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Exploring the interplay between stockpeople and consumers on the future of dairy (cows), and their welfare.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr V Melfi
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Historically agriculture has been shaped by demands for greater production at lower cost. It has been suggested that these selection pressures have been shaped by consumers’ buying habits; who preferentially choose cheap food. Current research suggests that consumer habits are evolving and consumers are now making changes in their purchasing of dairy goods (Cardoso et al. 2016). Lifestyle and dietary choices which exclude, or limit, dairy from the diet seem to rising. Thus understanding consumer attitudes towards different dairy systems is essential when considering how industry meets the consumer expectation. Potential alternative systems are also likely to have far-reaching impacts on stockpersons and farmers. It is likely high input low yield systems would go against current trends driving greater efficiencies associated with a greater ration of dairy cows per stockperson/farmer and instead support greater job creation. Ultimately how these alternative diary systems impact cow behaviour and welfare, might also impact the attitudes of consumers for dairy products and the wellbeing of stockpeople/farmers.

Through an investigation of the impacts of different diary systems, especially those adopting a high input low yield model, on stockman, consumers and dairy cows, this PhD seeks to explore: i) consumer values and behaviours related to purchasing dairy products; ii) knowledge, attitudes and empathy for cow welfare, in diary workers (and farmers); and iii) dairy cow behavior and welfare. The goal of this multi-disciplinary PhD is to consider the interplay between the key stakeholders within the dairy industry, and the ramifications these data have on food security within the changing landscape of the farming industry.

This project is kindly funded by the John Oldacre Foundation.

For more information and for an initial discussion please contact [Email Address Removed]

Description of studentship:

Hartpury is pleased to be offering three fully funded studentship to start on 1 October 2019. This studentship will be based in the Animal Welfare Research Arena at University Centre, Hartpury. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to become part of new Postgraduate Community in an idyllic rural setting, with world leading facilities undertaking impactful and cutting-edge practice-based and industry related research. University of the West of England is the awarding body for this degree.
Studentships comprise tuition fees at home / EU rates and a stipend of GBP 13k per year tenable for 3 years. Alongside their research projects, successful candidates will be asked (as a condition of their stipend) to deliver up to 7 hours per week teaching or research support

within the Department in which the PhD is hosted.

PhD Studentship Selection Criteria:

The following criteria will be taken into account when considering applications:
 The strength of your professional and academic profile, as demonstrated through
previous study and/or professional experience
 The quality, invention and viability of ideas relating to the research project you are
applying for
 The contribution you are able to make to the Hartpury research community and your
host department, in terms of both research and teaching

Candidates should also be aware of the following:

The normal expectation is that applicants will hold at least a 2:1 or a Masters qualification from
a UK university or a degree of comparable standing from a university outside the UK. The
candidate’s degree relevant to the studentship should demonstrate their potential for practiceled
research or alternative evidence of research aptitude.

Applicants whose first language is not English require a recognised English language
qualification. The minimum entry requirement is GCSE English at grade C or above or IELTS
score 7.0 or TOEFL score 600 (or demonstrable equivalent).

Applying for a PhD studentship

To apply for a PhD studentship you must send the following documents to

[Email Address Removed]:

 A curiculum vitae (maximum 3 pages)
 A covering letter outlining your suitability for the studentship
 A recent piece of critical writing you have completed (max 3000 words)
 If English is not your first language, certification of English language qualification

Applications that do not arrive by Midnight (UK time) on Friday 7 June will not be considered.
If your application is selected you will be invited to attend an interview on Wednesday 19 June.
All applicants must ensure their availability on this date.

Key dates
7 June 2019: Deadline for submission of applications
14 June 2019: Interview invitations sent to shortlisted candidates*
19 June 2019: Interviews at Hartpury
28 June 2019: Studentships announced
5 July 2019: Deadline for accepting studentship
1 October 2019: Studentship begins

* Please note that by submitting an application you are confirming your availability to
interview on 19 June.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young
people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We will ensure
that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment. All
successful candidates will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service checks along
with other relevant employment checks.

Hartpury values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the

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