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PhD Agricultural Economics - Evaluating the Effects of Economic Incentives on Carbon Management in Agricultural Production

   School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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  Dr F Areal  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Number of awards


Start date and duration

Start date: October 2021 

Duration: 3 years


Interested in how to manage agricultural environmental impacts? The PhD project will investigate the effectiveness of economic incentives in achieving sustainable agricultural production and consumption.

Agricultural production, land use change, food processing, transport and consumption processes that emit factors to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), which contributes global warming and climate change. The UK government has acknowledged that GHG emissions need to be reduced. Consequently, the UK’s Climate change Act 2008 target to reduce GHG emissions has been revised in 2019 from a 80% reduction in GHG emissions to a 100% reduction (from 1990 baseline) by 2050 (i.e. Net Zero). This studentship provides unique opportunities to develop research training within a vibrant multidisciplinary School at Newcastle University.

The overall aim of this PhD position is to evaluate how economic incentives (e.g. taxes on diesel and fertiliser at various levels; decreases in “people taxes” for farm labour) can help reducing UK’s GHG emissions in agricultural production and food consumption and whether these incentives combined with would suffice to achieve a 100% reduction by 2050. This includes:

  • gaining an understanding on the effect of economic incentives at different levels of the food supply chain on food prices
  • investigating the role of intrinsic and extrinsic incentives (e.g. production inputs and food price changes) on both producers and consumers’ decisions (e.g. food consumption, diets)
  • developing tools to model how changes in the taxation system may help achieving sustainable food production and consumption


Newcastle University and Henry Gent

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Francisco Areal

Eligibility Criteria

We are looking for a person with good MSc degree in Agricultural Economics, Environmental Economics, Geography, Computer Science or Consumer Behaviour related discipline (2:1 or above). Essential: High numeracy and computer literacy; Desirable: Knowledge/willingness to learn modelling (e.g. in R/Python)

This award is available to UK applicants only.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system.

You will need to:

  • Insert the programme code 8010F in the programme of study section
  • Select ‘PhD in Agriculture and Rural Development (full time) - Environmental Science’ as the programme of study
  • Insert the studentship code SNES211 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • Please attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code SNES211 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
  • Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications


Please email Francisco Areal at [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Value of award
100% of home tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,609 plus £5000 research consumables.
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