AHDB issues call for new studentship proposals

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The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is inviting applications for a slice of £1 million in funding for postgraduate studentships.

A call for proposals for up to 15 PhDs has been issued to UK universities, colleges and research institutes as part of AHDB’s work to develop a new tranche of agricultural and horticultural scientific expertise.

“Once again we are seeking the best and brightest of the UK’s scientific talent to bring innovative research ideas to the table. We want to see practical, applied scientific solutions to the challenges facing industry, whether affecting one particular sector or with applications across the piece.”

Kim Matthews, The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)

The funds committed by AHDB equate to £70,500 per studentship, which can be split over three or four years. Applicants must detail how the proposed research will help meet the priorities of one or more of the six levy sectors – Beef & Lamb, Cereals & Oilseeds, Dairy, Horticulture, Pork and Potatoes. They must also demonstrate how projects will deliver useful and relevant research outcomes.

Although the AHDB studentship call has been unified since 2013, this is the first year that all sectors will be awarding the same amount of funding for the successful projects. In another first, one of the studentships will be co-funded by the AgriFood Charities Partnership, jointly with the Cereals & Oilseeds part of AHDB. To be eligible for this special award, applications must be on a soils related subject and involve one of the agricultural charities’ long term experimental sites.

AHDB’s Kim Matthews, who chairs the studentship programme, said: “Once again we are seeking the best and brightest of the UK’s scientific talent to bring innovative research ideas to the table. We want to see practical, applied scientific solutions to the challenges facing industry, whether affecting one particular sector or with applications across the piece.

“AHDB funds around 50 PhDs at any one time and we consider it a critical part of our support for the agricultural and horticultural sectors to ensure a fresh stock of talented young professionals are encouraged into our exciting industry.”

The closing date for applications is by midday on 19 September. All applications received by that date will be reviewed and awards announced mid-January. Students must apply through their academic institution as direct applications will not be accepted.

Further information on proposal criteria, links to AHDB sector priorities and details of how to apply can be found on the AHDB website: http://www.ahdb.org.uk/projects/PhDStudentships.aspx.