The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) (opens in new window) at Western Sydney University seeks an ambitious candidate for a 3-year PhD program of research to commence in 2021 in the multi-disciplinary and fast-developing field of plant-microbial interactions. The 3-year PhD program is based at the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW.
|Scholarship Sponsor||Western Sydney University|
|Scholarships level||PhD scholarship|
|Award Amount||A tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum|
|Fellowship Period||Three years|
|Study area||Microbial Ecology and/or Plant Ecology|
|Opening date||Now Open|
|Closing date||March 31, 2021|
Lead Researchers – Dr Eleonora Egidi
Grasslands are vulnerable to increasing intensity and frequency of drought, and new adaptation and resilience-building approaches are required to protect the wealth of ecosystem services provided by grasslands. Soil microbes offer an untapped opportunity to enhance drought survival in grasses. Yet, to harness this potential, we first need to identify the key microbial functions contributing to plant tolerance to drought.
The PhD candidate will conduct research implementing manipulative experiments and field surveys to identify those microbial taxa that drive drought-survival traits in grasses. The candidate will use a range of state-of-the art ecological and molecular methods to:
- (i) characterise microbial acquisition patterns by grasses with different drought survival traits. This will include field work and analysis of microbial populations from soil and plants across different sampling sites.
- (ii) identify microbiome-driven plant traits that provide benefits to grasses under drought using glasshouse/field experiments.
The PhD candidate will have the unique opportunity to learn, develop and apply a range of cutting-edge experimental techniques, including a suite of advanced -omics technologies. They will also contribute to dissemination of results through scientific publications, conference presentations and group meetings. The successful candidate will be immersed in a cutting-edge, fast-paced research environment and will have the opportunity to interact with world-class collaborators from many different disciplines.
The deadline for applications is March 31, 2021
We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to the project topic.
The successful applicant should:
- Hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) a Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
- Demonstrate strong academic performance in microbial ecology and/or plant ecology.
- Have proven skills in biological sequence data analysis.
- Have a strong quantitative background.
- Be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.
- Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.
International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.(opens in new window)
Due to current international travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this scholarship is only open to Australian domestic or international applicants that are onshore in Australia or New Zealand or have means to arrive in Australia and start in 2021.
- Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
- International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver and Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC)(opens in new window) insurance (Single Policy).
- Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by the Institute.
- Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship(opens in new window) page.
- Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.
- For questions and advice about the research project, please contact the Lead Researcher;
Doctor Eleonora Egidi: [email protected]
- For questions and advice about the application process, please contact the Graduate Research School: [email protected]