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Scaling-Up Climate Resilient Food Production

   School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition

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  Prof Wendy Russell, Prof J Smith, Prof Christine Watson  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Rowett Institute has an international reputation for teaching and research in human nutrition and food science. As part of its funding through the Scottish government we are advertising a number of high-profile PhD studentships in nutrition, food science, microbiology and analytical chemistry.

Delivering a sustainable food system requires ambition to think beyond domestic agriculture and more widely than from farm to fork. Key to meeting climate, biodiversity and dietary targets will be to produce our food in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible.

This project will explore the potential to scale-up production of climate resilient wild species in novel agri-systems not currently utilised for wide-scale crop production. Wild species and relatives of current crops grow well without the addition of inputs such as fertiliser, pesticide and additional water and some have been shown to be valuable from a nutritional perspective. This project will identify three prototype species to test in pasture, forestry and vertical/urban farming systems. It will explore the relationship between inputs, yield and nutritional value to facilitate an understanding through systems modelling of the potential to scale-up production.

Working with experts in systems modelling, sustainable agriculture and nutrition, this multidisciplinary project will facilitate development of necessary skills to tackle challenges to our food system. The project also offers the opportunity for wide-scale stakeholder engagement to gain an understanding of need, barriers and opportunities relating to novel methods of food production.

Essential background of student:

The student should have a first degree (First Class or 2.1) or an MSc in a subject related to agriculture or food science and an interest in systems modelling, climate resilience and human nutrition. 

Informal enquiries would be welcomed for a discussion, Please contact the lead supervisor, Professor Wendy Russell ([Email Address Removed]) for more information.


This project will be based within the Rowett Institute, part of the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, at the University of Aberdeen. The Rowett Institute is located on the Foresterhill Health Campus, one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe, which also includes the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, a large teaching hospital and the the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS)



International applicants are eligible to apply for this studentship but will have to find additional funding to cover the difference between overseas and home fees (approximately £17,000 per annum)

  • Formal applications can be completed online:
  • You should apply for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences to ensure your application is passed to the correct team
  • Please clearly note the name of the supervisor and exact project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • General application enquiries can be made to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Project funded through the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) of the Scottish Government.
Funding covers tuition fees at the UK/Home rate, bench fees, and a stipend at the UKRI rate.
This is a four-year project and the expected start date is October 2022.
Full funding is available to UK candidates only. International candidates can apply for this studentship but will have to find additional funding to cover the difference between overseas and home fees (approximately £17,000 per annum).
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