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PhD Studentships - WGSSS Collaborative PhD Farmer groups and Woodlands

Vacancy Details

Closing Date: 04/26/2024
Date Posted: 04/04/2024
Reference: O267


Environmental Planning: Welsh Graduate School for the Social Sciences Collaborative PhD Studentship

Farmer groups and Tree Planting


The University of Gloucestershire, Countryside and Community Research Institute, supported by the Welsh Graduate School for the Social Sciences invites applications for funded PhD study. These particular studentships, known as ‘collaborative studentships’, involve liaison with a non-academic organisation, often at many key stages of the research programme. They will commence October 2024. The following collaborative studentship is available:


In the Environmental Planning Pathway: Do farmer groups encourage tree planting?  Exploration of changes in willingness and capacity for planting in England and Wales (in collaboration with Welsh Government, Natural England and Forestry Commission)

The Supervisory team consists of: Dr Jane Mills and Dr Aimee Morse (Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire), Brian McDonald (adviser, Natural England), and (an adviser from Welsh Government and the Forestry Commission)


The aim of the PhD is to understand whether membership of farmer environmental groups affects farmers’ willingness and capacity to plant trees on their land. England and Wales have ambitious policy targets to increase tree cover to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments. Natural England, Forestry Commission and Welsh Government are seeking new ways to encourage tree planting on farmland.


Farmer self-identity, cultural norms, and the social context in which farmers operate can influence tree planting. Currently, farmer groups like the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund in England engage farmers in environmental activities by facilitating social learning. Additionally, the Wales’s Sustainable Farming Scheme will introduce support for collaborative actions from 2025. Recent research indicates that such farmer groups foster both social and intellectual capital that support the delivery of environmental outcomes.  The research will seek to understand whether leveraging the collaborative nature of farmer groups could encourage commercial forestry, broadleaved woodlands and agroforestry on farmland, thereby contributing to planting targets.  


Please see attached document for further information and detailed information on how to apply.


How to Apply:


A completed application for the admission to doctoral study in the University of Gloucestershire: submitted to Daniel Keech by the deadline of midnight 26th April 2024. Incomplete applications or applications received after this specified time will not be accepted


The application must contain the following documents:


1.      Covering letter (two pages maximum): Please address to Dr. Jane Mills. See attached document for further information.


2.      Academic Curriculum Vitae (two pages maximum) - See attached document for further information.


3.      Research Proposal: See attached document for more information.


4.      Two references (academic or professional): See attached document for further information.


5.      Academic / Professional Qualifications: See attached document for further information.


Key dates

Closing date: Midnight 26th April 2024

Inteview dates: 2nd May 2024



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