Veterinary, Agricultural and Food Sciences

4 minute read

A person folding back the wool on a sheep's back

Help solve pressing global issues such as food security and climate change. Pursue a rewarding research career with the Faculty of Science.

As a graduate researcher at the University of Melbourne, you’ll join a supportive and stimulating research community that extends across three campuses.

The faculty's research is driven by purpose and designed for real-world impact. We’re discovering knowledge that advances animal and environmental wellbeing. And we’re working with industry and government partners to solve large-scale global issues, such as food security, biosecurity concerns and climate change. Some of our major partners include:

  • Australian Research Council
  • Australian Wool Innovation
  • Cancer Council Australia
  • Grains Research and Development Corporation
  • Reserve Bank of Australia

Staff expertise and experience extends across many areas of agricultural, food, veterinary and biomedical sciences. This means you can choose from a wide range of research projects.

You can also engage with researchers from other disciplines. This might be through one of our multidisciplinary initiatives or institutes. For example, the Future Food initiative brings together researchers from diverse areas, including physiology, marketing and engineering.

So, whatever you’re curious about, you’ll find experts here who share your passion and determination. And you’ll have the resources and infrastructure to deliver your own breakthrough research.

Learn how we’re making a difference 

New research knowledge is benefiting communities in Australia and internationally.  We work closely with industry and government partners to ensure research discoveries create real-world impact.

For example, University researcher Dr Graham Brodie developed a sustainable device that uses microwaves to control weeds, reducing the need for herbicides. The product received investment from Grains Research and Development Corporation and IP Group. In 2019, the company GroWave was established, increasing the potential for further application and distribution of the product.

Associate Professor Vern Bowles has also seen immense commercial success with a new prescription head lice treatment. In 2020, the treatment, known as Xeglyze™ and developed by Hatchtech, received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, allowing it to be sold in the USA.

Discoveries are ongoing. Through research, we are learning how to:

This is just a taste of the research discoveries that are happening in your field.

Explore our research themes

The University’s research covers a wide range of themes across all aspects of veterinary, agricultural and food sciences.  We are passionate about discovering solutions to global health, environmental and social issues. These include sustainable practice, climate change solutions, animal welfare, and sustainable and nutritious food systems.

Our One Health mission promotes interdisciplinary approaches that recognise that human, animal, plant and environmental health are interdependent.

Current research projects explore topics in areas such as:

  • Agribusiness
  • Agronomy and crop science
  • Animal genetics and physiology
  • Clinical veterinary practice
  • Food and agricultural policy
  • Food science and safety
  • Indigenous agriculture
  • Livestock production systems
  • One Health
  • Plant genetics
  • Rural innovation and agricultural economics
  • Sensing technologies
  • Soil science
  • Veterinary pathology
  • Virology and parasitology
  • Waste and environmental management.

Partner with an overseas institution

Current funded Joint PhD opportunities

When you undertake a Joint PhD, you are supervised by academics from two institutions. As well as the University of Melbourne, you can partner with an international institution. This means your research will benefit from a truly global perspective. And you will enhance your prospects for an international research career.

We are currently offering the following fully funded Joint PhD opportunities within the theme of veterinary, agricultural and food sciences:

Join a stimulating research community

Our campuses

Our research community spans three campuses. Each campus offers programs that are tailored to your discipline. And at each campus, you’ll find a supportive community that shares your passion for research.

Parkville is our main campus, located very close to the centre of Melbourne. Here, you can pursue research in the fields of veterinary, agricultural and food sciences.

Dookie is our specialist agricultural campus – a living laboratory just over two hours’ drive from Melbourne. This rural campus is built on 2240 hectares of farmland. It consists of a high-tech robotic dairy, broadacre farming crops, and 5000 merino sheep.

Our Werribee campus is less than one hour from Melbourne. Werribee is our veterinary campus, and houses the Greenacre Veterinary Hospital, which is open to the public and offers complete animal care, including general practice, specialist referral services and emergency care.

Our research centres

The faculty hosts, or is involved with, a range of research centres and initiatives, including:

Work with experts from other disciplines

We have an inspiring and supportive research community. This means you can work with researchers from other disciplines to expand your learning opportunities. This could be through one of the University’s multidisciplinary research initiatives.

Working with colleagues from other disciplines helps you reflect on the world in different ways. Depending on the topic, you might work with experts from areas like science, engineering or business and economics.

Hallmark Research Initiatives

These initiatives support priority areas of research. In some cases, they run for three years. In other cases, they become a permanent Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institute.

The following Hallmark Research Initiative addresses the theme of veterinary, agricultural and food sciences:

  • Future Food – working with CSIRO to understand future demand and supply of protein-rich foods.

Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes

The following institute may be relevant for your area of research:

  • Indigenous Knowledge Institute – preserving and restoring Indigenous knowledge. This includes work in health and life sciences and Indigenous agriculture.

Interdisciplinary PhD Programs

PhD Programs enrich your core PhD studies. They create the opportunity to extend your networks beyond your own faculty. You will attend seminars and workshops with researchers from other relevant disciplines. As a veterinary, agricultural or food sciences PhD candidate, you could explore the following programs:

Next steps

Related items

One Health

One Health

Learn more about the University of Melbourne’s One Health PhD Program. Deliver high-impact research, and access workshops, seminars and mentoring.