Western Australian sheep industry university scholarship program

Page last updated: Friday, 20 March 2020 - 11:29am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Researchers and supervisors from Western Australian universities are invited to apply for WA sheep industry scholarships.

The Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) Scholarships program is designed to support and encourage individuals who wish to pursue further study by addressing key industry questions relevant to the sheep industry supply chain in WA.

This initiative was part of the department's SIBI project, which aimed to support the sheep industry to capitalise on growing markets for sheep products.

The SIBI project recognised the value in supporting individuals to help solve industry relevant issues across the sheep supply chain through academic research. In addition the intention is to expose and excite students to choose a career in the agrifood supply chain. Demonstrating the value of postgraduate trained personnel to entities within the sheep industry, with a view to their long term employment.

Overall the SIBI Scholarships program is about building capacity and giving the student an appreciation and awareness of the industry. Any immediate industry-ready outcome from any research study is not essential. Key funding sources may also include Meat & Livestock Australia Donor Company, Australian Wool Education Trust and Australian Government Research Training Program.

The program offers financial support for eligible research projects as follows:

  • up to $5000 for Honours plus negotiable levels of operating
  • up to $38 000 per annum for
    • two years for Masters plus negotiable levels of operating;
    • three years for PhD plus negotiable levels of operating
  • students can be invited for vocational or internship opportunities.

SIBI’s contribution towards PhD project scholarships may be part of a funding mix.

How to apply

Applications are currently open. The current round of applications is open from 1 March to 30 April 2020.

Please ensure you read the SIBI Scholarship funding guidelines before submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SmartyGrants.

Email Rebecca Butcher at SIBIscholarships@dpird.wa.gov.au for any questions regarding submitting an application.

Note that applicants must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen.


Although the SIBI project concluded 30 June 2018, the SIBI Scholarships program will operate between July 2017 and June 2021, unless funds are exhausted sooner. Applications will be open in two rounds per year and will close on 30 April and 31 October respectively each year. Scholarships are to be used as stipend and operating costs.

SIBI Scholarship application rounds opening and closing dates 2017-2021
  Opening date Closing date
Round 1 2017/18 1 July 2017 30 April 2018
Round 2 2018 1 September 2018 31 October 2018
Round 1 2019 1 March 2018 30 April 2019
Round 2 2019 1 September 2019 31 October 2019
Round 1 2020 1 March 2020 30 April 2020
Round 2 2020 1 September 2020 31 October 2020
Round 1 2021 1 March 2021 30 April 2021

Beyond this period it is expected the department will continue to contribute in-kind through technical supervision and monitoring progress of the research. The department will support field sites, office space, equipment, conference attendance, travel, computers, software and general support.

Proposed research topics

Areas identified as relevant to the WA sheep industry supply chain may include:

  • improving reproduction, lamb survival, growth and performance
  • using sensors to detect date of conception and birth, growth and performance of lambs
  • use of economic modelling (MIDAS) to explore opportunities to add value along the supply chain, and improve decision making using new business models
  • desktop studies on adaptive enterprises and grazing management strategies to the changing rainfall patterns of south western Australia
  • steps towards the development of algorithms and analytics to interpret proximity and activity data from livestock sensors
  • use of sensors for on-farm sheep health decisions and to detect stock movement
  • assessment of the impact on the WA sheep industry of outcomes from the project 'Market and consumer insights to drive food value chain innovation and growth'
  • barriers to the adoption of new business models in the sheep industry.

Contact information

Katherine Davies
+61 (0)8 9690 2169