Root exudates in plant health

The role of root exudates and plant hormones in plant health

Degree type


Closing date

1 November 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

This projects aims to identify key signals in plant root exudates and in root tissue that contribute to plant health. Plant roots exude a complex mixture of compounds that control the microbiome of the plant and significant impacts on plant health. These molecules, which include plant hormones, can both encourage beneficial microbes and repel harmful microorganisms. This project will identify the key molecules in root exudate and root tissue that drive beneficial interactions with nutrient acquiring microbes. In particular, this project will establish how nutrient availability drives interactions with these microbial symbionts, crucial information to address the ultimate aim of deploying this knowledge in sustainable agriculture The project will be embedded within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Success and takes advantage of the deep genetic resources available in model and crop species of pea, sorghum and tomato. This project will use the cutting edge ion mobility imaging mass spectrometer recently commissioned in CSL to provide detailed spatial and quantitative maps of the relationships between exudates and microbial colonisation.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Eloise Foo


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend co-funded by ARC 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 must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants from the following disciplines are eligible to apply:
    • Plant physiology
    • Genetics
    • Molecular biology
  • 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:

  • Research experience in the fi elds of molecular biology, plant physiology and/or genetics
  • Excellent written and verbal scientifi c communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a research team
  • Quality of academic record

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact A/Prof Eloise Foo 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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