PhD Studentship Co-learning and Co-innovation to achieve Impact in Research: Informing technology transfer in Scotland and New Zealand

SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, delivers comprehensive skills, education and business support for Scotland’s land-based industry founded on world class, sector leading research, education and consultancy. Our 1500 staff are located on 6 campuses and around 40 business units across Scotland and the North of England.

Innovation and knowledge exchange are receiving increased attention among policy makers as a means to develop an economy capable of mitigating climate change, whilst responding to the pressures arising from a growing demand for food, increasing energy-costs and resource scarcity (European Commission, 2011). Economic and environmental costs will grow as agricultural industries increasingly face complex problems involving multiple stakeholders with competing interests. However, a number of influential reports from national agencies have voiced concern over how technology can be transferred within the agricultural industries.

This PhD which is jointly funded by SRUC and AgResearch (New Zealand), proposes to demonstrate a systems approach to technology transfer within agrifood innovation systems (AIS). In this approach, participants in industries form innovation networks to ‘co-develop’ solutions to industry’s most pressing problems.  From this approach, wider social, economic, environmental and regulatory drivers that influence technology impact are considered in the design of technologies and, guide the uptake of these technologies to a target audience. 

The student will be registered for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and will be based within the research division at SRUC, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh.  Part of the field work will be undertaken in New Zealand, where the student will be based within the Land & Environment Group at AgResearch, Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton. Applicants should have a background in qualitative approaches to understanding different stakeholders’ perceptions and behavioural change.  A first degree in a social science discipline is essential, preferably with a component on innovation studies or agricultural management issues.  An MSc in an interdisciplinary subject related to environmental or agricultural sustainable management or rural innovation is desirable.

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The studentship offers a stipend of £13726 per annum and is funded to pay the University of Edinburgh tuition fees for UK/EU students. The expected start date is October 2013 and the studentship is 3.5 years in length.

Application packs are available from, via the ‘Apply’ button below. 
Tel 0131 535 4028 quoting reference SRUC/1027316/Barnes. To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Dr Andrew Barnes, SRUC, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh Tel: 0131 535 4025 

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 30th August 2013.

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