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ESRC White Rose DTP Studentship - Socio-ecological research to understand the potential impacts of alternative protein sources in the UK and Europe


Key facts

Friday 3 May 2024
Funding start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Number of funding places
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
Research council
Key staff
Professor Nik Lomax and Dr David Williams
School of Earth and Environment
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The Economic and Social Research Council is the UK&#039;s largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues.<br /> The University of Leeds is part of the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership forming a collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Hull and Manchester Metropolitan. <br /> This studentship is available to home fee-rated applicants in seven named Thematic Interdisciplinary Training Pathways and can be held full-time or part-time for the following award types:<br /> +3.5 Studentships: funding for a 3.5-year PhD (for students with a social science Masters degree and with 60 or more credits of M-level social science research methods training)<br /> +3.75 Studentships: funding for an integrated PGCert/PhD (for students who already have a social sciences Masters degree but have fewer than 60 credits of M-level social science research training)<br /> 1+3.5 Studentships: funding for a 1 year Masters programme, followed by the 3.5 year PhD (for students without a social science Masters degree, the Masters programme will deliver the core social sciences research methods training requirements).<br />

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible"Full description</h2>

<p>One ESRC White Rose DTP Collaborative Studentship is available in the&nbsp;<strong>School of Earth and Environment</strong>, with the project title&nbsp;<strong>&rsquo;Socio-ecological research to understand the potential impacts of alternative protein sources in the UK and Europe&rsquo;.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Closing Date for Applications:&nbsp; Extended to 17:00 (UK Time) 3 May 2024</strong></p> <p><strong>Overview</strong></p> <p>We are looking for an academically excellent, impact-focused candidate for an interdisciplinary PhD project working at the science policy interface.&nbsp; This fully funded project is a collaboration between the University of Leeds (Dr David Williams and Professor Nik Lomax) the the <a href="">Good Food Institute (GFI) Europe </a>&ndash;&nbsp;an international non-profit advancing the development of alternative proteins to address systemic climate and societal challenges.</p> <p>Reducing the consumption of animal products in wealthy countries and avoiding shifts to high-meat diets as economies develop is essential for mitigating major environmental and societal risks.&nbsp; However, attempts to reduce consumption face resistance due to social, cultural, economic and political ties to animal products and production systems.</p> <p>Alternative proteins (APs) &ndash;&nbsp;defined as plant-based, cultivated and fermentation-made meat, eggs, dairy and seafood &ndash;&nbsp;offer a possible solution.&nbsp; They have lower environmental impacts, offer public health benefits, and could be a highly scalable solution that offers consumers continued access to familiar tastes and dishes.</p> <p>However, the growth of APs has not been universally welcomed, being described as a technlogical solution that fails to address the complex social, economic and cultural factors associated with food production and consumption.&nbsp; Further, the social, cultural, economic and ecological transformations that could result from a widescale shift to APs are understudied.</p> <p>This project will address the overarching question:&nbsp; <em>&lsquo;How will alternative proteins affect people and the environment in the UK and Europe over the coming decades?&rsquo;&nbsp;</em>Underpinning this are three questions:</p> <ul> <li>How are different APs likely to be accepted in different European contexts?</li> <li>How could European demand for different proteins change up to 2050?</li> <li>What would the social, economic, and environmental impacts of meeting this demand be?</li> </ul> <p>Supported through the collaboration with GFI Europe, this project will place a strong emphasis on tangible, easily communicable findings which can transform policy and industry development.&nbsp; The successful applicant will undertake a three-month virtual &lsquo;Research in Practice&rsquo; placement with GFI Europe.</p> <p><strong>Skills and Training Opportunities</strong></p> <p>During this project, you will have the opportunity to:</p> <ol> <li>Develop interdisciplinary and mixed methods analysis skills.&nbsp; You will have the opportunity to combine macro- and micro-economic models with projections of land-use change and detailed qualitative analyses.</li> <li>Work at the cutting edge of a rapidly developing field.</li> <li>Work across academic and third-sector organisations at the science-policy interface.</li> <li>Communicate with a range of academic and non-academic audiences.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Essential Criteria</strong></p> <ol> <li>&nbsp;Interest in and passion for sustainable food systems.</li> <li>Excellent undergraduate degree in a relevant subject.</li> <li>Demonstrated quantitative skills.</li> <li>Excellent communication skills for both verbal and written communication.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Desirable Criteria</strong></p> <ol> <li>Familiarity with R or Python (or a similar programme/language).</li> <li>Experience with large dataset manipulation (preferably social, economic, and environmental).</li> <li>Qualitative analysis experience.</li> <li>Postgraduate degree or equivalent experience.</li> <li>Subject expertise, such as food systems and land use.</li> <li>Experience working with non-academic partners.</li> <li>Understanding of alternative proteins.</li> </ol> <p>The primary pathway relevant to this project is:&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>Space, Place, Environment and Liveability (SPEL).</strong></p> <p><strong>Duration of the Award:</strong></p> <p>1+3.5 Studentships:&nbsp;&nbsp;Full-time (4.5 years) or part-time (7 years 10 months);<br /> +3.5 Studentships:&nbsp;&nbsp;Full-time (3.5 years) or part-time (5 years 10 months);<br /> +3.75 Studentships:&nbsp;&nbsp;Full-time (3 years 9 months) or part-time (6 years 3 months).<br /> Full-time awards will be made for one year in the first instance and will be renewed each year, subject to satisfactory academic progress.&nbsp;&nbsp;Part-time awards will be made for 24 months (two calendar year) in the first instance and will be renewed each year, subject to satisfactory academic progress.</p> <p><strong>Funding</strong></p> <ul> <li>The award will cover fees at standard Research Council rates;</li> <li>A maintenance grant (&pound;19,237&nbsp;in Session 2024/25&nbsp;for full-time study, pro-rata for part-time study).&nbsp; This amount increases per annum in line with the Research Council UK rate announced on the&nbsp;<a href="">UKRI</a>&nbsp;website</li> <li>Research Training Support Grant, which covers travel and research costs during the PhD part of the award &ndash;&nbsp;variable amount depending on the scheme, plus other allowances where applicable.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Other Conditions</strong></p> <ul> <li>Applicants applying on both a 1+3.5, +3.5 and +3.75 basis MUST in the first instance apply for a place on a research postgraduate programme and be in receipt of a Student ID Number to be eligible for an ESRC White Rose DTP Studentship.&nbsp; Applications without a valid ID Number will be rejected;</li> <li>+3.5 and +3.75 awards must be taken up on 1 October 2024;&nbsp; 1+3.5 awards must be taken up in September 2024;</li> <li>Applicants must live within a reasonable distance of the University of Leeds whilst in receipt of this Studentship;</li> <li>All WRDTP programmes include an integral 3-month &lsquo;Research in Practice&rsquo; placement as standard;</li> <li>Applicants should read the<a href=""> ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide</a> and be willing to abide by the conditions and regulations therein.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Selection Process</strong></p> <p>After a School selection process, applicants will be informed as to whether they are being nominated for an ESRC WRDTP Studentship.&nbsp; The White Rose Academic Quality Committee will review the nominations and decide on the final list of awards.&nbsp; The University will use the data provided in the application form for internal selection and statistical purposes and publish the names of the successful applicants within the University.&nbsp; The final outcome is expected towards the end of April 2024.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p><strong>Stage 1</strong></p> <ul> <li>First of all <a href="">apply for a research programme of study </a>by completing the application form.&nbsp; You should clearly state that you are wishing to apply for the ESRC WRDTP Collaborative Studentship and give the project title &ndash;&nbsp;&nbsp; &lsquo;Socio-ecological research to understand the potential impacts of alternative protein sources in the UK and Europe&rsquo;.</li> </ul> <p>In order to be considered for the studentship, you must submit all the required supporting documents for your application of study (listed on the website for the School/Faculty) in which you are applying to study.</p> <p><strong>Stage 2</strong></p> <ul> <li>Once you are in receipt of your 9-digit Student Application ID, complete the online <a href="">ESRC studentship application form</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Before completing the studentship application form, you are strongly advised to read the Guidance for Applicants and Assessment Criteria, which provide further information about how to complete the form and how your application will be assessed.</p> <p>After receipt of your Studentship application, the relevant Admissions Team will provide further advice on your suitability for either a 1+3.5, +3.5 or a 3.75 studentship and advise whether you should undertake the MA Social Research (Interdisciplinary) programme.</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p>Please note that, due to the large volume of applications, the Postgraduate Scholarships Office will not enter into any correspondence regarding the progress of an application until the outcome is known.</p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants must meet the entry requirements of their nomination School. The ESRC also stipulates that for all studentships, students must have qualifications of the standard of a good honours degree at first- or upper second-class level, from a UK academic higher education institution, or through a combination of qualifications and/or experience, be able to demonstrate equivalence. In the majority of cases, students will have undertaken an undergraduate course at a recognised UK higher education institution or equivalent international qualification. Prior qualifications may be enhanced to meet these requirements by the acquisition of at least one satisfactorily completed academic year of full-time study or its part-time equivalent towards a UK higher degree, if applying for an award without an undergraduate degree. Applicants must satisfy the nominating School's entry requirements AND the ESRC's minimum threshold.<br /> See detailed information above regarding essential and desirable criteria.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The University of Leeds minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about the application process, please contact the <a href="">Faculty of Environment Admissions Team</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information about the project, please contact <a href="">David Williams.</a></p>