dates and application process 

External scholarships

You can browse external scholarship opportunities or research other external resources elsewhere, such as country of origin sponsorships.

QAAFI HDR key projects prioritised for UQ Scholarship internal ranking

QAAFI will support UQ scholarship nominees who work on HDR projects that fit within QAAFI’s strategic priority research areas. The Principal Advisor must initiate the UQ scholarship nomination, and the Graduate School needs to approve HDR admission applications to be eligible for preferential scholarship rankings. For more details visit QAAFI HDR priority projects.

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QAAFI HDR Travel Awards

QAAFI offers Travel Awards to QAAFI enrolled and confirmed Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students for travel to international or domestic scientific conferences. The awards will contribute to attendance costs including registration, airfares, accommodation and other transport. Students can apply as often as rounds are available, but will only be eligible to receive ONE award during their entire HDR degree with QAAFI.

QAAFI HDR Travel Awards

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Undergraduate Research Program

The UQ Student Employability Centre's Undergraduate Research Program is available in twice a year. 

Please check the UQ Student Employability Centre website for updates about the program.

QAAFI Undergraduate Research Program projects

QAAFI scholarship eligibility requirements

In addition to UQSEC's eligibility requirements, the applicant must meet the following QAAFI requirements:

  1. Have at least one supervisor who is a QAAFI staff member or affiliate;
  2. Be actively enrolled in an undergraduate or masters by coursework program during the Research Scholarship period and can provide evidence of this;
  3. Credit any and all publications arising from the project to QAAFI.

How to apply

  1. Ensure you have read the QAAFI eligibility requirements under QAAFI Scholarship Eligibility Requirements (above) and you are aware of all eligibility and requirements of the application and program. When you submit your application, you are agreeing that you have read and understood the QAAFI's and UQSEC's eligibility requirements.
  2. Find a project that interests you by browsing the current projects, then secure advisor support by contacting them directly by searching our website.  If a project is missing, you can contact our researchers directly to discuss potential future opportunities. Please do not submit a UQSEC application until you have secured advisor support and have agreed on a research project together.
  3. To demonstrate your invitation to complete the UQSEC application, you must get mandatory written support from your potential Undergraduate Research Program supervisor, which needs to be submitted as part of your application by UQSEC’s specified deadline.  If this evidence is missing, your application will be incomplete and thus will not be assessed.
    The support evidence must contain the following details that can be sent from the researcher's email account (PDF file is accepted) or signed on a QAAFI-UQ letterhead:  
  • Applicant's full name and contact information;
  • Specific recommendations geared towards why the advisor supports this particular student.
  • The Undergraduate Research Program project title that was in the Advisor’s project submission, as it's a compulsory pre-text field in UQSEC online application form;
  • Support is available on the condition that the application is successful in being awarded the research scholarship;
  • Project start date (starting on a Monday or the next working day to avoid public holiday) and expected project period (in weeks);
  • If the SIPCA (Student Intellectual Property & Confidentiality Agreement) needs to be completed and signed before project commencement.
  • If this applicant is unsuccessful in the UQSEC-QAAFI funded assessment round, whether advisor/s can fully or co-fund instead.

      4. Complete UQSEC online application form by the deadline stated on UQSEC website.

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