Digital Agriculture PhD Supplementary Scholarship

CSIRO and ANU are partnering to offer exciting opportunities for PhD students to work with scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of research to address industry challenges, through the application of information science in the agricultural sector. This top-up Awards supports PhD candidates in Science, Engineering or Technology at the ANU to work with leading research scientists and engineers in first-class facilities. They will also have access to professional development opportunities to enhance their experience and knowledge, while building industry relevant skills and working on real-world problems.

To be eligible to apply for this top-up award students must have applied for or be the recipient of a base PhD scholarship from the ANU and be completing an approved project. See below for further details on the application process.


Digital agriculture is Ag done differently. What does that mean?

In the future, agriculture will have to address new and complex challenges. Technology and particularly emerging digital capabilities impact how things are done across the entire value chain. This means agriculture of the future will require traditional agricultural knowledge, and expertise in a range of digital fields, from understanding genetics and real-time monitoring of on-farm conditions, through to transport logistics and traceability. In order to ensure food security and sustainability for the future, agriculture needs experts from fields outside of traditional agricultural studies as well as more traditional areas.

If you plan to do a PhD in plant sciences, synthetic biology, biochemistry, ecology, environmental studies, robotics, AI, machine learning, data modelling, remote sensor technology, or any other field based in the ANU College of Science (CoS) or the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), this Award may be available to you.

This is a unique opportunity to work with some of the best minds across these areas, and play an important role in the future of digital agriculture.


About the Award

Each year the ANU College of Science (CoS) and the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) may offer a limited number of awards known as the Digital Agriculture PhD Supplementary Scholarship (Award).

Funding for this Award has been provided by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Data61 powerhouse. CSIRO’s Data61 is Australia’s leading data innovation group. Their mission is to create Australia’s data driven future by building the world’s leading data-focused research and innovation powerhouse.

The objective of this Award is to provide funding to support outstanding PhD candidates to pursue a PhD program in Science, Engineering or Technology at the ANU, where the focus of their research is on a collaborative project between CSIRO and the ANU in the field of information science relevant to the agriculture domain.


Scholarship details

Supplementary Scholarship of $15,000 per annum, (fortnightly payments). Duration of 3 years. Extension 1 x 6 month with approval

Research Support Allowance (with approval) $5,000 to fund incidentals including professional development and research-related travel


Project topics

The topics under this scholarship program are currently being finalised and will be released soon.


How to apply

To apply for this Award candidates must first be accepted for an approved project topic and hold/apply for an ANU base scholarship. To apply candidates should ensure that they:

1. email [email protected] to express their interest in being considered for one or more of these projects – the email should outline the project(s) of interest, request supervisor details for the chosen topic(s) and request an expression of interest (EOI) application form. This should be done well ahead of the EOI due date;

2. make contact with the project supervisors to discuss the research,

3. submit the EOI form to [email protected]

4. have obtained agreement from both the CSIRO and ANU supervisors to supervise their PhD project (this will be provided following review of the expression of interest form as only one student will be accepted for each project);

5. apply for admission to study (or be within the first 6 months of) a PhD program at ANU ; and

6. complete the digital agriculture scholarship application form and summit prior to the closing date (details will be provided to candidates following submission of EOI).

EOIs are opening soon. Key dates and information for 2022 will be made available here shortly.


The EOI and Application Form will require candidates to provide a brief outline of the

1. project, demonstrating alignment with the chosen project topic;

2. discuss how their skills and knowledge meet the project requirements;

3. outline their longer-term career aspirations and how this program will help to achieve them; and

4. provide the names and contact details of two academic referees.

Applicants wishing to be considered for more than one project may need to complete and submit separate application forms for each topic of interest.



The Award will be available each year to a prospective or continuing, (within 6 months of enrolment), domestic or international student who:

a) is enrolled or enrolling full-time in a program of study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Information Science relevant to the Agriculture domain, based in the either the ANU College of Science or the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science; and

b) will be undertaking research for CSIRO / ANU projects under a Collaboration Agreement; and

c) has demonstrated First class honours (H1), or equivalence; and

d) has signed a Student Agreement with CSIRO, unless otherwise agreed in writing with CSIRO; and

e) must not be in full-time employment; and

f) is the recipient of an AGRTP or equivalent HDR base stipend, or is approved to hold this Award as a bridging scholarship.

International applicants must have the appropriate immigration approvals to allow them to take up the scholarship. The successful student must be residing in Australia in order to commence their PhD and take up the Supplementary Scholarship.


Ongoing eligibility

a) The recipient is required to remain enrolled full-time in a program of study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Australian National University in the program for which the Award is offered.

b) A part-time Award may be offered or approved if the recipient has reasons acceptable to the University which preclude full-time study for part or all of the program of study. In such cases the University must be satisfied that the reasons relate to caring commitments, a medical condition, a disability or other circumstance which limits the recipient’s capacity to undertake full-time study.

c) Recipient must continue to hold an ANU approved HDR base stipend scholarship.

d) The award cannot be transferred to another institution.

e) The award can only be transferred to another program, research project or supervisor if the new arrangement continues to meet the Objectives of the Award and on the Approval of the Associate Deans.


Assessment criteria

1. Academic Merit:  The quality of the student is critical to the assessment of the scholarship and candidates must hold (or expect to gain) a relevant first-class honours (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university;

2. Quality and relevance of the proposed project:  The research must be aligned with one of the advertised project topics;

3. Support of nominated project supervisors:  The willingness of both nominated CSIRO and ANU supervisors to endorse the student’s application; and

4. Referee Reports: Two academic referees must be provided.


Applications close

Information will be updated shortly.


Notification of Award

To be confirmed.



Rachael Rodney Harris [email protected]