PhDs at NIAB

NIAB hosts PhD students interested in undertaking applied and fundamental research in crop agronomy and production, crop genetics and pathology. NIAB also partners with European and overseas universities, hosting international students.

CTP for Sustainable Agricultural Innovation

The CTP - SAI is a groundbreaking partnership between leading businesses, charities and research providers to offer outstanding PhD training for the agri-food sector

CTP for Fruit Crop Research

This pioneering partnership between businesses, research providers and the AHDB will provide a world-class horticultural and bioscience UK research training programme. The programme will address the scientific challenges faced by agri-businesses, from crop production, food quality and supply, through to consumer preference and consumer waste.

BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme

NIAB is a partner in the BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme lead by Cambridge University and PhD students enrolled in this programme are registered for their PhD at Cambridge University.


NIAB is a partner in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics: AgriFoRwArdS, a collaboration between University of Lincoln, University of Cambridge and University of East Anglia. Find out more about conducting part of your PhD research on robotics at NIAB or download the leaflet.

NIAB also supports the EPSRC CDT in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future at the University of Cambridge. Find out more about conducting part of a PhD research project at NIAB on novel sensor applications in agriculture.

UK Food Systems Centre for Doctoral Training Programme

NIAB is a member of the UK Food Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (UKFS-CDT) programme. This will train over 65 doctoral students from 2021-2027. The UKFS-CDT will create cohorts of future food systems leaders and innovators who can lead the UK towards a resilient, healthy and inclusive food future. It is an innovative way of conducting your PhD centred on co-creation and exposure to a varied range of actors operating in the UK food systems.

Applications for Cohort 2 are now open, closing on 22nd February 2022.

Morley Studentships

The Morley Agricultural Foundation (TMAF) is a charity that supports farming in the East of England by funding agricultural research, student studies, educational programmes for schools and the professional development of farmers and others. Its annually awarded Morley PhD Studentships are highly competitive and come with a stipend and a project budget.

The following projects are fully funded by TMAF through its annually awarded Morley PhD Studentship and are partnerships between the University of Cambridge, NIAB, and TMAF:

Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Cereal Crops for Sustainable Food Production

  • This project aims to develop cereal crops that use less nitrogen fertiliser by characterising the roles of brassinosteroid phytohormones in direct and symbiotic nutrient uptake pathway

Increasing Climate Resilience and Yield Stability in Wheat Through Genetic Improvement of Root Systems

  • This PhD project will build the analytical tools required for practical yield stability comparisons, and test the idea that optimising root development and function, particularly when soil moisture and nutrients are limiting, will help stabilise yields in the face of climate change and meet the challenges of low input, regenerative agriculture.

The Soil Microbiome in Legume Rotations

  • The project is focused towards enhancing fundamental understanding of the legume crop-microbiome interactions and elucidating which microorganisms and associated factors can positive or negatively influence crop productivity.

South Coast Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SoCoBio DTP)

The SoCoBio DTP is a collaboration between four south coast universities - The University of Southampton, The University of Kent, The University of Sussex, The University of Portsmouth - and NIAB.

The SoCoBio’s cross-institutional approach draws on the research strengths of our partners to deliver a unique, high-quality interdisciplinary and industry-facing training experience. Moreover, each year, it offers undergraduates from across the UK the opportunity to undertake a summer research studentship at one of our partners.