International rice training program for PhD students

Wednesday 8 Aug 2018
  • * CSU PhD students have been awarded scholarships by the NSW Crawford Fund to attend a rice training program in The Philippines
  • * The students from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation will develop skills and work with other young rice scientists

Two Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD students are set to gain new insight into research to improve the lives of people who depend on rice-based food systems, at an international training program in The Philippines.

Ms Brooke Kaveney and Ms Rachael Wood from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation will take part in a three-week production course this month at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Soil scientist, Ms Kaveney (pictured left) is no stranger to research for development. Her Honours research examined the seedbed preparation in the rice and shrimp farming systems of Vietnam.

“An interest in rice production, particularly in developing countries, stemmed from my time working on an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta,” Ms Kaveney said.

“I saw how the integration of scientific research worked to secure food sustainability and improve the livelihoods of people in developing countries.”

Ms Kaveney is now undertaking a PhD through CSU’s School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences investigating soil nitrogen dynamics in farming systems.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researcher, Ms Rachael Wood (pictured left) is undertaking her PhD through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains (FGC).

“I have a strong desire to engage in international agricultural research and attending this training program will help establish connections that could make this possible,” Ms Wood said.

“I believe that as the global population increases rice research is going to play an essential role in food security, particularly for Asian and developing countries.

“Understanding the challenges facing international rice farmers is important in determining future research areas and I’m looking forward to gaining experience in tropical rice production," Ms Wood said.

Ms Wood’s doctoral study is investigating how practices on Australian rice farms influence rice grain quality. Read more here

Both students have been awarded scholarships by the NSW Crawford Fund to attend the international training program at IRRI.


Media contact: Emily Malone, 0439 552 385

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Brooke Kaveney and Ms Rachael Wood contact Graham Centre communications officer Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email

The Graham Centre is a research alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)