Masters by Research Elevate Scholarship - CQUniversity and Bundaberg Distillery Partnership

Bundaberg Distillery has one of Australia’s most famous alcoholic beverage brands. It uses molasses, the by-product of sugarcane processing, as the raw material precursor to produce alcohol through the fermentation process. In order to optimize the extraction of the potential ethanol available from the fermentable sugars present in molasses, this project aims to investigate the potential source(s) responsible for the low actual yield of ethanol and the subsequent observed inconsistencies in the fermentation outputs of different batches. As such, Bundaberg Distillery is interested in understanding and identifying the various process efficiency improvements that can be implemented to optimize the production of Bundaberg Rum without most importantly having to affect the taste profile of the finished product that is well-perceived by its ever-increasing consumer market.

Scholarship Value: $30,000 stipend per year (total value of scholarship $72,000)

Length of Scholarship: 2 years

Number Available: 1

Opening Date: 01 August 2020

Closing Date: 31 August 2020

Study LevelPostgraduate (Research)
Year of StudyFuture; First year
Study RegionBundaberg; Rockhampton Queensland
Study ModeOn-campus
Study LoadFull time

The candidate must be prepared to relocate to Rockhampton and/or Bundaberg (Queensland, Australia) for the duration of the award and be eligible for enrollment as a MSc candidate at CQUniversity.

Applications are invited from candidates who have, or can demonstrate:

  • A CQUniversity recognised Bachelor and/or Postgraduate qualification in chemical sciences or equivalent;
  • Potential in quantitative biochemical sciences research including design, methodological approach and analysis;
  • Ability to review and critique literature extensively and systematically;
  • Excellent communication skills and able to engage with community organisations and stakeholders;
  • Strong planning and organizational skills, with the ability to work systematically, prioritise tasks and meet deadlines;
  • Well-developed computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, a bibliographic referencing system and statistical software; and 
  • Previous experience relevant to analytical laboratory related work will be highly desirable but not essential.

The Bundaberg Distillery produces over 8.5 million liters of Bundaberg Rum per annum. Process optimizations to maximize ethanol yield from molasses fermentation has the potential to result in both increased productivity and product for sale, and a reduction in waste with unrealized ethanol conversion from molasses estimated at $130,000 a year. The project represents a foundational activity between CQUniversity and Bundaberg Distillery, paving the way for potentially larger scale and ongoing collaborative research activities with a famous global brand.

Please attach certified copies of any qualifications to your application. If available, examples of your scientific writing (e.g. published scientific articles, research reports, thesis) should also be included in your application.

The application should be submitted via email to Dr Mani Naiker ( no later than close of business on the closing date.  The successful candidate will be required to commence their study as soon as it is feasible. Please contact Dr Mani Naiker for any questions regarding this project. Please include in the application:

  • Your relevant qualifications;
  • A letter of motivation describing your skills and research expertise;
  • A clear response to the selection criteria is essential;
  • Your current resume and academic transcripts together with a list of any research publications/projects that you have been involved in;
  • A list of three references together with contact information; and
  • If available, examples of your scientific writing (e.g. published scientific articles, research reports, thesis).
Applicants will be notified via email to their nominated email address as soon as the application outcome is available.
CQUniversity and Bundaberg Distillery