Job offer in england Exploring Farmers’ Attitudes to On-Farm Control Measures” at University of Exeter

University of Exeter

A major new research programme, commissioned by the Environment Agency and led by Professor Adrian Collins at Rothamsted Research, is exploring the landscape scale impacts of on-farm measures for controlling diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) funded and delivered by the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) initiative.

In tandem with work on assessing baseline and post-mitigation pollution sources in ten experimental landscapes covering different farming systems in England, a research studentship will explore farm business structures and management decisions and their evolution in response to the CSF programme. There are data from previous research projects on general farmer attitudes to the uptake of on-farm control measures for DWPA. We have a good idea of what measures appeal to famers and those that do not. In the main, and not surprisingly, the more attractive measures are those that fit better with existing farming systems and have cost benefits to farmers (either through lower input costs or grant aid).

The research in this PhD will explore in greater detail attitudes to a range of on-farm measures including those that are less popular with farmers. What informs the attitudes of farmers to these measures and what might allow or encourage attitudinal shift? This requires more in-depth research with farmers than standard interview surveys. So it is anticipated that the student will spend time on farms in observation and conservation (an ethnographic approach) and/or conduct farmer focus groups with the study areas.

The studentship, open to Home/EU applicants only, includes the Home/EU fee rate (currently £4,400 per annum) and a maintenance stipend at UK research council rates (currently £14,553 per annum).

Full details of the studentships, including how to apply, can be found via the ‘apply’ button below.

Further details about these studentships are available from Emma Tranter (email: or phone: +44(0)1392 722438).

Deadline for applications is 18th April 2017.

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South West England