Budding crop researchers will benefit from a new industry-led partnership through this six-year training programme based at NIAB EMR. The programme will run from Oct 2017-Sept 2023 and will address key industry challenges through the provision of 16 four-year studentships in core research areas such as plant breeding, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, plant physiology and crop agronomy. Students in the programme will be provided with exciting opportunities to develop and integrate their research into leading agri-businesses, to deliver science into practice.

The Ph.D Programme will produce a research portfolio designed to provide world-class training and will address the strategic needs of the UK fruit industry. The industry partners forming the consortium span the supply chain, from primary production and marketing (Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, Worldwide Fruit Ltd, M&W Mack Ltd, Univeg UK Ltd, the National Association of Cider Makers) to retail (Marks & Spencer plc), with an over-arching knowledge exchange capability provided by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

NIAB EMR, the internationally recognised perennial crop research institute, will partner with three world-class universities (Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and Reading) to provide research expertise and facilities to deliver a unique training environment for this exclusive cohort of students.

Mr Richard Harnden, (BGG), strategic lead for the CTP programme for Fruit Crop Research said: “This pioneering partnership between businesses, research providers and the AHDB will provide a world-class horticultural and bioscience UK research training programme to address the scientific challenges faced by agri-businesses, from crop production, food quality and supply, through to consumer preference and reducing waste in the supply chain.”

Dr Nicola Harrison (NIAB EMR), the CTP science co-ordinator said: “The vision of the CTP Programme for Fruit Crop Research is to produce an innovative and exceptional postgraduate research training programme that will engage and train the next generation of scientists to deliver strategic research to help secure the future of UK horticulture. The programme engages academics across three exceptional universities, Cambridge, Nottingham and Reading, as well as researchers at NIAB EMR to ensure translation of cutting-edge research into the wider industry.”