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Combining large-scale aerial phenotyping and advanced computational solutions toincrease yield for UK bread wheat (ZHOUE20DTP)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Zhou
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted

Project Description

Accomplishing an AI-driven PhD is likely to position yourself in an excellent state in this rapidly changing world. It is not only about opening up top-paying jobs in finance and gaming, but also enabling you to address major big-data challenges that we are facing, day by day. Mastering computer vision (CV) and machine learning (ML) techniques allows you to generate complex algorithmic rules through dynamic programming and applied mathematics, skills that you will develop during your PhD. More importantly, through your PhD, you will join a vibrant research laboratory to tackle global food security due to climate change and an increasing world population. The research laboratory you will be working with builds on a number of outstanding scientists specialised in crop phenotyping, applied mathematics, CV- and ML-based phenotypic analysis. Since 2018, the lab has published over 8 research articles in leading academic journals, two patents, and has a world reputation in this research domain. Utilising the latest ML/CV techniques, we aim to extract meaningful information from big biological datasets to understand key yield-related traits for bread wheat.

Based on this information, we will establish a range of learning models to predict crop yield under changeable environmental conditions. Your work will also be tested in the UK’s agricultural production through the lab’s long-lasting industrial partners. Because AI is far from perfect, we are expecting you to have positive impacts on the future development in AI-based crop research; and it is the lab’s job to help you excel yourself. The supervisory team will also assist you with biological and technical skills essential for your PhD. But, more importantly, we trust we could establish the stage for you to shine on and shape the future of crop research. Join us and let’s tackle the global food security problem together.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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