Industry PostGraduate Program

Data Science to Support Sustainability in Viticulture (Masters)

Applications close:  
November 30, 2021

Data Science to Support Sustainability in Viticulture (Masters)


Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
RMIT University


This data science project aims to build on an environmental dataset from Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA) and initial quantitative analysis conducted as part of a previous Food Agility project, Valuing the Environment in Viticulture, to understand the relationships between self-reported management actions, production and resource use metrics, profitability and long-term resilience.

This aim will be met through five objectives:

  • Estimation: Developing statistical machine learning (SML) and artificial intelligence (AI) methods for estimating the relationship between the sustainability indicator (Resource Intensity Score)/other sustainability metrics and vineyard financial performance on additional SWA datasets.
  • Generalisation: Testing and validating sustainability indicators, financial performance, and the associated predictive relationships across a range of Australian wine regions
  • Translation: Understanding and modelling links between management actions (self-reported qualitative data), production/environmental metrics and trends, and financial performance/business resilience.
  • Communication: Developing a visualisation tool for decision-making and risk assessment based on the Wine Climate Atlas.


In addition to direct outcomes from the project, further benefit will be derived from linking the project outputs to other research endeavours, such as a natural capital risk materiality assessment, that are being conducted in parallel by other members of the team.

Ultimately, this project is designed to facilitate benchmarking and decision-making by synthesising and presenting data in a way that growers and associated stakeholders can meaningfully engage with.

The relationship between financial and environmental performance is of interest to growers and the viticulture industry, who need to adapt to and mitigate against climate change and natural capital shocks. The finance sector (agribusiness lenders and insurers) also need to report their climate risk exposure and other measures of the sustainability of their portfolios. To support high quality decision-making, both growers and financial institutions need robust, quantitative datasets and models that are applicable across the sector.

This scholarship is part of the Food Agility Industry Postgraduate Program.


  • Start date: flexible (up to and including semester 1 2022)
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Stipend: $35,000 per annum
  • Operating funds: $10,000 per annum

How to Apply

Apply by
November 30, 2021 11:59 PM
Apply online


The student will mostly be physically based at AWRI in Urrbrae, a suburb of Adelaide in South Australia, with travel to QUT as required and to spend a minimum time of three months at QUT during the course of candidature. At QUT, the student will be part of the Centre for Data Science.

Candidate Criteria

  • Bachelor level degree in a relevant field, e.g., statistics, data science, agriculture, environmental science
  • Experience in conducting and writing up a research project 
  • Demonstrated high level skills in data analytics
  • Interest and skills in agriculture in general and wine in particular
  • Deep interest in sustainability skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, this scholarship is only available for students who are already a resident in Australia.