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Enhancing crop growth consistency in vertical farms (DODDJ20CASE)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, November 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited to a NRPDTP-funded CASE studentship in the laboratories of Antony Dodd and Steven Penfield at the John Innes Centre, in collaboration with vertical agriculture R&D company LettUs Grow. The project aim is to use fundamental science to increase the consistency and uniformity of crop production in vertical farms. Vertical farms use stacked indoor systems, often in urban areas and using artificial lights and climate control, to produce food in a sustainable and land use efficient manner.

The project will combine fundamental research into plant circadian rhythms, seasonal responses and seed biology at the John Innes Centre with experimentation in the experimental vertical farm environment at LettUs Grow. The project has the long-term goal of providing benefits to the vertical farming business whilst making new discoveries and the frontiers of knowledge of plant environmental adaptation.

The project will provide training in fundamental plant sciences research with Arabidopsis and a variety of standard molecular biology approaches for investigating plant responses to the environment. Training will also be provided in specialized methods for investigation of circadian rhythms (e.g. collection and mathematical analysis of circadian timecourse data), data synthesis and the preparation and publication of high quality research papers. A student placement at LettUs Grow in Bristol will form the foundation for ongoing collaboration with the company throughout your PhD.

This CASE 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 NRPDTP 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. 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: View 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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