STUDENTSHIP

POSITIVE PLASTICS: BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC MULCH FILMS FOR ENHANCED CROP PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

PROJECT SUMMARY

AREA OF SCIENCE:

Biological chemistry

DURATION:

4 Years

CLOSING DATE/TIME:

Monday, December 7, 2020 - 00:00

DEPARTMENT:

Biointeractions and Crop Protection

HOST UNIVERSITY:

University of Bristol

STUDENTSHIP DETAIL

Biodegradable plastic mulch film is used to accelerate and protect emergent high value and long season crops in-field to improve product yield and quality. However, scarce consideration is currently given to the chemical properties of the plastic beyond its broad biodegradability properties. This project will explore a unique opportunity to exploit the potential to deliver additional benefits to the crop and environment through the manipulation of the chemical formulation of biodegradable plastic films for the enhancement of soil quality and crop nutrition, which are two of the greatest challenges facing modern day agriculture.   

Through working with a combination of research expertise at Rothamsted Research and Bristol University, training in advanced laboratory techniques, controlled environment studies and field trials will be provided, meaning the student will acquire a wide range of skills and technical expertise in soil science, but also within other areas of scientific research or  non-academic career paths. This project will aim to reduce the impact of plastics in the environment and develop more sustainable farming practices. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

We want to support diverse and inclusive work environments. We therefore welcome applications from individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, or disability status. We welcome applications from individuals who have previously studied at any recognised Higher Education Institute and from a range of career paths (please refer to the SWBio DTP academic criteria for eligibility), including individuals who have previously trained in the sciences and are wanting to return to scientific research.

We particularly encourage applications from BAME* and mature (this is classed as 30+ years) individuals as these backgrounds are currently underrepresented within our student cohort. *Black, Asian and minority ethnic.

ACADEMIC CRITERIA

Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a Master’s degree or have significant relevant non-academic experience.

In addition, due to the strong mathematical component of the taught course in the first year and the quantitative emphasis in our projects, a minimum of a grade B in A-level Maths or an equivalent qualification or experience is required.

Equivalent qualifications/experience

Physics A-level (grade B and above)

Undertaking units as part of your degree that have a significant mathematical component*

*Significant mathematical component examples include; maths, statistics, bioinformatics.

Applicants must ensure they highlight their Maths background within their application and to upload any supporting evidence.

RESIDENCE CRITERIA

UKRI have recently updated their policy for funded studentships which starts from the 2021/2022 academic year.

IMPORTANT: Please refer to the UKRI Full Eligibility Criteria alongside the information provided below.

Home students

Fully-funded studentships are available for Home students.  To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or

Have settled status, or

Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirement) or,

Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

International students

If you do not meet the above criteria, you will be classed as an International student.

A very limited number of funded studentships are available for International applicants, and these may only be available through some of our partners.  Further details about how to apply to the SWBio DTP will be provided here in due course.

Therefore, we are currently unable to accept applications from applicants who would be classed as an International student, unless the studentship can be externally funded (including self-funded) to the DTP.  However, in the meantime, we do welcome you to approach supervisors of projects you may be interested in.

To be eligible for a fully-funded studentship, you must meet the below academic and residence criteria.

A fully-funded four year SWBio DTP studentship will cover:

- a stipend* (at the standard UKRI rate; £15,009 per annum for 2019-2020)

- research and training costs

- tuition fees (at the standard UKRI rate)

- additional funds to support fieldwork, conferences and a 3-month internship

To apply for this project, please complete our Rothamsted PhD Application Form which can be found in the downloads section of this advert.

All applications should include a fully completed application form, CV, a transcript of module marks and two references.

The reference form which will need to be completed by your referees can be found on the downloads section of this project. These references should be sent directly from the referees to Donna Fellowes; rres.graduate-studies@rothamsted.ac.uk by the deadline: Midnight, 7th December 2020.  

PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU CONTACT YOUR REFEREES AND LET THEM KNOW THAT WE NEED THEIR REFERENCES BY THE DEADLINE DATE.