Regional Internships in Applied Grains Research (H120)


March 1, 2021


February 28, 2023


This Regional Internship in Applied Grains Research successfully delivered a two-year internship for Declan Anderson, assisting the development of skills and knowledge building across broad areas of applied research and extension in the grains industry.

The internship program continues to succeed, providing a stepping-stone for early career researchers to be up-skilled, with almost all recent candidates continuing a career in grains research, and filling regional roles across areas of South Australia from the Upper and Mid-North, Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula.


Hart has offered their regional internship program since 2016 to encourage agricultural science graduates to pursue a career in applied grains research.

The role has focused on providing high-quality training across all aspects of applied research including opportunities to gain exposure across a range of communications and extension methods at events and through different mediums such as blogs, videos or podcast.

Research Aims

The core objectives of the project were to:

  • Encourage high quality agricultural science students to pursue careers in applied research through a regionally based internship program.
  • Give graduates with a specific interest in applied R, D & E an overview of the fundamentals of applied RD&E relevant to the grains industry.
  • Advance the current regional internship program and maintain interest generated among the University of Adelaide BSc Ag students for the position.

In The Field

Declan Anderson, from Ouyen in the Victorian Mallee, was selected for the two-year internship. Declan’s main project in 2021 was working with Hart staff and SARDI’s Tara Garrard on Septoria tritici blotch (STB) in wheat. This included two trials at Hart investigating variety resistance, fungicide timing and yield loss, along with an experiment at Waite.

In 2022 Declan took on projects investigating performance of long coleoptile wheat, pre-emergent herbicides and a cereal crown rot trial at Hart. He also implemented a farm-scale demonstration alongside a local farmer at Blyth for a pulse inoculation case study.


The project was successful in providing Declan with a wide range of experiences in applied research, development and extension.

After his internship Declan joined Trengove Consulting at Bute in a research role, working across a variety of disease and soil projects.

The activities performed in the recruitment of the interns will increase awareness and interest in applied research careers amongst agricultural science students.

Hart continue to provide internship opportunities for applied grains research with Kaidy Morgan appointed in 2023 through funding from the SA Drought Hub, and more recently Myfanwy ‘Miffy’ Purslow in 2024 through co-funding support from SAGIT and the SA Drought Hub.

Project Participants

Hart Field-Site Group: Rebekah Allen, Sandy Kimber, Sarah Noack, Declan Anderson

SARDI: Kathy Ophel-Keller, Tim Sutton, Tara Garrard

The Problem

Researchers are vital to the SA grains industry and attracting young graduates to research career paths is essential for future resilience and growth of both fundamental and applied roles.

The research

Hart appointed a graduate agricultural science student for a two-year internship in applied grains research.

More information

Rebekah Allen, Hart Field-Site Group
T:  0428 782 470
E:  [email protected]

Hart Field-Site Group

Value for Growers

The two-year internship has provided Declan with research experience across a wide variety of projects, upskilling him in field and laboratory trial management and analysis. Now working for a local research organisation, Declan can use these skills to conduct high quality grains research in South Australia.

Encouraging and promoting careers in grains research will continue to provide value to growers in the long-term through the high-quality grains research the interns will conduct throughout their careers.