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Funded studentship: From research to behaviour change: contrasting models of farmer engagement in Agricultural Research

We are currently advertising an ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC) Studentship entitled From research to behaviour change: contrasting models of farmer engagement in Agricultural Research.  Ref: 1665

Project description:

Ensuring that the findings of agricultural research are developed and applied in the farming industry is a challenge that continues to confront the science policy community, and most new research initiatives make some effort to address the issue. For example, the BBSRC funded North Wyke Farm Platform, with its in situ state-of-the-art instrumentation in hydrologically isolated fields and farmlets, seeks to address key issues in sustainable agriculture and to engage and involve farmers in that research.  The proposed studentship would examine the actual and potential Knowledge Exchange (KE) activities associated with the Farm Platform through the application of research methods on social learning and behaviour change drawn from Sociology and/or Science Studies. It is expected that the student will undertake an initial analysis of the comparative strengths of contrasting approaches to research and demonstration in the context of food security and climate change, exploring different 'models' currently used in the UK/Europe, Australia, the USA and China. These include direct research-to-farmer Knowledge Transfer (KT) approaches, farmer-to-researcher-to-farmer participative KE approaches, and Agricultural Knowledge System approaches which seek to combine KT and KE. Drawing on perhaps three case studies for in-depth investigation, the PhD student would develop ideas to test with farmers associated with the Farm Platform in order to come up with firm evidence–based proposals for an on-going programme of farmer engagement at North Wyke that would contribute to social learning, behaviour change and sustainable agriculture.
Collaborative partner: Rothamsted Research UK.

For details including how to apply please visit the website at: 

Closing date for applications: 12 February 2015

16 December 2014

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