Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studentships (PhD) in Food Systems

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The UKFS-CDT offers 15+ fully funded studentships for cohort 2 in 2022.

Location: Natural Resources Institute (NRI) University of Greenwich, Medway Campus, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent, UK ME4 4TB & other Consortium Partners

Deadline: 23:59 GMT on 22nd Feb 2022.

Payment: Scholarships include tuition fees and a tax-free UKRI stipend for 4 years. The 2021/2022 rate for tuition fees is a minimum £4,500 per year, and a minimum ‘stipend’ of £15,609 per year for your living costs, which is paid to you in regular instalments. Awards increase every year, typically with inflation. UK and international applicants are eligible for UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships.

The UKFS-CDT programme provides a unique opportunity for transformative and interdisciplinary food systems research. It is an innovative way of conducting your PhD centred on co-creation and exposure to a varied range of actors operating in the UK food systems.

Research scope includes (but is not limited to) the following topics:
• Food environment, consumer behaviour, diets, nutrition and health (Healthy People)
• Livestock health and welfare (Healthy Animals)
• Environmental sustainability, climate change (Healthy Environment)
• Food production, distribution, manufacturing and waste (Healthy Economy)
• Food system governance and resilience (Healthy Society)

The UKFS-CDT welcomes interest from applicants with STEM, natural or social science backgrounds. Recruitment is not restricted to UK applicants, but PhD projects must be UK food systems focussed.

The UKFS-CDT programme is a bespoke interdisciplinary food systems programme with a novel approach to doctoral training. In the first year, each UKFS-CDT student undertakes two 4-month rotation projects at two different institutions in the UKFS-CDT consortium. Rotation projects are clearly defined studies designed to provide our students with the research skills, training and subject knowledge required to prepare a full interdisciplinary PhD proposal at the end of year 1. The PhD project will commence in year 2 (find out more here). There will also be a three month placement with industry, government or civil society in the second or third year of the PhD programme.

Application Information

For our second cohort in 2022, the UKFS-CDT is offering two scholarship tracks.

All applications are submitted to our standard scholarship track. In the standard track, students select and undertake two 4-month rotation projects from two different disciplines (STEM, natural science or social science) offered by the nine UKFS-CDT consortium institutions in the first year, before registering at one of these institutions at the end of year 1. Rotations will have to take place in two different institutions. The student then pursues their PhD at the elected institution for the remainder of their PhD, in years 2 to 4.

In addition to the standard track, applicants also have the option to apply to our tethered scholarship track offered by the following select institutions:

  1. Brunel University, London;
  2. IBERS at Aberystwyth University;
  3. NRI of the University of Greenwich;
  4. NIAB EMR (the selected student will be based at NIAB EMR, however, academic registration will be at the university of the 2nd supervisor);
  5. Rothamsted Research (the selected student will be based at Rothamsted Research, however, academic registration will be at the university of the 2nd supervisor);
  6. Royal Veterinary College;
  7. University of Sussex.

By applying to the tethered track, applicants are indicating their preference to undertake their full PhD project from year 2 onwards at the institution selected. One of the 4-month rotation projects in year 1 will be based in the selected institution, complemented with a second rotation from those offered by the other consortium institutions. Applications to the tethered track are submitted via the standard application form.

At least one tethered scholarship will be offered at each of the institutions listed above.

In the selection process, shortlisted candidates will be ranked according to their scores in the section/interview process. From this ranked list, offers will first be made to fill the tethered track scholarships followed by the standard track. Applying for the tethered track is optional. If you would like to choose from all of the rotation project options offered by the CDT you should not select a tethered track option. However, if you do not choose a tethered track option then you will be applying to a smaller pool of studentships.

CDT scholarships cover tuition fees and a tax-free UKRI stipend for 4 years. Recruitment is not restricted to UK applicants, but PhD projects must address UK food systems. International students are eligible for UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships.

The CDT values equality, diversity, inclusion and we welcome applications from anyone regardless of age, disability, race/ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. We encourage individuals who have had worked in relevant sectors, a change in disciplines or career paths or career breaks, e.g. caring responsibilities, to apply.

We actively promote and encourage a more inclusive environment. We aim to provide high standards of support to all participants in order to ensure that each doctoral student has the skills and opportunities to excel in the programme.

Key Dates & Application instructions
The deadline for the application will be 23:59 GMT on 22th Feb 2022. Please ensure you have read the FULL ADVERT, APPLICATION GUIDELINES, ELIGIBILITY and ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS, before you start completing your application forms.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview in April/May 2022.

The PhD programme will start in September 2022. Training activities based at the University of Greenwich in Medway and roadshow visits to partner institutions will take place until the end of November 2022 when the rotation projects will start.

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