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Research Stipend and Supplementary Scholarship in Digital Agriculture

A postgraduate research scholarship in digital agriculture
Stipend and supplementary scholarship to support PhD students conducting research in the fields of information science and agriculture.

Highlights

Value Eligibility Open date Close date
Various
  • Domestic PhD student
  • Offer to study at the Faculty of Science or Engineering
18 December 2020 Ongoing

How to apply

Apply here.

Applications will close once suitable recipients have been identified.

Benefits

Both full stipend and supplementary scholarships are available to support the living costs of students while completing their studies.

Who's eligible

You must:

  • have an unconditional offer of admission for full-time studies in a PhD at the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Engineering
  • be willing to undertake research in the field of information science and agriculture
  • hold an honours degree (first class or second class upper) or a master's degree in information science or science (agriculture) with a substantial research component, or equivalent. Applicants with an honours degree (second class upper) must also have a history of research aptitude such as scholarly publication in either peer-reviewed national or international journals
  • not be engaged in full-time employment, or be subject to an obligation with another party to provide that party with any intellectual property rights during the course of your research studies
  • to be eligible for the supplementary scholarship you must also hold an alternative primary scholarship that provides a stipend allowance.

Background

Funded by the CSIRO, this scholarship aims to support students undertaking a PhD within either the Faculty of Science or Faculty of Engineering, where the focus of their research is on information science relevant to the agricultural domain.

Available projects

  • Online digital mapping for better farm management, Professor Budiman Minasny
  • Remote monitoring solutions for beef cattle welfare and productivity, Associate Professor Cameron Clark and Professor Sergio (Yani) Garcia
  • Yield forecasting for the sugar industry for improved fertiliser inputs, Associate Professor Thomas Bishop and Dr Patrick Filippi
  • Near-real time prediction of C and N soil dynamics and plant nutrient update, Dr Federico Maggi and Professor Budiman Minasny
  • Hyperspectral data management for crop trial analysis, Dr Phil Davies and Associate Professor David Gallacher
  • Development of accurate and rapid diagnosis of rice diseases through AI machine learning using mobile application, Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell and Associate Professor Daniel Tan
  • Image-based site weed recognition Dr Zhiyong Wang and Dr Michael Walsh
  • Machine learning-based plant growth monitoring, yield estimation and fruit quality assessment Dr Zhiyong Wang

Download the digital agriculture research projects descriptions (docx, 65.2KB).

Terms and conditions

1. Background

a. Funded by the CSIRO through Data61, this Scholarship aims to support students undertaking a PhD within either the Faculty of Science or Faculty of Engineering, where the focus of their research is on information science relevant to the agricultural domain.

2. Eligibility

a. Applicants must have an unconditional offer of admission for full-time studies in a PhD within the Faculty of Science, or the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney.

b. Applicants must be willing to undertake research in the field of information science and agriculture.

c. Applicants must be Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

d.  Applicants must also hold at least one of the following degrees in information science and agriculture:

I. an Honours degree (First Class or Second Class Upper) or equivalent in a relevant discipline, or

II. Masters degree with a substantial research component.

e. Applicants must also have a history of scholarly publication in either peer reviewed national or international journals. 

f. Applicants must not be engaged in full-time employment, or be subject to an obligation with another party to provide that party with any intellectual property rights during the course of their research studies.

3. Selection Criteria

a. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship on the basis of:

I. academic merit,

II. area of study and research proposal,

III. curriculum vitae,

IV. feedback from two academic referees,

V. supervisory agreement (both at the University and CSIRO), and

VI. a personal statement demonstrating interest in the area of research and project.

b. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship by the nomination of the Dean in the Faculty of Science, or Faculty of Engineering (whichever is relevant), or their nominee, the relevant University project academic supervisor and up to two CSIRO/Data 61 research supervisors (as relevant for each project).

4. Value

a. The Scholarship will provide an annual stipend allowance equivalent to the minimum RTP rate (indexed on 1 January each year) for up to three years, subject to satisfactory academic performance.

b. The recipient is encouraged to complete their PhD within 3 years but may apply for an extension of the primary stipend allowance for up to 6 months.

c. Scholarship recipients may also be able to access funding for incidental expenses through a separate grant scheme.

d. Periods of study already undertaken towards the degree prior to the commencement of the Scholarship, will be deducted from the maximum duration of the Scholarship excluding the potential extension period.

e. The Scholarship is for commencement in the research period in which it is offered and cannot be deferred or transferred to another area of research.

f. No other amount is payable.

g. The Scholarship will be offered subject to the availability of funding.

5. Eligibility for Progression

a. Progression is subject to passing the annual progress review.

6. Leave Arrangements

a. The Scholarship recipient receives up to 20 working days recreation leave each year of the Scholarship and this may be accrued. However, the student will forfeit any unused leave remaining when the Scholarship is terminated or complete. Recreation leave does not attract a leave loading and the supervisor's agreement must be obtained before leave is taken.

b. The Scholarship recipient may take up to 10 working days sick leave each year of the Scholarship and this may be accrued over the tenure of the Scholarship. Students with family responsibilities, caring for sick children or relatives, or experiencing domestic violence, may convert up to five days of their annual sick leave entitlement to carer’s leave on presentation of medical certificate(s). Students taking sick leave must inform their supervisor as soon as practicable.

7. Research Overseas

a. The recipient of the Scholarship may not normally conduct research overseas within the first six months of award.

b. The recipient is required to follow official advice from the University and Department of Foreign Affairs and Travel in light of travel restrictions due to Covid-19.

c. The recipient of the Scholarship may conduct up to 12 months of their research outside Australia. Approval must be sought from the student's supervisor, Head of School and the Faculty via application to the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC) and will only be granted if the research is essential for completion of the degree. All periods of overseas research are cumulative and will be counted towards a student's candidature. Students must remain enrolled full-time at the University and receive approval to count time away.

d. If the recipient is conducting research outside of Australia, the recipient acknowledges that the University of Sydney is not liable for any costs incurred. This includes but is not limited to: flight tickets (unless stated under section 4 (Value) of this scholarship to amount listed), delays due to travel restrictions or State and/or Federal quarantine requirements on their arrival or return to Australia.

8.       Suspension

a. The Scholarship recipient cannot suspend their award within their first six months of study, unless a legislative provision applies. 

b. The Scholarship recipient may apply for up to 12 months suspension of the Scholarship for any reason during the tenure of the Scholarship. Periods of Scholarship suspension are cumulative and failure to resume study after suspension will result in the award being terminated. Approval must be sought from the student's supervisor, Head of School and the Faculty via application to the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC). Periods of study towards the degree during suspension of the Scholarship will be deducted from the maximum tenure of the Scholarship.

9. Changes in Enrolment

a. The Scholarship recipient must notify HDRAC, CSIRO, and their supervisors (Sydney, CSIRO and Data61) promptly of any planned changes to their enrolment including but not limited to: attendance pattern, suspension, leave of absence, withdrawal, course transfer, and candidature upgrade or downgrade. If the award holder does not provide notice of the changes identified above, the University may require repayment of any overpaid stipend.

10. Termination

a. Unless terminated earlier under this paragraph, the Scholarship will terminate:

I. on resignation or withdrawal of the student from their PhD,

II. upon submission of the thesis or at the end of the award,

III. if the student ceases to be a full-time student and prior approval has not been obtained to hold the Scholarship on a part-time basis,

IV. upon the recipient having completed the maximum candidature for their degree as per the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 Policy,

V. if the recipient receives an alternative primary stipend scholarship. In such circumstances this Scholarship will be terminated in favour of the alternative stipend scholarship where it is of higher value,  

VI. if the student does not sign the required Data61 Student Scholarship Agreement with the CSIRO upon accepting the Scholarship,

VII. if the recipient does not resume study at the end of a period of approved leave, or

VIII. if the recipient ceases to meet the eligibility requirements specified for this Scholarship, (other than during a period in which the Scholarship has been suspended or during a period of approved leave). 

b. The Scholarship may also be terminated by the University before this time if, in the opinion of the University:

I. the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence or in accordance with the terms of this offer,

 II. the student fails to maintain satisfactory progress, or

III. the student has committed misconduct or other inappropriate conduct. 

c. The Scholarship will be suspended throughout the duration of any enquiry/appeal process.

d. Once the Scholarship has been terminated, it will not be reinstated unless due to University error. 

11. Misconduct

a. Where during the Scholarship a student engages in misconduct, or other inappropriate conduct (either during the Scholarship or in connection with the student’s application and eligibility for the Scholarship), which in the opinion of the University warrants recovery of funds provided, the University may require the student to repay payments made in connection with the Scholarship.  Examples of such conduct include and without limitation; academic dishonesty, research misconduct within the meaning of the Research Code of Conduct (for example, plagiarism in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research, or failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interests), breach of the Code of Conduct for Students and misrepresentation in the application materials or other documentation associated with the Scholarship. 

b. The University may require such repayment at any time during or after the Scholarship period.  In addition, by accepting this Scholarship, the student consents to all aspects of any investigation into misconduct in connection with this Scholarship being disclosed by the University to the funding body and/or any relevant professional body.

12. Other

a. The successful recipient of this Scholarship must complete the Data61 Student Scholarship Agreement supplied by the CSIRO.

b. The Student Agreement will cover the following items:

I. intellectual property rights,

II. confidentiality,

III. publication rights, and

IV. other matters as required. 

1. Background

a. Funded by the CSIRO through Data61, this Scholarship aims to support students undertaking a PhD within either the Faculty of Science, or Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, where the focus of their research is on information science relevant to the agricultural domain.

2. Eligibility

a.  Applicants must have an unconditional offer of admission for full-time studies in a PhD within the Faculty of Science, or the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney.

b. Applicants must be willing to undertake research in the field of information science and agriculture.

c. Applicants must also hold at least one of the following degrees in information science and agriculture:

I. an Honours degree (First Class or Second Class Upper) or equivalent in a relevant discipline, or

II. Masters degree with a substantial research component.

d. Applicants with an Honours degree (Second Class Upper) must also have a history of research aptitude such as scholarly publication in either peer reviewed national or international journals.

e. Applicants must not be engaged in full-time employment, or be subject to an obligation with another party to provide that party with any intellectual property rights during the course of their research studies.

f. Applicants must hold an alternative primary scholarship that provides a stipend allowance.

3. Selection Criteria

a. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship on the basis of:

I. academic merit,

II. area of study and research proposal,

III. curriculum vitae,

IV. feedback from two academic referees,

V. supervisory agreement (both at the University and CSIRO), and

VI. a personal statement demonstrating interest in the area of research and project.

b. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship by the nomination of the Dean in the Faculty of Science, or Faculty of Engineering (whichever is relevant), or their nominee, the relevant University project academic supervisor and up to two CSIRO/Data 61 research supervisors (as relevant for each project).

4. Value

a. The Scholarship will provide an annual stipend allowance of $10,000 per annum (fixed rate) for up to three years, subject to satisfactory academic performance. An extension of the Scholarship of 6 months is available if the recipient holds a primary stipend Scholarship for the entire duration of the extension period.

b. Scholarship recipients may also be able to access funding for incidental expenses through a separate grant scheme.

c. Periods of study already undertaken towards the degree prior to the commencement of the Scholarship, will be deducted from the maximum duration of the Scholarship excluding the potential extension period.

d. The Scholarship is for commencement in the research period in which is it offered and cannot be deferred or transferred to another area of research.

e. No other amount is payable.

f. The Scholarship will be offered subject to the availability of funding.

5. Eligibility for Progression

a. Progression is subject to passing the annual progress review.

6. Leave Arrangements

a. The same conditions as indicated in the terms and conditions of the primary stipend scholarship.

7. Research Overseas

a. The same conditions as indicated in the terms and conditions of the primary stipend scholarship.

8. Suspension

a. The same conditions as indicated in the terms and conditions of the primary stipend scholarship.

9. Changes in Enrolment

a. The Scholarship recipient must notify HDRAC, CSIRO and their supervisors (Sydney, CSIRO and Data61) promptly of any planned changes to their enrolment including but not limited to: attendance pattern, suspension, leave of absence, withdrawal, course transfer, and candidature upgrade or downgrade. If the award holder does not provide notice of the changes identified above, the University may require repayment of any overpaid stipend.

10. Termination

a. Unless terminated earlier under this paragraph, the Scholarship will terminate:

I. on resignation or withdrawal of the student from their PhD,

II. upon submission of the thesis or at the end of the award,

III. if the student ceases to be a full-time student and prior approval has not been obtained to hold the Scholarship on a part-time basis,

IV. upon the recipient having completed the maximum candidature for their degree as per the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 Policy,

V. on receipt of another supplementary stipend scholarship that increases the overall supplementary rate paid to a student to more than 75% of the primary amount. In such circumstances, the supplementary stipend scholarship of the higher value prevails,

VI. if the student does not sign the required Data61 Student Scholarship Agreement with the CSIRO upon accepting the Scholarship,

VII. if the recipient does not resume study at the end of a period of approved leave, or

VIII. if the student ceases to meet the eligibility requirements specified for this Scholarship, (other than during a period in which the Scholarship has been suspended or during a period of approved leave).  

b. The Scholarship may also be terminated by the University before this time if, in the opinion of the University:

I. the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence or in accordance with the terms of this offer,

II. the student fails to maintain satisfactory progress, or

III. the student has committed misconduct or other inappropriate conduct.

c. Stipend payments will be suspended throughout the duration of any investigation/appeal process.

d. Once the Scholarship has been terminated, it will not be reinstated unless subject to University error.

11. Misconduct

a. Where during the Scholarship a student engages in misconduct, or other inappropriate conduct (either during the Scholarship or in connection with the student’s application and eligibility for the Scholarship), which in the opinion of the University warrants recovery of funds provided, the University may require the student to repay payments made in connection with the Scholarship.  Examples of such conduct include and without limitation; academic dishonesty, research misconduct within the meaning of the Research Code of Conduct (for example, plagiarism in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research, or failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interests), breach of the Code of Conduct for Students and misrepresentation in the application materials or other documentation associated with the Scholarship. 

b. The University may require such repayment at any time during or after the Scholarship period.  In addition, by accepting this Scholarship, the student consents to all aspects of any investigation into misconduct in connection with this Scholarship being disclosed by the University to the funding body and/or any relevant professional body.

12. Other

a. The successful recipient of this Scholarship must complete the Data61 Student Scholarship Agreement supplied by the CSIRO.

b. The Student Agreement will cover the following items:

I. intellectual property rights,

II. confidentiality,

III. publication rights, and

IV. other matters as required.