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Green farming, red tape and blue passports: British livestock farming after Brexit

Project Description

This fully-funded 4 year PhD studentship is a unique opportunity to be part of an interdisciplinary cohort of PhD students tackling one of the most serious issues facing the world today. There will be roughly 2.3 billion more people on the planet by 2050. Most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy are also limited. In this context, how can we feed the world sustainably? And how can we ensure global food security – meaning safe, reliable, affordable access to nutritious food - for all the people of the world?

Farming Futures is an ambitious new PhD partnership between the University of Bristol and Rothamsted Research, combining world-class research expertise and some of the UK’s best research facilities. Together, we aim to tackle the challenges of food insecurity head-on. For further information see

We recognise the key role that the next generation of researchers will play in driving this field forward, and we are committed to attracting the very best global PhD candidates. We are delighted to announce that we are currently advertising five PhD studentships, of which this is one. The PhD topics have been co-designed to individually and collectively make an impact and provide a springboard for talented PhD candidates from diverse backgrounds to work together and make a difference.

The project:
In February 2018, the environment secretary outlined “A Brighter Future for Farming” where at the same time as food production is “the heart of farming”, farmers are “the very first friends of the earth … promoting health, celebrating beauty and valuing permanence”. Using a mix of ethnography and focus group methodologies, this PhD will look at how small farmers accommodate demands for healthy, high welfare, sustainable, profitable and competitive food in their daily practices and thereby identify first the contour of these “future methods of agricultural support”, second what a simplified regime of inspections would look like, and third what “new ways of investing” in these public goods would need to deliver to ensure the survival of small farmers “who help keep rural life, and economies, healthy”.

As a Farming Futures doctoral student you will become a member of the University of Bristol Cabot Institute for the Environment, Rothamsted Research and the Bristol Doctoral College, giving you access to the full range of personal and professional development training and community-building events. You will have a supervisory team that will include researchers from both organisations.

How to apply:
Please make an online application for this project using the postgraduate application system Please select ‘Faculty of Health Sciences’ and then ‘Veterinary Sciences_(PhD)(4yr)’ on the Programme Choice page. In the funding section of the online form applicants must state that they are applying for a Farming Futures studentship. See the Farming Futures webpage for further details.

Candidate requirements: Candidates should possess a degree in a relevant subject area, such as a 2:1 or higher in agricultural science or a related discipline aligned to the research programme.

Closing date: 5pm 29th January 2019


Funding Notes

Funding: international, EU/UK fees; £14,777 annual stipend; research allowance

How good is research at University of Bristol in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.03

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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