HDR (Industry) scholarships - Ararat

PhD and Masters by Research (Industry) – A collaboration between Ararat Rural City and Federation University through Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct (AJTP), supported by funding from Destination Australia Program.

Federation University is seeking three PhD candidates and two Masters by Research candidates for fully funded projects co-designed and co-supervised by Ararat Rural City, local industry partners and leading academics within the newly established Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct.

The PhD and Masters candidates will be affiliated with Federation University’s Ararat Campus at the Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct (AJTP). They will receive a scholarship of $30,000 per calendar year in partnership with Ararat Rural City Council. Australian citizens and permanent residents will receive a fee offset scholarship and international applicants may be eligible for a tuition fee scholarship.

These opportunities are open to suitably qualified people with relevant academic qualifications and demonstrated fundamental technical knowledge (e.g., circular economy, agribusiness,  carbon economics, data science, smart specialisation etc.) relevant to the application domain of each project. Specific skills and interests relevant for each project are listed below.

Applications from Australian citizens, permanent residents, and international residents with appropriate qualifications, skills and interests will be ranked highly.

Successful applicants may have the opportunity to participate in an industry-based internship.

Scholarship details

Scholarship amount: $30,000 per annum*, funded by Federation University, Destination Australia and Ararat City Council

Fees: Up to $32,000 per annum covered by a Research Training Program Fee-Offset Scholarships (domestic students) or a Federation University Tuition Fee Scholarship (international students)

Applications have now closed and are in the process of being awarded. Any unfilled projects will be readvertised from late May 2022.

Eligibility

Scholarship applicants must be eligible to undertake a PhD or Masters by Research. Please verify that you meet eligibility requirements outlined on the Graduate Research School website before you apply. If you are making a case for ‘Honours equivalence', in order to demonstrate your eligibility, please ensure that you provide detailed information to support your case.

Applications are open to Australian residents, permanent residents and international applicants.

Conditions

  • Students are expected to commit to full-time study for the duration of their candidature.
  • Scholarships are for a period of three years and extension to scholarships will not be granted.
  • Successful scholarship applicants must reside in or relocate to City of Ballarat or Rural City of Ararat and study on campus in Ballarat and in location in Ararat.
  • Successful scholarship applicants must participate in an internship period.
  • Successful scholarship applicants must formally assign, in advance, all right, title and interest they may have in any IP developed to the University prior to commencing a project.

Successful applicants of the Masters by Research projects cannot transfer to a PhD and retain their scholarship. Should they choose to transfer to a PhD, all scholarship entitlements will be ceased.

View the general conditions for Federation University HDR Scholarships on the Graduate Research School website. Where these conditions differ to those on this form, the conditions outlined for this specific scholarship take precedence.

How to apply

Applicants who do not complete all steps will not be considered.

Step 1: Follow the application process outlined at: How to apply

Step 2: Provide a 1000-word statement covering the following areas:

  • Discuss your motivations for applying for this scholarship, and your intended outcomes (both for yourself (personally and professionally), and for the sector)
  • Discuss some of the key existing research literature which impact this topic area
  • Discuss your relevant background and experience as they are relevant to the project
  • Discuss how an internship may positively impact on your project and future career.
  • Discuss potential challenges and how you might overcome them

Applicants are not required to provide a 250 Project Summary.

Step 3: Complete the Scholarship Expression of Interest Form

Projects

Smart farms: Using big data to improve decision making

Supported by

The use of agricultural technology, including Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming an increasingly important aspect of management of agricultural businesses. This project would seek to provide models for farmers to utilise IoT, use their own data for decision making and pool data to enable big data modelling at a district and regional level. The very practical outcome of an 'agri-data lake' of regional data would add considerable value to farm management and regional wealth creation. This project would include development of broader understandings of productivity to include economic, environmental and social outcomes based on how we collect and understand a broad range of data.

Aim and objectives

Aim of the project is to develop smart decision-making tools that can be used at farm and regional level to improve economic, environmental and social sustainability of agriculture.

The project will specifically address the following objectives.

  • Identify shortcomings in handling numerous networked devices at farm and regional level.
  • Develop architecture of farm management systems based on IoT using bio-physical, social and economic data.
  • Identify governance issues regarding the use of data amongst stakeholders and develop business models to address them.

Student profile

Must have an undergraduate degree in agriculture, business, data science or a related discipline. An equivalent experience of working in relevant industry can also be considered.

Supervisory team

Principal Supervisor: Professor Harpinder Sandhu

Associate Supervisor: Dr Shoaib Riaz, Associate Professor Shyh Wei Teng

Industry supervisor: Dr Tim Harrison

Financial support

3 years stipend to eligible candidate: AUD 30,000 per year for three years (Destination Australia Scholarship plus ARCC funding)

3 months paid internship with a local agricultural research organisation for the PhD candidate: AUD 3000 per month TBC

Project operating cost: AUD 7000 over 3 years TBC

Deliverables

  • Successful confirmation of candidature (before 12 months of the first anniversary of the starting date)
  • Satisfactory annual progress reports in year 2 and 3 of candidature.
  • Timely submission of the thesis for examination.
  • Annual progress report to industry partner in year1, 2 and 3.

Carbon positive farming: role and implications for broadacre agriculture

Supported by

As the world moves towards a carbon neutral future, farming has a capacity to add considerable value through becoming a carbon positive industry. This has a capacity to generate wealth in rural Victoria and enhance environmental outcomes. The study would explore theoretical and applied understandings of carbon positive farming including biomass energy production, use of biochar and other mechanisms for carbon sequestration in the soil.

Aim and objectives

Aim of the project is to examine the role of broadacre agriculture in developing carbon positive farming.

The project will specifically address the following objectives.

  • Identify barriers and opportunities for carbon positive farming in broadacre agriculture.
  • Develop theoretical and conceptual framework for novel food, energy and carbon farming systems for broadacre cropping.
  • Develop farm business models to connect with energy and other industry to explore carbon wealth.

Student profile

Must have an undergraduate degree in agriculture, environmental science, business or a related discipline. An equivalent experience of working in relevant industry can also be considered.

Supervisory team

Principal supervisor: Professor Harpinder Sandhu

Associate supervisor: TBA

Industry supervisor: Dr Tim Harrison

Financial support

3 years stipend to eligible candidate: AUD 30,000 per year for three years (Destination Australia Scholarship plus ARCC funding)

3 months paid internship with local agronomists/AgVic for the PhD candidate: AUD 3000 per month TBC

Project operating cost: AUD 7000 over 3 years TBC

Deliverables

  • Successful confirmation of candidature (before 12 months of the first anniversary of the starting date)
  • Satisfactory annual progress reports in year 2 and 3 of candidature.
  • Timely submission of the thesis for examination.
  • Annual progress report to industry partner in year1, 2 and 3.

Drivers and inhibitors of value adding to agricultural products in rural Victoria

Supported by

Recent studies indicate that of all agricultural production in the region, only one percent of value adding occurs within the Ararat region. There is a perception that there are a range of economic impediments to this occurring including access to labour, labour cost, logistics, access to technology and professional/technical capacity. This project will help identify barriers in the current models of agricultural value addition. It will then explore opportunities for localised value addition in collaboration with the local industry. This has potential to increase local wealth for farmers and the community and will contribute to regional economic development.

Aim and objectives

Aim of the project is to examine the drivers and inhibitors of value adding to agricultural products in rural Victoria.

The project will specifically address the following objectives.

  • Identify socio-economic drivers and inhibitors of value adding to agricultural products in rural Victoria.
  • Identify opportunities to develop business ecosystem to support local value addition for agricultural products in regions.
  • Develop economic models for local value addition.

Student profile

Must have an undergraduate degree in economics, environmental science, business or a related discipline. An equivalent experience of working in relevant industry can also be considered.

Supervisory team

Principal Supervisor: Professor Harpinder Sandhu

Associate Supervisor: Dr Samuel Zhang

Industry supervisor: Dr Tim Harrison

Financial support

3 years stipend to eligible candidate: AUD 30,000 per year for three years (Destination Australia Scholarship plus ARCC funding)

3 months paid internship with local industry partners for the PhD candidate: AUD 3000 per month TBC

Project operating cost: AUD 7000 over 3 years TBC

Deliverables

  • Successful confirmation of candidature (before 12 months of the first anniversary of the starting date)
  • Satisfactory annual progress reports in year 2 and 3 of candidature.
  • Timely submission of the thesis for examination.
  • Annual progress report to industry partner in year1, 2 and 3.

Circular economy: role of municipal waste to create value through local processing

Supported by

Ararat Rural City Council has a commitment to implementing the four-bin material collection for municipal waste by 30 June 2022. In addition to this it has committed to local processing of materials streams. The study will examine the role of municipal waste in developing value through local processing.

Aim and objectives

Aim of the project is to examine the role of municipal waste to create value through local processing.

The project will specifically address the following objectives.

  • Examine the role of circular economy in implementing four-bin material collection for municipal waste.
  • Identify opportunities to develop business models for local processing of municipal waste.

Student profile

Must have an undergraduate degree in economics, environmental science, business or a related discipline. An equivalent experience of working in relevant industry can also be considered.

Supervisory team

Principal Supervisor: Professor Harpinder Sandhu

Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Ayon Chakraborty

Industry supervisor: Dr Tim Harrison

Financial support

2 years stipend to eligible candidate: AUD 30,000 per year for two years (Destination Australia Scholarship plus ARCC funding)

3 months paid internship with ARCC or local waste stream partners for the candidate: AUD 3000 per month TBC

Project operating cost: AUD 4000 over 2 years TBC

Deliverables

  • Successful confirmation of candidature (before 12 months of the first anniversary of the starting date)
  • Satisfactory annual progress reports in year 2 of candidature.
  • Timely submission of the thesis for examination.
  • Annual progress report to industry partner in year 1 and 2.

What does a smart rural city look like?

Supported by

This project essentially explores the smart cities idea and provides a research-based blueprint for how ARCC becomes Australia’s first smart rural city. This will bring together concepts around existing projects such as the digital twin, free WiFi project and the Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct.

Aim and objectives

Aim of the project is to develop a blueprint for a smart rural city.

The project will specifically address the following objectives.

  • Examine the role of smart city in improving services in a rural city.
  • Develop a blueprint for a smart rural city.

Student profile

Must have an undergraduate degree in data sciences, business or a related discipline. An equivalent experience of working in relevant industry can also be considered.

Supervisory team

Principal supervisor: Professor Harpinder Sandhu

Associate supervisor: TBA

Industry supervisor: Dr Tim Harrison

Financial support

2 years stipend to eligible candidate: AUD 30,000 per year for two years (Destination Australia Scholarship plus ARCC funding)

3 months paid internship with ARCC for the candidate: AUD 3000 per month TBC

Project operating cost: AUD 4000 over 2 years TBC

Deliverables

  • Successful confirmation of candidature (before 12 months of the first anniversary of the starting date)
  • Satisfactory annual progress reports in year 2 of candidature.
  • Timely submission of the thesis for examination.
  • Annual progress report to industry partner in year 1 and 2.