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ESRC PHD COLLABORATIVE STUDENTSHIP - Getting smart about automated horticulture: new knowledges, practices and technologies

Cardiff School of Geography and Planning

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Dr C Bear , Dr H Pitt No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The way food is grown is changing, with increasing reliance on smart technologies. Such changes will have implications for those working in horticultural and are promoted widely as a solution to ongoing and future labour issues. So far technological advances have largely been approached as a technical issue, neglecting social implications. This project is an opportunity to explore these social dimensions with a focus on implications for growers. It is in partnership with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board who lead work to prepare the sector for technological advances, supporting businesses to adapt to automation. The research will investigate how smart food growing technologies (e.g. robotics, AI) will alter the nature of work, recruitment, training and business investments. Questions might include how agricultural transitions affect rural communities and social inequalities, or what determines decisions to adopt (or otherwise) new horticultural technologies. The research will develop insight to horticultural knowledge, expertise and practice, providing a critical geographic perspective on likely futures for UK horticulture and wider food-system sustainability.
Candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award.
How to apply

Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Geography and Planning with a start date of October 2020.
In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select ’I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from ESRC PHD COLLABORATIVE STUDENTSHIP - Getting smart about automated horticulture: new knowledges, practices and technologies.

A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in Cardiff University must also be submitted to Dr. Brian Webb ([Email Address Removed]) by the deadline of 12.00 noon. Incomplete Applications or applications received after this specified time will not be accepted.

The application must contain the following documents:
1. Covering letter: Please address to Prof. John Harrington. It must name the collaborative studentship being applied for, your reasons and motivation for applying to Cardiff University, the chosen pathway; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project supplied. The covering letter should be no more than two pages. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis.
2. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).
3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include the references with their application.
4. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages.
5. Research Proposal: For collaborative studentships, the proposal should build directly on the outline description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
- Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
- An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study;
- Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
- A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic);
- Bibliographic references

Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. With exception of studentships in the Economics pathway, awards are available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training Masters in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).

This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

Studentship Awards commence in October 2020 and will cover tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,009 p.a. for 2019/20 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2020 onwards. There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.

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