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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics: AgriFoRwArdS

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics: AgriFoRwArdS

Are you the next future technology leader, aspiring to change the world through robotics?

Applications are invited for fully-funded four-year PhD studentships in the world’s first Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Agri-Food Robotics. This prestigious centre is a collaboration between the Universities of Lincoln, Cambridge and East Anglia, supported by industry leaders such as:

  • John Deere
  • Syngenta
  • G’s Growers
  • Beeswax Dyson
  • ABB Robotics
  • Saga Robotics

There are ten studentships available as part of the third cohort, starting in October 2021. Fifty studentships will be awarded, in total, over five years.

Programme Structure

Year 1

Based in a vibrant and research-intensive environment, all students will study for an MSc in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Lincoln, gaining foundational knowledge and skills. Successful students will also benefit from guest lectures, seminars and workshops from University of Cambridge and University of East Anglia supervisors.

Years 2-4

Students will continue to study for a PhD at their chosen host institution (either the University of Lincoln, University of Cambridge or the University of East Anglia), investigating a research area that links both an identified industry need and individual academic interests, helping to develop a new generation of robotics systems across the food supply chain.

Associated Training

An integrated research training programme will take place throughout both the MSc and PhD phases, enabling students to specialise between possible career routes including ‘engineer’, ‘executive’, ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘academic researcher’, with training courses tailored to each of these directions. Students will also benefit from participation in the CDT’s annual summer schools and conferences.

Why AgriFoRwArdS?

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT provides a unique blend of technical expertise, outstanding research environments and integral industry collaboration in Agri-Food Robotics. Our fully-funded studentship package includes:

  • All MSc and PhD tuition fees paid
  • A tax-free stipend at EPSRC rates to cover living costs
  • A Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £1,500 each year to support travel costs (£6,000 in total)
  • Additional funding to support outreach and dissemination, attendance at summer schools, research events, and development projects.

Students can also benefit from:

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics: AgriFoRwArdS
  • The opportunity to develop their career, working alongside and in collaboration with academic and industry specialists of the future.
  • Internships, project work and engagement opportunities with world-leading companies who are interested in both research collaboration and future CDT-trained graduates.
  • The chance to make a real difference by helping to address the challenges facing the global agri-food industry: climate change, population growth, political pressures affecting migration, and the demographics of an ageing population.


The current round of applications opens on 1st December 2020 and closes on the 31st January 2021. Places are limited so early application is advised.

If you are a dynamic, focussed graduate with a minimum upper second-class honours degree, then come and be part of the food production revolution.

For further enquiries, please contact Centre Director, Professor Tom Duckett.

Please be sure to check the eligibility criteria.

The CDT in Agri-Food Robotics and Autonomous Systems (AgriFoRwArdS) is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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