Interested students are invited to apply to undertake a study that will explore fundamental aspects of the kinetics of xylem differentiation in the genus Eucalyptus.  The exact scope of the study is flexible.  The research could take more than one direction.  For example, the study might focus on how drought impacts the rates and durations of fibre expansion.  Or the research could focus on seasonal temperature and day length effects on timing, rates and durations of secondary thickening.  The topic will be developed in discussion between the successful student and the supervisory committee.

Students from a wide range of backgrounds are welcome to apply, including from applied fields like Forest Science, Plant Biology and Horticulture, fields like Systems Biology, or more basic sciences, including Biochemistry or Biology.  Some restrictions may apply in regard to prior qualifications.

A tax-free scholarship of ZAR 160,000 per annum is offered for three years for successful candidates.  Running costs and travel will be covered by the project.  Students will have the opportunity to present their work at an international conference during their candidature, and can also expect to spend some time working at an overseas research lab (e.g. Ghent, Belgium, Freiburg, Germany or Brisbane, Australia).  Students must register full time and be based on the Stellenbosch campus of the University.  At least three peer-reviewed publications will be expected from PhD candidates by the time of graduation.

See for more information.

Please send applications by December 17th 2019, and address any queries, to Dr David Drew ( including the following:
  • All previous degrees and academic records.
  • A cover letter giving background to your application.
  • A comprehensive and up-to-date résumé including the names and details of at least two referees.