Knowledge for a sustainable world

Andrew Westby, Stephanie Dyke

The UK Food Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (UKFS-CDT) is offering 15+ funded studentships for its second cohort starting in September 2022, covering the following themes:

  • Food environments, consumer behaviour, diets, nutrition and health
  • Livestock health and welfare
  • Environmental sustainability, climate change
  • Food production, distribution, manufacturing and waste
  • Food system governance and resilience

CDT scholarships include tuition fees and a tax-free UKRI stipend for 4 years. UK and International applicants are eligible for UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships. CDT PhD projects must address UK food systems.

Apply by: 22nd February 2022

The CDT welcomes applicants with natural science (STEM) or social science (SHAPE) backgrounds with an interest in UK food systems research.

The UKFS-CDT consortium brings together the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich (lead institution), University College London, Royal Veterinary College, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, Centre for Food Policy at City University, University of Sussex, Brunel University London, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany East Malling Research (NIAB EMR) and Rothamsted Research, plus 60 Associate Partners from business, government and civil society. A profile of each of the participating institutions can be found here.

In the first year, students undertake two 4-month research (rotation) projects at two different institutions in the consortium. Rotation projects are clearly defined studies designed to provide our students with the research skills, training and subject knowledge required to develop a full interdisciplinary PhD proposal at the end of year 1. The PhD project will commence in year 2.

The UKFS-CDT is offering two scholarship tracks in cohort 2.

  • Standard track scholarship: students select and undertake two 4-month rotation projects offered by the nine UKFS-CDT consortium institutions in year 1, and then select and register at one of the institutions to undertake their PhD in years 2-4.
  • Tethered track scholarship: applicants apply for a scholarship offered by one of the following institutions:
    • Brunel University, London
    • IBERS at Aberystwyth University
    • NRI of the University of Greenwich
    • NIAB EMR
    • Rothamsted Research
    • Royal Veterinary College
    • University of Sussex

UKFS CDT MASTER 750Successful applicants for the tethered scholarships 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. Applications to the tethered track are submitted via the standard application form.

For students interested in studying at NRI, the Institute has more than 60 natural and social scientists whose work focuses on food, agriculture, environment, and sustainable livelihoods from an interdisciplinary perspective. This diverse pool of supervisors offers a wide range of expertise to guide students in their research across different aspects of the food systems: 1) agricultural production, ecosystem services, soil science; 2) food distribution, food safety and waste; 3) food environments, nutritional outcomes, behaviour change; 4) political economy, political agroecology, food studies. If you are interested in applying for a tethered studentship with NRI and have specific questions that are not answered by looking at the NRI website or, then please contact Stephanie Dyke.

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 actively promote and encourage an 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 & How to Apply

Applications will open in early January 2022. Interested applicants should visit for further information. The application deadline is 23:59 GMT on 22 Feb 2022.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview in mid-March 2022 and offers will be made in April/May.