PhD opportunity – Cultivation of new truffle species in Australia

We have an exciting industry-initiated PhD opportunity to explore new truffle species for cultivation in Australia. Currently, the main species grown is the black truffle (Tuber melanosporum); this project will concentrate on two additional species, the white spring truffle (Tuber borchii) and the black summer truffle (Tuber aestivum).

The PhD project will examine inoculum production and inoculation processes, different hosts and nursery substrates, the development of a molecular diagnostic protocol to distinguish between different Tuber species, and the use of this protocol to follow the inoculation and establishment of the Tuber species in the nursery and plantations.

The project will involve laboratory, glasshouse and fieldwork, and we expect the applicant to have a biology degree, and postgraduate research experience working with fungi.

The successful applicant will work with a team of academics at Murdoch University and with industry partners.

The chosen candidate will receive an industry-funded scholarship via the Future Food Systems CRC. The scholarship provides an excellent opportunity for an outstanding full-time postgraduate candidate to undertake an industry-focused research project designed to solve a real-world challenge in high-value food production.

A Future Food Systems Industrial PhD Scholarship puts you at the heart of a transdisciplinary research ecosystem and industry network that encourages the application of new science and technology to the food and nutrition sector. If you are a motivated university graduate; if you want to undertake high-impact, high-value research; if you want to create institutional or social change; if you want to maximise your career opportunities, a Future Food Systems Industrial PhD Scholarship will put you on an accelerated path.

We envisage a start date in the latter part of 2022.

To be considered for this role, each candidate must address the following criteria in his or her submission:

  • ensure you meet the necessary entry requirements for Doctoral research at Murdoch University: If you are unsure whether you meet the requirements, please contact the Graduate Research School at:
  • an undergraduate degree in biology or a related discipline
  • experience working with fungi
  • laboratory, glasshouse and field experience
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • an ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.


For more information, please contact Professor Treena Burgess at


A full scholarship of $30K per annum (tax-free) for up to four years, plus travel support and access to industry network, workshops and support as a Future Food Systems CRC Scholar.

Closing date

Monday, 30th May 2022

This position is open to international applicants.

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