Nikki Watson

Expressions of Interest Open for APRIL Kickstart Program

The Kickstart Program is a new initiative that can provide up to $7,500 for an individual/organisation(s) to assist with the preparation and submission of a specific, targeted and agreed major external funding application (or applications) in partnership with APRIL and other partners.

Significant external funding pools exist both nationally and internationally for potential investment. The Kickstart Program aims to increase the number of applications that are prepared and submitted to external funding organisations that ultimately increase the funding pool to undertake more of APRIL’s activities, in alignment with Transformational Project and Industry Priority Project priorities in the Strategic Plan.

Expressions of Interest (EoI) for project applications not seeking Kickstart funds may also be submitted but must adhere to the same principle of being a specific, targeted major external funding application in partnership with APRIL (and other partners), in alignment with the APRIL Strategic Plan.

To apply for a Kickstart award, complete an EoI form (available from the Funding Opportunities page) and email it to Professor John Pluske, APRIL CEO/Chief Scientist, at j.pluske@april.org.au, by 16 October 2020. Questions concerning the program can also be directed to Professor Pluske on 0410-436871.

Important dates:

  • September 14 2020: applications open
  • October 16 2020: applications close.
  • October 19-30 2020: assessment of applications and Zoom interviews (if required).
  • November 2020: decision outcomes.

Applications Open for APRIL Industry Placement Program Award

APRIL is pleased to announce a call for applications for its Industry Placement Program (IPP). 

The APRIL Board has approved funding for education and training in 2020/21 to support another IPP award, to join IPP awards APRIL already has in place with Dr Jessica Craig [Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd., New South Wales] and Lauren Staveley (SunPork Farms South, South Australia). The aims of the IPP are to (1) retain graduates trained by APRIL, the Pork CRC, APL, and (or) other applicable organisations, at the Honours and (or) postgraduate level, and attract others to the Australasian pork industry, by sponsoring their placement in a commercial pork production organisation or an affiliated business within the Australasian pork industry in a structured and enhanced development program; (2) attract and stimulate graduates with an interest in pork production into the business side of the industry as a career, while continuing their development and understanding of how research and technology will enhance industry competitiveness and success; and (3) expose graduates wanting a long-term research or technical support role in the industry to commercial aspects of pork production and enhance their contributions and value to pork businesses in their future roles.

APRIL will provide the successful business applicant with $70,000 over the first 2 years of a 3-year agreement to help cover costs associated with mentoring and training the Awardee in all aspects of pork production. 

Applications must be lodged electronically by the applying organisation and include the name and qualifications of the proposed candidate, to the APRIL Chief Scientist/CEO Professor John Pluske (j.pluske@april.org.au). Any questions on the IPP Award/process can be directed to Professor John Pluske (j.pluske@april.org.au, 0410-436871).

Important dates:

  • August 25 2020: applications open.
  • October 2 2020: applications close.
  • October 12-30 2020: assessment of applications and Zoom interviews (if required).
  • November 4 2020: final date for decision, recommendation to the APRIL Board.
New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at the SunPork Group

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at the SunPork Group

APRIL is pleased to announce that Lauren Staveley has commenced her Industry Placement Program with the SunPork Group in South Australia.

a young woman dressed in a dark blue coverall holding a piglet on a farm
IPP awardee Lauren Staveley

Lauren began her interactions with the pork industry in her second year of undergraduate Animal Science studies at The University of Adelaide through the Pork CRC student placement program, where she was placed at the McMahons McPiggery in Lameroo. After a brief detour into sheep parasitology (Honours project), Lauren worked as a Technical Officer at The University of Adelaide for Dr Will van Wettere, spending most of her time on sow reproduction and welfare projects. This eventually led to Lauren commencing a PhD focussed on the potential use of a suite of early (pre-weaning) indicators to aid in the selection of replacement gilts, titled Conception to culling – effective management of the gilt to optimise reproduction and longevity. The main aim of her postgraduate studies is to reduce the high replacement rate of sows in Australian breeder herds. Lauren plans to submit her PhD thesis within the next 6 months.

Lauren currently works for the SunPork Group as a production Management Trainee based at a 5,000 sow breeder farm. Lauren has already been exposed to many aspects and production stages of the business; however, Lauren said that the  APRIL Industry Placement Program awardwill allow her to gain more in-depth knowledge of pork production whilst facilitating her involvement in reproduction and welfare experiments. The Industry Placement Program will provide Lauren with the opportunity to question and evaluate current production practices, and she looks forward to developing a greater understanding of pork production and research.