PhD in Optimisation and Computational Agriculture

Gold Coast, Australia
30 Jul 2020
End of advertisement period
30 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

The Bond Business School is calling for expressions of interest from Business graduates wishing to complete a PhD in the area of Optimisation and computational agriculture.

The work involved in this PhD project is part of a larger undertaking which aims to develop new planning models and techniques, incorporating climate change predictions and state-of-the-art agricultural practices, for determining suitable crop mixes for food producing regions in Australia in the coming decades. This is to ultimately to ensure Australia’s ongoing food security in the coming century. The innovative models will balance food production with environmental sustainability by conceptually linking climate change projections with innovative modelling and multi-objective optimisation. The expected outcomes include new computational agriculture models and software tools for long term horizon planning for sustainable cropping. This should provide significant benefits for those in the field of computational agriculture as well as to support the ongoing profitability of agribusiness at all scales, from family-run farms to large commercial ventures.

The successful applicant’s doctoral thesis will be supervised by Dr Marcus Randall, Associate Professor, Bond Business School and will seek to answer one or more of the following preliminary research questions:

  1. Can a set of suitable robust oriented temporal and static optimisation models be produced that accounts for varying climate change models and is suitable for crop planning in Australian and international conditions?
  2. To what extent can agricultural and economic constraints and indicators be included into these models so as to make them reasonable approximations for current and future conditions?

In addition to high quality, personalised supervision and access to the full range of facilities available to Bond University students, the successful applicant will be entitled to the following benefits:

  • Tuition fee waiver: The Australian Government’s Research Training Program (RTP) scheme provides tuition fee waivers for eligible Australian and New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents enrolled in higher degree programs such as a PhD. The tuition waiver lasts the duration of the program.
  • Option to apply for a scholarship: The successful applicant will be encouraged to apply for the Living Stipend Scholarship at Bond University. The RTP also provides a limited number of scholarships for PhD students by way of a living stipend. Application is made through a competitive round held twice a year (closing 31 March and 30 September).
  • Employment opportunities: The successful applicant may also be provided with employment opportunities such as tutoring or research assistant work within the Bond Business School dependent upon prior experience. Employment will be subject to the conditions of the PhD program and the terms of any scholarship awarded.

The successful applicant will need to meet all Bond University requirements for entry into the PhD program and achieve the milestones required by the University throughout their doctoral program. It is also a requirement that the successful applicant be based full-time at the Gold Coast campus.

Why study at Bond?

The Bond Business School (BBS) delivers a truly personalised educational experience to every student. BBS provides a unique learning environment based on small class sizes and an accelerated three-semester-per-year timetable. This setting tailors our industry-relevant learning experiences to the needs of each student, one by one. In addition, each student has unparalleled access to dedicated learning facilities, global industry connections, internationally diverse cohorts and world class academics. We demonstrate an outstanding student service ethic, offer an engaging and satisfying student experience, and prioritise student wellbeing. We engage in high quality, impactful research in niche areas of research excellence.

Our research groups include:

  • Centre for Actuarial and Financial Big Data Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise
  • Transformational Business Research

About the person:

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work alongside highly respected senior academics conducting leading-edge research.

Selection Criteria


  • A Business or Commerce Master by Research or Bachelor of Commerce, Business with Honours
  • Experience undertaking a substantial research project (e.g. Masters thesis or Honours thesis)
  • Excellent data analysis and academic writing skills
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work in teams
  • Evidence of project management and organisational skills, including the ability to achieve goals and deliver outcomes within a specified time period


  • Publication in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Experience with tutoring business students
  • Capacity to seek external funding with support from supervisors

Additional information:

For all enquiries related to this position, please contact the Bond Business School on

Application and submission details:

Please submit your expression of interest via email to the Business School at

Your EOI must include:

  • The number and title of the position you are applying for
  • A written statement (maximum of 2 pages) describing your interest in the research project and your capacity to answer the research questions
  • A written statement (maximum of 2 pages) addressing the selection criteria set out above
  • A current curriculum vitae including the names of two academic referees
  • Your academic transcripts
  • An example of your written academic work (e.g. Master’s or Honours thesis, peer-reviewed journal article, or academic research projects)