The ACPFG University of South Australia (UniSA) Node

ACPFG, in conjunction with the University of South Australia (UniSA) offers postgraduate training in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology as well as scholarships, hosted by the School of Mathematics and Statistics UniSA, South Australia.  Students gain real-life industry experience by being part of the unique Phenomics and Bioinformatics Research Centre (PBRC)

PBRC is a joint venture between ACPFG and UniSA.  Research conducted in the PBRC lies at the intersection of biology, mathematics, statistics and computer science.  This research, in the exciting emerging fields of Biomathematics, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, supports the biological research done by ACPFG scientists in their quest for abiotic stress tolerant cereal plants. The overall aim is enable Australia to remain internationally competitive as a leading grain exporter and to contribute to global food security. 

Research at the ACPFG UniSA node (PBRC) involves modelling and analysis using biometrics (statistics), image processing and mathematical and computational modelling - addressing critical problems in plant science at the molecular and phenotypic levels. 

Through a range of bioinformatics and computer science techniques, our image analysis work involves identifying features of interest in high-throughput plant image data, developing fast and accurate computational algorithms and methods to extract phenotypic information. This information is then collated for mapping against plant growth conditions.

Our biometrics researchers contribute to the optimal design of plant growth experiments, both greenhouse and field trials, identify factors that contribute to the presence of systematic and random errors, and develop statistical methods to counteract these factors in the analysis of experiments.

In the area of computational biology, we develop and apply mathematics, statistics and biophysical methodologies to model plant behaviour and growth in response to environmental factors, at levels extending from the molecular (genetic) to the macroscopic (phenotypic).

What the ACPFG University of SA node offers:

Our programs train graduates in applied mathematics, applied statistics, computer science, bioinformatics, biophysical modelling for careers in research (biophysical, mathematical, computational, agricultural, image processing), academia and industry (agriculture, IT, and health).

The ACPFG UniSA Node (PBRC) also offers Student Vacation Scholarships for undergraduate students.

Postgraduate Research Qualifications

  • PhD (Bioinformatics)
  • Master of Science (Bioinformatics)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) (Industrial and Applied Mathematics)

UniSA also offers several programs in science and mathematics, including a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Applied Mathematics, Statistics, and Optimisation)


The ACPFG UniSA node (PBRC) offers scholarships in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology.  However, as these scholarships are limited, we ask students to also to apply for scholarships offered by the University of South Australia.  Scholarships can also be obtained externally. International Students are eligible to apply but must be able to cover the cost of University tuition fees.

Scholarships available:

ACPFG Uni SA Mathematics / Statistics Student Vacation Scholarships

We seek motivated, enthusiastic 3rd year students who are studying either mathematics or statistics (consisting of more than 50% of the study program). Successful students will receive a stipend of $350 per week for up to 10 weeks.  Scholarships are available all year round and the commencement date can be negotiated.  This Vacation Scholarship does not cover airfare and so is intended for students living locally.  International students living locally are welcome to apply.

Contact point for the ACPFG UniSA Node:

Please send applications (see checklist <link to page 3C or the PDF if you make one>) or enquiries to the Head of the (PBRC), Professor Stanley Miklavcic