Novel natural antioxidants for foods

Improving food security and supply resilience through making ambient stable foods equivalent to fresh products using novel natural antioxidants

Degree type


Closing date

1 November 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Convenience, ready-to-use, thermally processed foods that do not need refrigeration are in demand for specialist applications like defence, emergency and reserve foods supplies. They can also improve food security and supply resilience by not needing to be moved through a logistics cold chain. Therefore they can be exported more cheaply and safely avoiding biosecurity barriers as they are sterile. However, current shelf-stable foods like canned products are over processed, impacting the sensory appeal and the nutrition.  The mechanistic causes of this degradation can be addressed by rapid processing using microwave accelerated heating or high pressure sterilisation, and by using natural product antioxidants to address the major flavour and nutritional degradation mechanisms. The PhD project aims to use rapid Microwave-Assisted Thermal Sterilisation (MATS) in conjunction with natural antioxidant strategies for producing shelf-stable ready meals that retained flavour and nutrition. This will require using advanced analytical tools, such as headspace GC-MS-Olfactometry, electronic tongue, and texture analysis to relate production variables to objective measures of food quality that can be correlated with  consumer sensory assessments. The project will be part of a broader new foods research program that includes digital twin modelling of the microwave processing, packaging technology optimisation and commercial applications in association with industry.  The selected PhD Candidate will have the opportunity to work in a highly motivated interdisciplinary team and collaborate with other universities, such as the University of Queensland, as well as access special research facilities like the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG),  and leading food industries. Preference will be for Australian Citizens. Graduates, upon completion, will possess the necessary skills to pursue a career in advanced food innovation and product development, with a focus on premium flavours and quality.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Roger Stanley


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend funded by the Regional Research Collaboration Program of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants will need to be able to commence by 31st December 2023
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

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

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Relevant degree in food science , processing, or food chemistry
  • Evidence of research capability from publications

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in advanced analytical instrumentation
  • Strength in advanced statistical data analysis
  • Sensory or consumer assessment experience

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Prof Roger Stanley to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 1 November 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the 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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