edited_73Most undergraduate students see their summer break as a chance to get away from their studies, but for a select group of students it is an opportunity to get a taste of a research career.

Eighteen University of Adelaide students have been awarded 2016-17 Summer Research Scholarships at Waite. They will each spend six weeks between December 2016 and February 2017 participating in a research project in areas such as viticulture, plant pathology, or plant genetics and breeding.

The purpose of the scholarships is to encourage undergraduate students to consider undertaking postgraduate study at the University of Adelaide leading to a career involving research.

The Scholarships provide a stipend of $250 per week, provide an opportunity to work with leading researchers here at Waite, enable the students to see what research is really about, and introduce them to potential Honours and Postgraduate supervisors.

This year saw interest in the program at an all-time high with a record 18 scholarships awarded, which is three times the number anticipated. Many students even developed their own projects with supervisors outside the initial projects offered.

The scholarship winners are from across four different undergraduate degree programs. Some of the projects they will be undertaking include:

  • Bioactive compounds in durum wheat
  • Micronutrient deficiencies and pregnancy outcomes
  • DNA testing for plant genetics and breeding
  • Characterisation of genes associated with ripening in capsicum
  • Root to shoot communication in grapevine
  • Determining the alcohol sweetspot phenomenon in wine

It is fantastic to see so many undergraduate students thinking ahead to a potential research career and taking up the opportunities offered by the Summer Research Scholarships Program.

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