Jana Phan is a PhD candidate with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls here at the Waite. She is working on a project developing new methods to identify genes involved in plant-fibre biosynthesis.

Jana will be putting her studies on hold for six months as she has been awarded a prestigious internship at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. She will be based in Rome, Italy for six months working on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT-PGRFA).

“My interest and training in genetics and my concern for global issues, particularly those relating to sustainability and food security, have led me to pursue a career path where I can combine the two: translating research into effective development in food production for the world”, said Jana.

“The aims of the IT-PGRFA, to recognise farmers’ contributions, establish a global information system and the sharing of benefits, align with the issues I envision tackling in my career post PhD. An internship at the IT-PGRFA will enable to me to explore how I can combine my formal training with new skills in the legal and socio-economic disciplines to tackle global issues in a multi-disciplinary manner.”

UN internships are unpaid positions and Jana is self-funding the trip. The School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Research Committee together with the Waite Research Institute are pleased to be able to support Jana’s costs with a grant towards her expenses. The Crawford Fund SA is also supporting Jana.

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