University of Adelaide Research Scholarship – Re-purposing shelved 'antibiotics' in the search for new herbicides - School of Agriculture, Food & Wine

Applications open
Open now
Applications close
Open until filled
Payment per year
$32,500 (2023 rate)
Up to 3.5 years (PhD)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
International Students
Type of Scholarship
Available In
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology (SET)
Available To

A fully funded PhD scholarship in the Antibiotic & Herbicide Discovery Group of Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa is available at the University of Adelaide, based at the Waite Research Institute. The successful candidate must commence study by 30 June 2023 and will be working within a multidisciplinary team funded by an Australian Research Council grant awarded to Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa and Prof Marilyn Anderson, including a postdoctoral researcher.

Herbicide resistance represents one of the greatest threats to global food security and given that our current herbicides have begun to fail, novel approaches are urgently required to develop new treatments. This project aims to tackle herbicide resistance by identifying new herbicide candidates that inhibit amino acid biosynthesis. Specifically, we will exploit the similarity between bacterial and plant enzymes in these pathways to re-purpose failed 'antibiotics'. The expected outcomes of this exciting project include advances in our knowledge of the structure, function and inhibition of novel herbicide targets, the identification of compounds with herbicidal activity, and significant long-term contributions towards food security.

The multidisciplinary PhD project will integrate innovative approaches in biochemistry, molecular biology and plant biology. The successful candidate will be an integral part of the team of researchers involved in this project and will be expected to collaborate closely with colleagues at the University of Adelaide.

Techniques that will be acquired throughout PhD

Protein expression and purification techniques; enzyme assays; X-ray crystallography; cell culture; bacteriology assays; metabolomics and transcriptomics; inhibitor discovery and characterisation techniques.

Required skills

  • Strong biochemistry, molecular biology or plant biology background
  • First Class Honours or Masters degree in related field
  • Strong work ethic and highly ambitious
  • Good communication skills

For more information about Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa’s research: Tatiana Soares da Costa | Researcher Profiles (



Applicants must be Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia, NZ citizens or international students who are acceptable as candidates for a PhD degree at the University of Adelaide - refer to PhD eligibility requirements. The successful applicant must commence study by 30 June 2023.



The scholarship will be for up to 3.5 years (PhD) and has a stipend equivalent to the RTPS rate ($32,500 in 2023). Details of any terms and/or benefits can be found in the Conditions of Award. It is likely to be tax exempt, subject to Taxation Office approval.


Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest should be submitted to Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa via e-mail with the name of scholarship in the subject heading. Please ensure you include all of the following documents:

  • Evidence of Australian or New Zealand citizenship, or Australian permanent resident status (if applicable)
  • Degree certificates (testamurs)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Translations of non-English documentation
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Curriculum vitae

Short-listed applicants may be invited to an interview. Selected candidate will be invited to submit a formal application for admission.



Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Waite Research Institute