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RVC PHD: The impact of food chain health risk messages on consumers’ demand for poultry products in India

Project Description

Project Summary:
Rapidly changing poultry production systems in India can potentially generate risks of disease transmission as poultry producers adapt to meet increasing consumer demand. It is unclear how food chain information on disease risks influences consumer demand and producer supply of poultry products. Understanding the determinants of consumer demand and the impact of foodchain health risk messages (FHRMs) is crucial to support adequate food policy planning. This project aims to assess the impact of FHRMs on consumer demand for poultry products and on poultry production systems in India.
The project is a component of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) One Health Poultry Hub, which aims to meet Asia’s growing demand for chicken meat and eggs while minimising the risks to public health. The PhD studentship will be part of the London Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), an intercollegiate food systems research consortium incorporating researchers from RVC, SOAS and LSHTM.

Project details:
This innovative, interdisciplinary project will explore and characterise socio-economic and cultural factors influencing when and where chicken and eggs are consumed in India. This will include investigation of any barriers to purchasing safe poultry products by poorer households in India, as well as drivers of increased poultry food consumption and consumers’ perceptions of food safety and quality. Indian household consumption and expenditure survey (HCES) data will be analysed to identify patterns of consumer demand, determinants of demand and different consumer profiles. In addition, the project will investigate FHRMs that are received and produced by the households and the impact of the identified FHRMs on poultry consumption and production.
This mixed-methods approach offers an opportunity for a student with strong undergraduate or MSc-level training in economics, epidemiology or veterinary medicine to build on their existing skills and develop new interdisciplinary skills. The innovative combination of food systems thinking with One Health economics and survey data collection skills will make novel contributions to existing scientific literature in the field of food systems research and inform policy for the poultry value chain in India.

Essential Requirements:
- Applicants must hold, or be expected to achieve, a first or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree or equivalent, or an MSci or Masters degree, in a related field such as economics/ epidemiology/ development studies/ veterinary sciences/ anthropology/ sociology
- Interest in food systems

Desirable Requirements:
- Interest in mixed methods training

If you are interested in applying for this position, please follow the link below. Please use your personal statement to demonstrate:
- Interest in food systems research and the studentship topic.
- Previous experience of data collection (both qualitative and quantitative).
- Motivation to pursue doctoral studies.

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year fully-funded studentship, open to Home/EU applicants. International students are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between UK/EU and international tuition fees.

The studentship will commence ASAP.


1 - Aleksandrowicz, L., Tak, M., Green, R., Kinra, S., & Haines, A. (2017). Comparison of food consumption in Indian adults between national and sub-national dietary data sources. British Journal of Nutrition, 117(7), 1013-1019. doi:10.1017/S0007114517000563
2 - Han, G., & Liu, Y. (2018). Does Information Pattern Affect Risk Perception of Food Safety? A National Survey in China. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(9), 1935. doi:10.3390/ijerph15091935
3 - Van Asselt, M., Poortvliet, P. M., Ekkel, E. D., Kemp, B., & Stassen, E. N. (2018). Risk perceptions of public health and food safety hazards in poultry husbandry by citizens, poultry farmers and poultry veterinarians. Poultry science, 97(2), 607–619. doi:10.3382/ps/pex325

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