PhD Studentship- Identifying Ways of Reducing the Carbon Footprint of African Cattle through Improved Productivity

SRUC/ILRI PhD Studentship:

Identifying ways of reducing the carbon footprint of African cattle through improved productivity

SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and ILRI (The International Livestock Research Institute, are seeking candidates for a PhD that will identify ways of reducing the carbon footprint of African cattle through improved productivity.

The livestock sector is one of the fastest growing subsectors of the agricultural economy and, while it makes a major contribution to global food supply, it also contributes to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Improving livestock productivity has been suggested as a cost-effective way of reducing GHG emissions. However the achievable levels of improvement in livestock productivity and associated reduction in GHG emission intensity has not been well quantified for smallholder systems. This studentship will contribute to the development of GHG mitigation strategies by:

  • Adapting an existing livestock life-cycle analysis model for use in African cattle systems.
  • Quantifying the mitigation potential of  livestock productivity interventions in  smallholder livestock production systems in East and West Africa
  • Contributing to the development and promotion of a decision support tool for use by stakeholders to identify nationally (or locally) appropriate GHG mitigation actions.

The student will be registered for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and will be based at SRUC, Edinburgh. Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of an upper second class honours degree in agricultural or environmental science or a related discipline. A relevant MSc is desirable. Applicants should ideally have the ability to use GIS, excel or similar packages for quantitative analysis and have experience of agricultural or environmental modelling or related approaches.

The studentship offers a stipend of £13,726 per annum and is funded to pay  the University of Edinburgh tuition fees for UK/EU students only. Non UK/EU applicants must provide evidence of having secured sufficient additional  funds to cover the higher  international student tuition fee level (approximately an additional £12,000 per year). The studentship includes funding for undertaking fieldwork in Kenya and/or Senegal. The expected start date is February 2014 with a duration of 3 years.

Online applications for this post can be submitted via our website Alternatively application packs can be requested from      Tel 0131 535 4028 quoting reference: SRUC/1028770/Macleod. Please note that CV’s will not be accepted without a completed application form. Applicants should also submit copies of their degree/MSc certificates and transcripts if available. Submission of an up-to-date IELTS/TOEFL certificate for applicants who do not have English as their first language is advisable.

To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Dr Michael MacLeod, Land Economy and Environment Group Tel: 0776 147 8865 e-mail:

The closing date for the return of applications is 12 noon on 17th January 2014

For more information and to submit an application, please use the ‘Apply’ button below.

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