The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) is inviting applications for its current round of Postgraduate Internship Awards.

Due to APPF staff schedules, the usual May 31 deadline for applications has been extended to 15 June for this round of Awards.

The Awards provide supported access to APPF world-class plant raising and imaging technologies in Adelaide or Canberra and are open to postgraduate students (typically PhD candidates) currently enrolled at an Australian university.

Each Award includes up $10,000 worth of infrastructure access plus travel and accommodation support for interstate students.

The range of resources on offer to students includes controlled environment growth chambers; 3D visual, infrared and hyperspectral scanners; X-ray CT (Computed Tomography) scanning, field phenomics sensing platforms; plus mechatronics, data management and computer science specialists.

Successful applicants receive access to equipment for their research, but also benefit from working alongside APPF’s experienced staff to learn hands-on skills in experiment design, lab technique, equipment operation, data analysis and more.

University of Western Australia interns Alistair Hockey and Montana Walsh Baddeley spent an “amazing but intense” fortnight at The Plant Accelerator® in Adelaide last November, exploring the role different imaging technologies could play in phenotyping chickpea plants during the reproductive phase.

Along with access to several advanced imaging platforms, Montana and Alistair received advice on experimental approaches, data processing options and more.

“The APPF staff weren’t just helpful – they were genuinely keen to see what we’d found out and to help us interpret our image data,” Montana said.

The APPF has identified a number of priority crop research topics that would be favourably considered in Internship Award applications, including:

  • Tolerance to abiotic stress
  • Improving resource use efficiency in plants
  • Statistics and biometry
  • Application of mechatronic engineering to plant phenotyping
  • Application of image analysis techniques to understanding plant form and function

However, postgraduate students in Agriculture, Biology, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Genetics, Mathematics, Plant Physiology, Science, Software Engineering or Statistics could all benefit from the access to APPF’s expertise and facilities.

“Sharing APPF’s knowledge and facilities can add considerable insight to a research project, and establish valuable relationships with one of the world’s most respected plant phenomics teams”, says APPF Interim Executive Director Richard Dickmann.

“I’d encourage eligible young researchers to talk to their supervisors and take advantage of the extended application period for this round of Awards.”

Current APPF Postgraduate Intern Award applications close on 15 June 2023.

For more information and to apply click here.