Achieving food security across society while improving the sustainability of food production is a challenge faced by agriculture and the wider food system. For cattle producers the goal is, arguably, to deliver on wide ranging environmental and social objectives such as climate change mitigation and animal welfare whilst remaining profitable. To be viable and sustainable, future livestock production must adapt to changes in environmental factors, markets and policy. Genetics and producer breeding decisions can play an important role in reconciling competing objectives.
The overall aim of this project is to investigate dairy and beef farmers’ past and intended future cattle breeding decisions. The successful candidate will use a suite of social science methods, develop valuable research and analytical skills in qualitative and quantitative method, econometrics and use of big data sets. The project will allow the successful candidate to work in an interdisciplinary environment, conducting research of interest to policy makers and the farming industry. The project would suit a graduate in social sciences, economics, agricultural or environmental/ecological/biological sciences.
This is a full-time PhD scholarship with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the University of Edinburgh, commencing October 2019. The PhD studentship is funded by the ESRC through the Scottish Graduate School of the Social Sciences (SGSSS). Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria (see further particulars). The scholarship is available to support either a 3-year research degree, or a 4-year programme incorporating a Masters course followed by 3-year research degree, which makes this PhD programme suitable for candidates who have no or limited social science skills.