The new initiative with the University of Nottingham will support 20 researchers from developing countries.

  • 30
  • NOV
  • 2018

The Rothamsted International – University of Nottingham Fellowships are part of a joint £5 million investment to support early-career researcher opportunities in the field of international agricultural development. 

This collaboration focuses on vital, much needed agricultural research skills in low-and middle- income countries.

The scheme will support up to 20 fellows for 6-12 months as visiting researchers in the UK. 

They will work on research projects created in collaboration with supervisors at both Rothamsted Reserch and the University of Nottingham, focused on developing solutions to the many challenges facing food production and sustainability in these regions, and developing skills that can be applied in the fellow’s home institution.

Rothamsted International (RI) was established in 1993 by the Lawes Agricultural Trust to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Rothamsted Research, and is supported by donations and bequests from the Lawes Agricultural Trust and numerous other Trusts and Foundations, as well as from the public. 

Its primary activity has been the support of researcher training and development through the Rothamsted International Fellowship Scheme. To date, 204 researchers from 35 different countries have been supported by the programme.

The University of Nottingham is an important collaborative partner for Rothamsted Research, with a long history of excellence in agricultural research. They are funding the fellowships through their Beacons of Excellence programme, which aims to tackle global problems such as food security.

Previously, Rothamsted and the University have collaborated on many projects, which have helped to develop a greater understanding of important crop pests and diseases; the movement of water and nutrients from soils into agricultural systems; and ways to improve crop performance through breeding.

Current large collaborative projects between the pair include GeoNutrition, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which is helping to understand and manage links between agriculture and nutrition/health outcomes in Ethiopia and Malawi, several projects looking to improve the yield and quality of wheat, and CEPHaS, a project with the British Geological Survey to develop capacity in understanding soil physics.

In addition to these new fellowships the two institutions are also supporting 25 fully-funded international PhD studentships. The first five students on this scheme started in October 2018. Five new studentships starting in 2019/20 will be advertised in March 2019.

Two of the new Nottingham-Rothamsted PhD students are registered jointly at the University of Nottingham and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in Malawi. They are building on ongoing doctoral training capacity strengthening activities in sub Saharan Africa, including the Africa Capacity Building Initiative, funded by the Royal Society and the UK Department for International Development.

These fellowships are now open to applicants, for further details on eligibility and application steps, please see here: or contact

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. We are also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
For more information, visit; Twitter @Rothamsted
1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
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About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.