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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - New herbicidal modes of action

Status: Open

Applications open: 8/07/2022
Applications close: 18/08/2022

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

The use of herbicides in agriculture has greatly improved crop yields through better weed management while also reducing labour and associated costs. Due to the powerful activity of these chemical molecules, many different herbicides have been developed and this has coincided with a dramatic rise in use. Consequently many different resistance mechanisms have developed (akin to antibiotic resistance) which means many frontline herbicides have waned in usefulness to the agricultural community.

Weeds are responsible for $2.5 billion in annual losses in agricultural production for Australia alone. Herbicide intensive ‘no-till’ agriculture reduces soil erosion, but all in all, this widespread use has resulted in serious herbicide resistance issues).
There is therefore an urgent need for the discovery of new herbicides with new modes of action. There are at present about 24 modes of action and resistance has evolved against almost all of them. Research has intensified recently and a couple of herbicides (aclonifen, cinmethylin) have been rediscovered with new modes of action and the truly novel tetflupyrolimet is nearing release, but apart from these cases, all ‘new’ releases for the last 30 years have been reformulations of compounds already in use.

Our lab has found many new plant target proteins that are ‘druggable’ modes of action. Making these potential targets in E. coli and moving them to biochemical assays and obtaining 3D structural information opens a range of possibilities. 

An Internship opportunity may also be available with this project.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses
    • Engineering courses
    • Western Australian School of Mines (WASM)
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Merit Based

The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.


Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022. 


For detailed information, visit: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships | Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

We are seeking applicants with basic molecular biology experience and ideally some undergraduate biochemistry and or organic chemistry. There is no need for prior experience in plant biology. 

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023


To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Professor Josh Mylne via the EOI form above.

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