Studentship vacancy

The CCRI/University of Gloucestershire is currently inviting applications for a three year jointly-funded Natural England and University of Gloucestershire research studentship. The title of the research studentship is ‘Exploring the influence of agri-environment schemes on farmers’ longer-term environmental behaviour’. 

Agri-environment schemes (AES) are a compensation mechanism used in Europe to deliver biodiversity benefits on agricultural land whereby farmers are paid for undertaking specified environmental actions. These economic incentives are an important factor to increase farmers’ explicit participation in environmental management. However, the positive impact of payments and schemes on farmer behaviour in the long-term is unknown.

The PhD aims to develop and undertake an appropriate methodology to explore the impact of AES on farmers’ longer-term environmental behaviour and more specifically to assess the impact of ELS withdrawal on individual farmer attitude and behaviour with respect to environmental management.  It is anticipated that the research will adopt an interdisciplinary approach (i.e. quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis) and interviews will form a core part of the project.  Applicants must have experience of social science methods and preferably a good understanding of the UK farming community. The research findings will identify factors that influence long-term behavioural change and will help Natural England to improve support mechanisms and advisory approaches to achieve better environmental management.

The research studentship will be based at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls Campus, although the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with Natural England as the research progresses. The studentship will be supervised by Jane Mills of the CCRI and Stephen Chaplin of Natural England will act as an Advisor.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Tuesday 1st March 2016

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