PhD scholarship - Performing Compliance and Assessing Enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol: Understanding the legal regulatory environment facing the expansion of the native plants industry into foreign markets


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Agriculture and Environment, Law
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship
Scholarship value $34,013 per annum (2020 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Opening date 1 April 2020
Closing date 30 September 2020


The University of Queensland led Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) for Uniquely Australian Foods (IC180100045) aims to transform the native Food and Agribusiness Sector through development of selected crops, foods and ingredients using an Indigenous governance group to oversee the process of converting Traditional Knowledge into Branded Products.

Native foods represent a major opportunity for premium Australian products in both domestic and export markets, capitalising on consumer interest in the provenance and traditional heritage characteristics of foods.  The outcomes of the Training Centre will include the testing of market opportunities, the development of appropriate social and business models, and the identification of future opportunities for Uniquely Australian Foods.  Economic and quality of life benefits through job creation and benefit sharing arrangements will be secured for Indigenous communities through sustainable business models which will help to Close the Gap, and the development of supply chain partnerships to reduce the risks involved in taking products to market.

The Role

There is an opportunity for a highly motivated PhD student to join the Training Centre project team who are aiming to develop the Australian native food industry. The position will interact with the project collaborators in Australia and may visit collaborators in other countries.

Research Area

One of the key objectives of the Training Centre is to generate insight into the emerging domestic and export markets for native Australian plant products and to identify legally and socially appropriate business models for this industry. This PhD project will contribute to this objective of the Training Centre through research that maps how compliance with and enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol is carried out in different jurisdictions that are significant to the Australian native plants industry.

The Nagoya Protocol, implemented in 2014 as a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity, is one of the primary international legal frameworks regulating access to and utilization of non-human biological resources. The primary aim of the Protocol is to ensure that the benefits from research or commercialization of biological resources are fairly and equitably shared with provider communities. Such guarantees, it is believed, will contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity around the world. Currently, 118 countries are party to the Protocol, each of which has latitude in how best to incorporate Nagoya’s requirements into domestic legislation. Thus, while there is broad agreement with the Protocol’s aim, there is little consistency or clarity about how to achieve or demonstrate compliance. This is particularly problematic for entities that work across jurisdictions. In part, this is due to the fact that each contracting jurisdiction has the capacity to define what compliance looks like locally. Furthermore, this is exacerbated as it is unclear who or what entity is tasked with checking and enforcing compliance. This project will explore on-going attempts to perform and assess compliance by a number of state and non-state entities in Australia and in foreign jurisdictions that industry partners have identified as significant to their future business aspirations. In doing so, the student will use socio-legal, science and technology studies, and social science frameworks to develop a comparative research design.

The project seeks to develop a strong and capable future leader who can contribute to the development of socially appropriate policy for regulation of the Native Foods industry.


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

Applications are closed.

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 ‘NAGOYAin 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

Applicants will have an Honours degree.  Basic expertise and experience is required in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Social science mixed or qualitative methodologies,
  2. Understanding of at least one academic discipline’s literature relevant to the project (e.g., Nagoya Protocol, compliance studies, etc)

The successful applicant will have an interest in conducting field research on the topic, be able to travel for short periods, and be willing to work with the industry partners.

The following skills and experiences are highly desirable:

  1. Previous work on or knowledge about local foods movements

All applicants MUST respond to the selection criteria (above) in your application cover letter.

Applications are closed.


Professor Brad Sherman
+61 7 3365 3319
Applications are closed.

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.

Applications are closed.