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Optimizing soil nitrogen in babyleaf salad crops for sustainable crop production

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers has been responsible for increased food production more than any other input to farming. However, the recovery of fertilizer N in crops is frequently low and fertilizer N not taken up by the crop can be lost through pathways that produce atmospheric (ammonia, nitric and nitrous oxide) and water (nitrate) pollutants (Fig. 1). This project has been proposed by a leading producer of babyleaf salads, whose motivation is to minimize losses of N from their production systems, to ensure that N is used in the most sustainable way.

The project will assess approaches involving the manipulation of N fertilizer form/timing and the addition of nitrogen cycle inhibitors for their efficiency in reducing N losses. You will undertake field trials in Dorset and also conduct controlled laboratory experiments for process understanding. You will gain extensive experience working at the interface between agricultural practice and research.

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Agriculture, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Biology or Natural Sciences. The ability and willingness to travel to field sites frequently is essential.

Funding Notes

Full studentships UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£15,009 2019/2020 tax-free for 4 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria. Studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.
A student must have:
Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay And Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK
And Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK or EU nationals.


For further details please contact Liz Shaw: [email protected] for application queries contact Roz Wareing, [email protected]

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