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Scholarships call for next generation of grains scientists

Scholarship recipients Mary-AnneLowe UWA Soil water repellence, Manider Kaur Murdoch Uni Cold plasma to prevent mold contamination, Marcia Correa Queiroz de Lima Murdoch Uni Sub soil potassium supply to crops with Minister Alannah MacTiernan
2018’s grains research scholarship recipients (l-r) Mary-Anne Lowe, Maninder Kaur, and Marcia Correa Quieroz de Lima with WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan. Applications for 2018’s scholarships close on 31 October 2018. Image courtesy of WA DPIRD

Tertiary students wanting to make their mark on Western Australia’s grains sector are reminded that applications close soon for research and development post-graduate scholarships.

WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development grains research and development director Kerry Regan said the scholarships aimed to encourage and support the next generation of grains scientists.

“Through the grains R&D postgraduate development program, scholarships are available for study through a Western Australian-based university,” Ms Regan said.

“These are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, the topic of the proposed research and the likelihood of the applicant’s ongoing involvement with the grains industry.

“Students are required to have linkages to the department through a co-supervisor or a technical research expert.”

Successful recipients will have access to the department’s state-of-the-art grains research facilities and work alongside experienced grains scientists.

The program forms part of the department’s Boosting Grains Research and Development project which aims to build lasting regionally-based research and development capability.

“A key aspect of this program is to support research capacity to benefit the grains industry through a skilled cohort of regionally-based scientists,” Ms Regan said.

“Research proposals should address one of the key research areas, including crop nutrition, crop protection, digital or precision agriculture, genetic improvement and field phenotyping, grain product integrity, soil management, systems agronomy or agricultural economics.”

2017’s successful recipients included Marcia Correa Queiroz de Lima, of Murdoch University, whose work aims to improve fertiliser recommendations by determining the contribution of the sub-soil potassium supply to wheat, barley and canola plant nutrition.

Maninder Kaur, also of Murdoch University, plans to improve stored grain quality by examining the use of cold plasma to prevent mould and insect contamination.

University of Western Australia’s Mary-Anne Lowe intends to gain a better understanding of soil water repellence to improve infiltration, enable better water harvesting and reduce yield losses.

More information on the program and how to apply is available from the department website.

The closing date for the applications is 5pm, 31 October 2018.

Source: WA DPIRD

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