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 scholarships program was 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 offered 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.
The program's contribution towards PhD project scholarships may be part of a funding mix.
Although the SIBI project concluded 30 June 2018, the Scholarships program will operate between July 2017 and December 2020, unless funds are exhausted sooner. There are two application rounds per year and closing on 30 April and 31 October respectively each year. Scholarships are to be used as stipend and operating costs.
|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|
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.