Regional Impact of Novel Food Processing Technologies

Assessing the Regional Impact of Novel Food Processing Technologies

Degree type


Closing date

30 August 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Tasmania has a highly productive agri-food sector yet produces 4.5 times more food than the state needs[1]. An opportunity exists to broaden the number and value of exports by manufacturing readymade meals from secondary grades of meat, fish, and vegetables. Microwave Assisted Thermal Sterilisation (MATS)[2] is an emerging technology that preserves the fresh eating quality of food 10 times faster than current methods and can transform products into value-added foods for new markets. However, the technology requires greater scale than small-medium enterprises (SMEs).

Leveraging work already undertaken[3], this project will:

  1. identify issues and conditions that govern uptake of MATS to support the development of regional infrastructure and build industry capability
  2. assess the potential impacts of enabling technologies for the food industry on regional economic, business and community outcomes.

Primary data will be collected via interviews with potential user and stakeholder networks. Secondary data will inform the qualitative research and enable comparison of potential impacts.

[1]Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, 2020. Tasmanian agri-food score card 2018-19. Available from:
[2] TIA, 2018, ‘New food processing technology’ read more:,establish%20the%20technology%20in%20Tasmania.
[3] Regional Australia Institute, 2021. MATS Facility Evaluation Roadmap

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Gemma Lewis


The scholarship supporting this project provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000;
  • a tuition fee scholarship for up to 4 years (successful domestic applicants will be awarded an RTP Fees Offset and successful international applicants will be awarded a University of Tasmania Fees Offset)

The scholarship supporting this project is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Australian Government through the Research Training Program.


The project is open to domestic (Australia and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from International applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the PhD minimum entry requirements.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Business, specifically Management and Economics

Selection Criteria

The project/scholarship is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional selection criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Previous experience or knowledge of agri-food networks or systems
  • Prior degree in Business, Management or Economics, or experience working in business development
  • High level interpersonal skills capable of presenting to industry groups and conducting qualitative research
  • Basic understanding of statistics and/or data analytical software would be preferrable but not essential

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Gemma Lewis, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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