Against the grain

Against the grain: Farmers and food producers communicating sustainable agriculture

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Agriculture is a vital driver of Tasmania’s economic growth but the social, ecological, and economic sustainability of our food supply is at risk in a changing climate.

Government rhetoric of competitiveness aims to bring farmers in line with technological and economic models that emphasise expansion and profit in contrast to values of land stewardship and community participation. This project aims to understand how farmers and food producers are resisting this dominant framing by activating and communicating a shift in agricultural values and practices, with a strong focus on the relational mechanisms through which knowledge is disseminated to peers and the wider community.

Seeking to capture stories of innovation and change in rural communities in Tasmania and elsewhere, we encourage applicants to start from the proposition that landscapes are produced through public policies and long histories that are complex and specific to place. We recommend an ethnographic approach, including but not restricted to interviews and field visits with farmers, food producers, and their communities to understand intergenerational perspectives on the options and possibilities regarding land management and food production, and the ways in which this knowledge is interpreted and shared.

This project may have a part-time study option available. Some restrictions may apply. Please discuss your preference with the Supervisor and note your preferred study option when applying.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Alana Mann


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend 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.


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

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are encouraged from persons with a background in Communications or related disciplines, or with a professional experience in fields aligned with the objectives of this project
  • Applications are encouraged from persons with a background in Communications or related disciplines, or with a professional experience in fields aligned with the objectives of this project
  • 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.

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, Prof Alana Mann to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience