PhD scholarship: Computational modelling approach to understanding shoot architecture including branching and flowering


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Agriculture and Environment, Science and Mathematics
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship, Tuition Scholarship
Scholarship value $28,854 per annum (2022 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration 3.5 years with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy
Opening date 5 November 2021
Closing date 10 December 2021


Supervisor - Professor Christine Beveridge

A four-year ARC Laureate scholarship is available for a plant modeling project: Shoot architecture is an important agricultural trait under pinning yield and has long been studied from the perspective of plant hormones. The ARC Laureate laboratory is led by Prof. Christine Beveridge a leader in this field having discovered the hormonal properties of strigolactone and the important role of sugars in shoot branching. The laboratory has developed a detailed model description of the mechanisms of shoot branching involving genetic and physiological networks, plant hormones, sugars and nutrients. This project would build upon and convert that description to a computational model. The model would capture dynamic processes on phenotype and phenology including the timing, location, genetics and physiological state of the plant. It will build on a wealth of data on gene expression, hormone levels and quantitative data on the initiation and subsequent growth of branches from dormant axillary buds in garden pea and Arabidopsis. It will involve iterative collaborative experimentation during implementation of the model in a functional structural plant modelling (FSPM) platform such as L-systems.

A core innovation will be the integration of large-scale network modelling into the FSPM framework. The establishment of this modelling system will enhance the agricultural impact of current knowledge through collaboration with researchers in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture (CoE). The project will benefit from guidance from ARC Laureate Fellow Prof Christine Beveridge, Director of the CoE, and modelling expert A/Prof Jim Hanan. The associated team includes five postdoctoral Fellows and other researchers and students working in network physiology, modelling and quantitative genetics.

A working knowledge of Mathematical and computational principles for modelling would be of benefit to someone working on this project. Backgrounds in IT, mathematics, physics or engineering could be relevant. Experience in programming in python, C++, R or equivalent would be helpful.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow the link on the upper right of this page. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘SHOOT-BEVERIDGEin the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of mathematical and computational principles for modelling and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of plant or other biology is highly desirable.


Professor Christine Beveridge
+61 (4) 1064 8830

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.