Scholarship in Europe

BBSRC-funded PhD studentships, United Kingdom

A CTP is a Collaborative Training Partnership, an industry-led doctoral training programme which addresses the research needs of the industry and provides outstanding training experience for future industry and academic research and business leaders.

The vision of this CTP for Sustainable Agricultural Innovation is: “New thinkers for new times”- outstanding training to address the challenges of creating and delivering sustainable agricultural systems.

Our mission is to train scientists, with the required specialisms to deliver solutions that will allow the rapid transition of agricultural crop production systems and supply chains to be sustainable, resilient, biodiverse and, within the next thirty years, have net-zero emissions while still rising to the challenge of feeding a growing population.

This CTP offers 12 fully-funded 4-year PhD studentships to commence in October 2023.

Who are the partners?

The programme is supported by leading UK and international agri-food businesses, research organisations and charitable organisations representing the collective needs of farmers and practitioners.

The industry partners are: G’s Growers Ltd, Sainsbury’s, PepsiCo, Syngenta, Solynta, James Hutton Ltd, CUPGRA, PGRO, TMAF.

The academic partners are: NIAB, University of Cambridge, James Hutton Institute, University of Nottingham, University of Warwich, University of Dundee, University of Leicester, Harper Adams University, Cranfield University and Newcastle University.

Bespoke elements of the CTP-SAI:

  •     You will be enrolled at one of the partner universities (see above) depending on the PhD project you choose
  •     Your supervisory team will be bespoke to you project and consist of academic and industry researchers
  •     Over the course of the studentship, you will receive 12 days of Specialised Training in skills underpinning data science and machine learning, leadership and management, systems-level thinking
  •     You will complete a 3 month placement with the industry partner

What is funded

Each PhD studentship covers the cost of tuition as well as providing you with a maintenance allowance (‘stipend’). This studentship is for four years and is fully funded in line with UKRI-BBSRC standard rates. These are an annual maintenance stipend of £17,668, fee support of £4,596, a research training support grant of £5,000, and conference and UK fieldwork expenses of £300.


Students will have access to training opportunities through the hosting University to complement their scientific development. This will be augmented by training in key bioscience areas, such as statistics, through the CTP-SAI.

There will be additional skills training to enhance employability and research capability. All CTP-SAI students will receive Graduate Training in Leadership and Management from MDS ( Additionally, students will create their Personal Development Plan (PDP) to identify their development needs and areas of strength. Each student will receive individual coaching and mentoring pertinent to their career plans and skills development in addition to the scientific project supervision.

Industrial placement

Industrial placements are a key feature of CTP, and UKRI-BBSRC expects all doctoral candidates on a CTP programme to undertake a placement. Placements can be in the form of research placements (3-18 months duration) or used more flexibly for experiential learning of professional skills for business and/or entrepreneurship. All placements are developed in collaboration between the partners with input from the doctoral candidate.


Beginning in October 2023, the successful candidate should have (or expect to have) an Honours Degree (or equivalent) with a minimum of 2.1 in Plant Science, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Genomics, or other related science subjects. Students with a relevant Masters degree are particularly encouraged to apply.

We welcome UK, EU and international applicants. Candidates whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. Candidates should check the requirements for each host organization they are applying to, but IELTS 6.5 (with no component below 6.0) or equivalent is usually the minimum standard.

This studentship is for four years and is fully funded in line with UKRI-BBSRC standard rates. These are an annual maintenance stipend of £17,668, fee support of £4,596, a research training support grant of £5,000, and conference and UK fieldwork expenses of £300.

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 requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an international student and must demonstrate the ability to meet the supplement in fees required for an international student.


Find out more about available projects here:

Interested candidates should complete the online application form ( before the deadline of 13th January 2023.

Please contact for further application details.


CTP-SAI Projects for 2023  (297.85 KB)

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