Genetics/genomics of macadamia Research opportunity | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Genetics/genomics of macadamia Research opportunity

Expressions of interest – Open until filled.

The macadamia industry in Australia is valued approx. $300 million (farmgate) and $994 million (retail) in 2020. The industry has based on cultivating and harvesting the nuts from cultivars of selection of Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla. To increase productivity and quality of the macadamia nuts, this project aims to develop superior genetic varieties of Macadamia for commercial production in Australia. Specific objectives of the project are to apply state of the art (cutting edge) genetic and genomic technologies to (i) dissect genomic architecture of quantitative complex traits, (ii) develop innovative methods to improve efficiency of the selection program, and (iii) to explore new algorithms and phenomic and genomic methods to accelerate genetic progress made in macadamia populations. The anticipated outcomes from the study include new knowledge and understanding of the genome structure, genetic basis of complex traits as well as new methods for genome-based prediction of plant breeding values.

We invite applications from highly motivated candidates seeking opportunities to undertake their PhD in one of the following research themes:

  1. Discovery of novel genetic variants in macadamia germplasm: genetic, molecular, and physiological investigation of trait dynamics (Multiple projects available)
  2. Developing an efficient method of predicting complex traits in macadamia: Integrating artificial intelligence in genomic prediction

Open to

Domestic Students

HDR Program

Doctor of Philosophy

Study area

Genetics/Genomics and Bioinformatics and Agricultural Science

Study Load

Must remain enrolled on a full-time basis

  • Be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy program at the University of the Sunshine Coast
Selection criteria

Standard Criteria

  • Criterion 1: Academic Achievement – BSc (Honours) or MSc degree in genetics, biology, biotechnology, agriculture, statistics, bioinformatics, computational biology or related fields
  • Criterion 2: Research Capability and experience in one of the above fields

Project Specific Criteria

  • Criterion 3: Have a good understanding about plant breeding or genetics/genomics applied to improvement of agricultural species
  • Criterion 4: Possess quantitative and molecular genetic skills and familiarise with next generation sequencing data
  • Criterion 5: Ability to independently solve problems and to work in a team or collaborate with other members of the group
Eligible programs
Doctor of Philosophy

Tuition offset scholarship for 3 years full time to cover cost of tuition fees, also aligned with thesis submission (possible extension in line with relevant policies and procedures) - approximate value of $87 000 


For questions or to submit your Expression of Interest, please contact Dr Nguyen Nguyen (UniSC) via and/or Dr Mobashwer Alam (UQ):

This will be a two-stage application process:

Stage 1 - Expression of Interest:

  • Download and complete the USC Research Scholarship (USCRS) application form.
  • Email your Expression of Interest (EOI) to the contact person and attach:
    • Cover letter
    • Current CV
    • Academic transcripts and BSc or MSc certificates
  • The panel will review the EOI. If shortlisted, you will be invited for interview.
  • The preferred applicant will be invited to formally apply for HDR program.

Stage 2 - Formal application (only if you have been invited to apply)

  • Read the important information on How to Apply for a HDR Program at USC.
  • Submit your USCRS application form as a supporting document when submitting your HDR Program application.