The agri-science sector is striving to develop novel agronomic systems, tools and technologies that can combat pests and disease, help crops to respond to climate change and increase agricultural productivity. Physical sciences innovation will have a major role to play in the development of novel molecular tools and technologies that could impact upon the agri-sciences. This will depend upon the collaborative efforts of chemists, agrichemists, physicists, biological scientists, mathematicians and engineers; however this is often hampered due to differences in ‘language’, perspective and methodology that exist between these disciplines.
The NexGenAgriChem training programme aims to address this academic and industrial need, by equipping the 13 young physical scientists with the skills required to enable them to bridge these disparate fields and gain the confidence to grapple with research that lies at this physical science / agri-science boundary in a multidisciplinary environment.
The training programme aims to empower students by providing them with:
- A bespoke transferable skills programme focusing on multi-disciplinary tool and technology development, entrepreneurship, commercialisation and stakeholder engagement.
- A foundation of agri-sciences knowledge and understanding as well as an awareness of academic and industrial agrochemical innovation pipelines.
- An opportunity to build upon their physical science undergraduate background (e.g. Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics) to develop a toolkit that can be applied to the agri-sciences.
- A network of associated partners that offers training to enable the ESRs to experience the industrial agrochemical pipeline as well as the opportunity to see how their skills can be applied outside traditional research career paths.
- A training environment that is uniquely fine-tuned to generate independent, proactive and visionary scientists who are familiar with industry as well as academic research practices
- The combination of this bespoke training programme will enable some of the best young scientists from Europe and overseas to be trained within an internationally renowned multidisciplinary environment, in partnership with industry, so that they are able to address some of the key challenges of agri-chemical research.
PhD research is therefore complemented by:
- A comprehensive suite of lecture courses.
- Networking opportunities (e.g. International Conference Attendance and Summer School, Industry Visit to Syngenta and Bayer CropScience).
- Transferable skills courses such as Technical Writing, Research Ethics & Bioethics Course or Science Communication Course.
- Professional intership placements (e.g. patent law firms, consulting corporations).