All posts by emilycaq

PhD opportunities

There are some very exciting projects happening across multiple universities. Do have a look!

University of Melbourne
Melbourne Social Equity Institute is inviting EOIs for a new PhD scholarship focused on understanding and addressing food insecurity among students in Australian universities. Applicants should possess excellent interpersonal skills and experience in social science methods. People with lived experience of food insecurity are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the listing on Melbourne Social Equity Institute.

University of Tasmania
A PhD scholarship is available for the project Social licence and the development of commercial onshore lobster aquaculture in Australia. Supervised by Vaughan Higgins, applicants are encouraged to view the listing on the UTAS website for application details. Applications close 29 October 2021.

University of Tasmania
A PhD scholarship is available for the project Securing a Sustainable Workforce for the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Industry. Supervised by Ruth Barton, applicants are encouraged to view the listing on the UTAS website for application details. Applications close 30 August 2021.

University of Tasmania
A PhD scholarship is available for the project Using research farms to investigate the adoptability of Industry 4.0 AgTech. Supervised by Vaughan Higgins, applicants are encouraged to view the listing on the UTAS website for application details. Applications close 28 August 2021.

Agrifood Research Network Meeting

Venue: Lincoln University, Aotearoa New Zealand
Date: 24-26 November 2021

AFRN have been invited to join in with the Sociology Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ) conference this year. As this is a face-to-face only conference, so it is likely that this will only be relevant to agrifooders in AotearoaNZ.

There will be an AFRN-tagged panel with a number of sessions at SAANZ. The SAANZ theme of Well-being, Engagement and Sustainability will be relevant to many agrifooders. However, as usual, we welcome papers on any aspect of the agrifood system.

If you are thinking of attending, please contact Carolyn Morris.

Registration and abstract submissions are open via the SAANZ Conference website.
When you submit your abstract please note that you want to be in the AFRN stream at the bottom of your abstract. Abstracts are due 30 September 2021 and registrations close 5 November 2021.

PhD Scholarship Opportunity: Brand Name Fruits in Australia at The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is funding one PhD scholarship in connection with an Australian Research Council-funded project “The Social Life of Royalties” led by Dr Susannah Chapman (School of Social Sciences, The University of Queensland). The PhD project would suit candidates with backgrounds in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, science and technology studies, or a related field.

The larger study, to which the PhD project is attached, will explore changes in intellectual property protection for plants in Australia and how these shifts are influencing practices of audit, traceability, and ownership in agricultural supply chains for grains and fruits. Congruent with some of these changes has been the rise of new branding practices for fruit. The successful PhD applicant will develop a project that explores the rise of brand name fruits within Australia’s food sector and its relationship to emerging relations of food production and/or consumption, including novel forms of commodification, audit, marketing, and signification. It is envisaged that this project would use a mixture of ethnographic and archival research.

The successful PhD applicant will be based in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. More information about how to apply can be found at:

There is considerable flexibility in the focus, scope, and methods of project that the successful applicant can develop. Prospective applicants should feel free to contact Susannah Chapman if they have questions.

Call for Abstracts: Sustainable Food Future’ Conference 17-18 June 2021

Connecting community, industry and academia to create a sustainable food future

Where: University of Newcastle – Ourimbah Campus, 10 Chittaway Road, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258

This conference will bring together researchers, students, and local industry professionals in the food science and nutrition space to showcase current research efforts developing the next generation of sustainable food and nutrition services. The conference will feature presentations from leading experts in food science and nutrition research, with topics including nutrition and consumer science, food waste and sustainability, functional foods, postharvest technology, and nutrition and food science education.

Call for Abstracts:

The call for abstracts is now open.

To view the abstract submission requirements click here

To submit your abstract or theme for consideration please email:

The call for abstracts will close on the 30th of April 2021 at 11.59pm. 

To register for the conference please visit the conference website here.

“The Largest Protest in Human History”: Understanding the Plight of Indian Farmers

The Melbourne South Asia Studies Group is presenting a webinar titled “The Largest Protest in Human History”: Understanding the Plight of Indian Farmers by Mandakini Gahlot, Dr. Ritu Singh and Dr. Jagjit Plahe on 11 March 2021 at 4pm AEDT (UTC+11).

The ongoing farmers protest — since November 2020 and involving approx. 1.2 million farmers — has been described as “the single largest protest in human history.” Tens of thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting against three new agricultural liberalisation laws introduced by the Central Government in September 2020. Since November, farmers have braved freezing conditions in the outskirts of the capital New Delhi vowing not to leave until the new laws are repealed. Negotiations with the Central Government have repeatedly broken down. In response to the protests, the Government has shut down the internet in some areas and security forces have cracked down on protesters and blocked demonstrations. Those supporting the protest are being labelled as “anti-nationalist.”

Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy employing over 50 percent of the working population. Farmers from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have arrived in the capital in tractors, in trucks and on foot. These farmers have established makeshift camps on the outskirts of the city and have vowed not to leave until the Acts are repealed.

In this special webinar, two analysts who are reporting on the farmer protests, Mandakini Gahlot and Dr Ritu Singh in India together with Dr. Jagjit Plahe (Monash) working on agri-food systems will discuss

(a) Why are farmers protesting in the capital New Delhi?

(b) How has the Government reacted to these protests?

(c) What are some of the (un)intended consequences of these protests?

Mandakini Gahlot is a journalist based in New Delhi. She reports across platforms in print and television. She is the India Correspondent for France 24. Mandakini covers news and features from across India and neighbouring South Asian countries, particularly on issues related to health, development, gender and politics.

Dr. Ritu Singh, is presently working on Livelihood Insecurities with Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan. She completed her Masters in Economics from Ajmer University and her doctorate from Vardhamaan Mahaveer Open University. Previously Ritu worked for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi for three years (2011-2014) on research projects related to green growth and sustainable development.

Dr. Jagjit Plahe is a senior lecturer in the Department of Management (Monash Business School). Her main research focus is on the management and organisation of agri-food systems, international trade policy and food security, global agri-food production networks and the management and organisation of equitable and sustainable food systems particularly in India. More recently, she has focussed on postcolonial analysis of small farmers’ movements in the Asia Pacific.

This webinar will be moderated by Dr Surjeet Dhanji.

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:
Password: 900987

Or join by phone:
Dial (Australia): +61 3 7018 2005 or +61 2 8015 6011
Dial (US): +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923
Dial (Hong Kong, China): +852 5808 6088 or +852 5803 3730
Dial (UK): +44 203 481 5240 or +44 131 460 1196
Meeting ID: 875 8030 5382
International numbers available:

Or join from a H.323/SIP room system:
Meeting ID: 87580305382
Password: 900987

AFRN 2021 Symposium: Registration Open

‘New World, New Food?‘ AFRN 2021 Symposium
Tuesday, 9 February 2021, 10am – 12.30pm (AEDT)
Wednesday, 10 February 2021, 12.30pm – 4.00pm (AEDT)
Detailed program can be found on the registration page.

Online registration for the ‘New World, New Food?‘ AFRN 2021 Symposium is now open.

Please register through Eventbrite and spread the word! Registration is required as participants will be emailed the Zoom Meeting ID and password after registration closes on Monday 8 February. 

AFRN Symposium (9-10 Feb 2021) Call for Abstracts

Online Symposium Key Dates
Call for Abstracts Opens: 2 November 2020
Calls for Abstracts closes: 11 December 2020
Successful Abstract Announced: 18 December 2020

Registration Opens: 12 January 2021
Registration Closes: 8 February 2021

About the Symposium
The global coronavirus pandemic has prompted the inevitable deepening of interdisciplinary questions about the future trajectory of agri-food system transformations. Amidst the uncertainty, a central requirement for creating new possibilities remains – to nurture the work of Early Career Researchers (ERC’s) studying agri-food issues, the researchers and practitioners who will be driving this new food future. This online symposium reflects the longstanding goal of the AFRN to provide opportunities to deepen critical dialogue on a broad scope of agri-food issues across Australia and New Zealand, keeping us connected and (re)connected.

We invite submissions from RHD, postdoc and other ERC’s whose work broadly contributes to progressing the AFRN’s interest in multidisciplinary social, environmental and political-economic challenges affecting the future of food. This is an opportunity for ERC scholars to engage across the Tasman in discussion on their current research. Just one question guides the focus of the seminar:

What agri-food problem do you seek to solve, and in
doing so, how will agri-food futures be different?

Abstracts are to be 200-250 words in length, accompanied by the research title, researchers’ name and contact details. Researchers will be requested to identify the presentation format that they propose to use in the seminar, one of the following:

Traditional Presentation:
15 minute Zoom presentation followed by a 5 minute audience Q&A.

Podcast Dialogue:
Two ECR’s are matched based on research focus or findings. Both present their individual research (10 minutes), then engage in a trans-Tasman dialogue about each others work

A rapid-fire, visually heavy presentation with 20 slides for 20 seconds each plus 3 minutes of Q&A

Abstracts or questions are to be directed to Rob Arcidiacono

PhD opportunity, Lincoln University

If you’re considering embarking on a PhD next year, there’s a great research project available for a student who wants to be part of an intergenerational shift towards sustainable food production.

The school is called Food Transitions 2050 and draws on the expertise of Lincoln University, the University of Canterbury, AgResearch, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Plant & Food Research. Fifteen PhD research projects lie at the heart of the initiative.

This is a great opportunity to make a difference to future food sustainability and connect with industry at the same time.

About the project
Alternative land-uses and diverse landscapes may help address some of the environmental, social and economic pressures affecting the primary sector in New Zealand. Alongside these existing pressures, climate change is creating an uncertain future for how we use our land. This study will assess how future land use and management practices will fare in the face of climate change, using an economic approach to support decision-making under uncertainty (portfolio analysis).

The project is part of a new joint postgraduate school that draws on the expertise of scientists here at Lincoln, as well as the University of Canterbury, AgResearch, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Plant & Food Research. The primary supervisor is Associate Professor Anita Wreford, together with Dr. Edmar Teixeira at Plant and Food Research.

The ideal candidate will be highly motivated and interested in making a difference to the future of land-use in New Zealand. They will ideally have a background in either economics or finance, with an interest or experience in interdisciplinary research for the assessment of agroecosystem responses to climate. Candidates from other backgrounds with strong analytical skills will also be considered.

Fourteen other current PhD projects will be carried out in conjunction with the initiative.

Applying for a PhD project

If you would like to apply for the project, please email project supervisor Associate Professor Anita Wreford with a short CV and statement that includes:

Your reasons for pursuing this research project
Information about your academic achievements
Evidence of your previous experience in the field
Details on your career aspirations

Applications close on 12 December 2020 and you will need to be ready to start your research in March 2021.

If you are successful, you will receive an award of $28,000 and your course fees will also be covered.