Masters by Research Elevate Scholarship - CQUniversity and AgriVentis Technologies Pty Ltd Partnership (Sesame Seed)

This project will investigate the levels of health-benefitting compounds in the seed, oil and pressed seedcake of sixteen new lines of black sesame, recently developed by AgriVentis Technologies Ltd. In collaboration with the CRC for Northern Australia and AgriVentis, these varieties are currently being field evaluated by CQUniversity in growing trials in northern Australia, with four varieties additionally grown in six differing environments in Qld and NT. Hence this project will provide much-needed information on the typical nutritional quality and functional food value of black sesame grown in Australia, as well as investigating the differences between various sesame varieties and differing growing conditions. This will allow for recommendation of the optimum lines of black sesame best suited for the expansion of the black sesame cropping industry in northern Australia, as well as recommending high-performing lines for future breeding programs.

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

Length of Scholarship: 2 years

Number Available: 1

Opening Date: 02 July 2020

Closing Date: 31 January 2021

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

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

The candidate must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia or eligible for a student visa for temporary residence and already be living in Australia at time of application due to travel restrictions that are currently in place in Australia due to COVID-19.

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

  • a CQUniveristy recognised Bachelor and/or Postgraduate qualification in chemistry, science or equivalent;
  • potential in quantitative chemical 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 organisational 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.

In addition, previous experience relevant to analytical laboratory related work will be highly desirable but not essential.

The typical international market value of sesame seed is AUD $1230/t; hence this project has the potential to provide a significant economic boost to Australian farmers, allowing them to cultivate sesame as a high-value cash crop. Similarly, the average value of sesame oil currently imported into Australia is AUD $5/kg ($5000/t), providing significant opportunity for further value-adding to the black sesame crop.

This project will provide important baseline data on the nutritional and health-benefitting quality of Australian sesame seed, oil and seedcake, as well as recommendations for the best sesame seed varieties to grow under northern Australian conditions to obtain optimum oil yield and levels of bioactive constituents. This will further inform ongoing breeding projects as to which sesame lines should be pursued. In addition, this project will strengthen the growing relationship between CQUniversity and AgriVentis Technologies Pty Ltd, potentially supporting ongoing collaborative research activities on additional high-value crops.

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 by email to Dr Mani Naiker no later than close of business 31st January 2021. 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 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 & AgriVentis Technologies Pty Ltd