The CCRI, as a part of the ESRC funded Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, has two fully-funded PhD studentships available under the DTP’s Environmental Planning pathway.

The topics for these are:

  • Agroecological transition: understanding farmers’ cultural identities and social practices to enable mixed farming futures (supported by the Soil Association)

and

  • Farmer-centred innovation: understanding and co-designing evaluation methodologies to support sustainable agriculture (supported by the AHDB)

Agroecological transition: understanding farmers’ cultural identities and social practices to enable mixed farming futures

This studentship is being supervised by Professor Damian Maye and Professor Julie Ingram.

Agroecology is an essential innovation pathway for sustainable land use, maximising the use of ecological processes in the functioning of agroecosystems (Poux and Aubert, 2018; Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, 2020). However, there is limited social science analysis of how this agro-ecological transition is understood, practised and imagined from a farmer perspective (van der Ploeg et al, 2019). This PhD aims to fill this gap through a socio-cultural analysis of perceptions and practices on livestock and arable farms. Advocating ‘mixed farming’ portfolios, it considers how ruminant livestock and all-arable systems can adopt agroecology.

The student will be located within the Soil Association’s Farming and Land Use Policy group and will be part of an exciting new socio-economic programme related to agroecology.

For full information and application details, please see the application page on the University of Gloucestershire Recruitment Webpage.


Farmer-centred innovation: understanding and co-designing evaluation methodologies to support sustainable agriculture

This studentship is being supervised by Professor Julie Ingram and Jane Mills.

There is increasing recognition of the importance of facilitating farmer-centred innovation (FCI) to support the transition towards sustainable agriculture. This model of farmer collaboration in which farmers innovate, experiment and learn together includes: Monitor Farms, Farmer Field-Labs, Farmer Clusters and future ELM components. Despite this growing interest in FCI, knowledge gaps exist regarding ‘what works’. The level of interest and investment in the FCI model, combined with the requirement for evidence-based policy, accountability and impact, means that reliable evaluation is important. However, there is no consensus on the best methodologies to capture FCI’s many anticipated benefits.  The PhD aims is to provide a critical analysis of FCI, examining their outputs, outcomes and processes, and how these can be meaningfully evaluated.

The student will work closely with the AHDB’s Research and Knowledge Exchange (R&KE) team who coordinate significant programmes of farmer-centred innovation (including Monitor Farms, Strategic Farms and Farmbench business groups) and behaviour change.

For full application details, please see the application page on the University of Gloucestershire Recruitment Webpage.


Applications

Potential applicants should ensure that they have read in full all materials provided on the studentship specific webpage and adhere to all stated requirements.

Funding is provided at UKRI standard rates.

For the avoidance of doubt or uncertainty, please note that these are social science studentships.

All applications must be received on or before the closure date: 21 May 2021

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