Category: News

The latest news and media releases from APRIL

Expressions of Interest for APRIL Kickstart Program

The Kickstart Program 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, which is open all-year round, complete an EoI form (linked below) and email it to Dr John Pluske, APRIL CEO/Chief Scientist, at j.pluske@april.org.au. Questions concerning the program can also be directed to Dr Pluske on 0410 436 871.

Applications for APRIL Industry Placement Program Award

The Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL) is pleased to announce a call for applications for its Industry Placement Program (IPP) Award scheme.

As a key part of APRIL’s strategy to assist with human capacity building in the Australasian pork industry, funding is available to support another IPP award, to join IPP awards already in place with Lauren Staveley (SunPork Farms South, South Australia) and Dr Maria Jorquera-Chavez and Dr Jessica Craig [Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd., Corowa, New South Wales].

The overall aims of the IPP are to (1) retain graduates trained by APRIL, the Pork CRC, Australian Pork Limited, 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 $75,000 over the first 2 years of a 3-year agreement to help cover salary and other costs associated with training the Awardee for the 3 years.

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

Applications open on 12 April 2021 and close 21 May 2021, with the final date for decision being late June/early July 2021.

Information relating the IPP requirements and the application form can be found at http://apri.com.au/education/.

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at Rivalea

March 2021: APRIL is pleased to announce that Dr Maria Jorquera-Chavez has commenced her Industry Placement Program with Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd. in Corowa, New South Wales.

Dr. Maria Jorquera-Chavez has recently joined Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd. in the position of Research Scientist. She has a degree in Veterinary Science, a Master of Animal Sciences, and recently completed her PhD with The University of Melbourne in the use of computer vision techniques for monitoring health and early detection of illness in grower-finisher pigs.

Dr. Jorquera-Chavez will assist in developing and implementing research programs, particularly in the areas of new technology, health and welfare. Maria is participating in an APRIL-funded project addressing the implementation of thermal imagery to predict lactation performance and monitor the health status of sows.

Dr. Jorquera-Chavez will also coordinate future experiments as principal investigator addressing the use of new technologies and management practices to monitor and improve the health and welfare of pigs.

[NOW CLOSED] Call for applications: Education

To build upon APRIL’s current research and education and training investments, APRIL is currently seeking applications to support its education program and assist in further building human capacity for the Industry. A number of different opportunities exist for undergraduate and postgraduate students/potential students within APRIL, as follows:

  1. Scholarship Awards for Honours students.
  2. ‘Top-ups’ for postgraduate research students (PhD, MS/MSc/MPhil) in an APRIL-funded research project (or related).
  3. Support for DVM/undergraduate Veterinary Science projects.
  4. Support for MS/MSc/MPhil students, where a research project is an incorporated component of the program of study, in an APRIL-funded research project (or related).
  5. Part-support for PhD students.

For full details and to download the application forms and guidelines, please refer to the Funding Opportunities page.

Applications open: 19 October 2020
Applications close: 15 January 2021

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.

Annual General Meeting and Stakeholders’ Day

The APRIL AGM and Stakeholders’ Day will be held on Friday 20th November, scheduled currently to be held in Melbourne (in association with the APL Delegates’ Forum and AGM). Clearly, the current uncertainties associated with COVID-19 means that conducting a ‘face-to-face’ AGM and Stakeholders’ Day remains problematic, even though I believe we’d all simply relish the opportunity to be involved in an interactive event instead of Zooming. 

We will keep monitoring the situation and may need to be flexible will regard to the venue/format, but in the interim, I’d ask if you could please place this date in your diaries.