Collaborative PhD Studentship ‘Sources of innovation in the fresh produce industry’

Project Overview:

It is acknowledged that the UK has strengths in the elements vital to support the growth of the fresh produce sector, including institutes and university departments at the forefront of areas of research vital to agriculture and related technologies, and innovative and dynamic farmers, food manufacturers and retailers. Despite this, UK agriculture’s productivity growth has declined relative to our major competitors. This has been linked to a decline in the uptake of new technologies.  There are a number of factors which have been associated with hindering the UK in developing and using innovation and new technologies, including the regulatory regime and skills gaps. There has been a growing perception that many of resources being put into biological and agricultural research, particularly fundamental science, are not resulting in commensurate gains in new products and technologies. The issue is not peculiar to the agriculture and food industries and has been raised in the context of medical research.  The term ‘translational research’ has been used increasingly and this describes the process by which early-stage innovations are advanced to the point where they become attractive for further development by the industry.  The aim of this PhD project is to address the following question:  How can the translation and exploitation of research for the fresh produce sector be improved?  The student will use the global literature on translational research relating to agriculture, medicine and other industries, contrasting commercial versus public sector approaches and undertake original research, developed around case studies. 

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The project will be a collaboration between AHDB (Potato Council and HDC), and University of Warwick and the student will be based at the University of Warwick and will work closely with Potato Council and HDC, who are based nearby at Stoneleigh Park.  The student will have two academic supervisors (one science and one social science/business).

Awards available:  1 award available.

Funding Details:  Fees and maintenance at RCUK Level

Length of Award:  3 years (PhD)

Eligibility: Due to funding restrictions funding is available to cover Home/EU fees. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply but will need to cover the difference between Home/EU and overseas fees if successful.

Application Details:

Any enquiries relating to the application process should be directed to Rosemary Collier at

For further information, please visit:

Deadline:  15 October 2013

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