Optimising Egg Performance

Applications close:  
April 8, 2022

Optimising Egg Performance


University of New England


Egg producers with reliable good average egg production will contribute to in-depth flock diagnostics and data analysis. The focus will be laid on identifying irregular egg performance patterns, inter-flock variability and end of lay challenges to push hens for additional egg outputs and extend flock persistence. Based on the data provided by the Australian egg producers, multivariate population-based Generalised Linear Models (GLM) will be used to identify population-level trends across the parameters collected to understand their link to egg performance. Risk factor analysis across these parameters, using risk ratios visualised with forest plots, to visualise the population trends and inform relevant key strategies that can be implemented at the industry level (i.e. across the population of producers). The second stage of the analysis will focus on the development of predictive diagnostic algorithms using machine learning models. Supervised machine learning algorithms (Including decision trees, random forests) will be developed to assess the predictive ability of forecast parameters (and the impact of various events that these parameters describe) to predict the performance of egg production. Unsupervised machine learning algorithms, such as k-Means clustering, will be used identify underlying structure and groupings within the forecast parameters to aid in the development of a high-performance predictive system. This analysis will provide insight into what the machine learning algorithms are learning and why they perform the way they do against the forecast parameters.


Starting date:

Successful applicants must commence their scholarship within three months of the date of offer.



Three years



The Scholarship includes a stipend of AU$45,000 per annum, paid as a fortnightly allowance, and istax-free. The level of the stipend will not be reduced over the period of the Scholarship. Should a scholarship be overpaid or paid incorrectly, the scholarship holder will be liable for the reimbursement of funds to the University. Reimbursement of funds can be made on negotiation with the University.

Scholarships are tax exempt and paid in fortnightly instalments.


The Scholarship does not cover:

  • Costs associated with the Student Services and Amenities Fee
  • Any costs associated with relocation to the University of New England
  • International tuition fees or overseas health cover.

International candidates are invited to apply for this Scholarship, however if successful, will be responsible for payment of international tuition fees and overseas health cover.

Selection will also depend on the applicant’s ability to meet the following desired criteria:

  • Hold an Australian or equivalent overseas driver’s license.
  • Enrol full-time and on-campus
  • Able and willing to work in a research team environment.
  • Integrate and contribute to the research team.
  • Work or research experience in remote and rural locations and working closely with rural landowners.
  • Be willing to work at and travel to commercial farms for research purposes for up to three weeks per trip.

How to Apply

Apply by
April 8, 2022
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University of New England,Armadale, New South Wales

Candidate Criteria

To be eligible for the Higher Degree Scholarship, applicants must have:

  • Master’s level qualification with Masters of Science in animal nutrition/animal science.
  • The capacity to undertake a substantial research project under the direction of the leadership team
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills with the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • A letter of offer for a place in a UNE Research Degree (PhD), or have applied for a place at UNE
  • An international drivers licence and be willing to work at and travel to commercial farms for research purposes for up to three weeks per trip.

Offer Process

  • UNE will only offer the scholarship as a result of an application lodged as part of a competitive application process;
  • UNE must offer the PhD scholarship to a student in writing, advising the student of the terms and conditions of the scholarship.