The WA sheep industry scholarship 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 Western Australia.
This initiative is part of the department's Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) project, which aims to support the sheep industry to capitalise on growing markets for sheep products.
The SIBI project recognises 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 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 University Australian Postgraduate Awards.
The program offers financial support for eligible research as follows:
- up to $5000 for Honours (stipend) plus negotiable levels of operating
- fortnightly payments at the rate of $38 000 per annum for
- two years for Masters and negotiable levels of operating;
- three years for PhD with the possibility of extension, 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.
SIBI research scholarships will be awarded between July 2017 - July 2021. 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 operating costs and stipend. 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 modeling (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.
For further information please see the WA sheep industry scholarship program brochure (attached).
To apply, please download and complete the application form. Please note that applicants must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen.