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Alternative protein sources towards net zero carbon egg production (PhD Project) Funded

Agriculture & Environment

Location:  Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB
Salary:  As per advert
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed Term - 36 Months
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Friday 29 July 2022
Reference:  RD-PHD-58-VP-R2

Alternative protein sources towards net zero carbon egg production (PhD project)


Primary supervisor: Professor Vasil Pirgozliev, vpirgozliev@harper-adams.ac.uk, Department of Agriculture and Environment

Non-academic partner: John Oldacre Foundation

Project Title: Alternative protein sources towards net zero carbon egg production

Project description:

Please note this project is only open to applicants who qualify for Home student fees.


Every year in the UK, we consume over 13 billion eggs. About 90% of these come from the 41.5 million egg-laying hens farmed in the UK each year. Soya bean meal is usually the main protein source in animal/ poultry diets. Laying hens diet typically contain about 20% soya bean meal. As demand for soya soars, huge areas of natural land in South America, i.e. near Amazon river, are converted into soy plantations, causing wide-scale deforestation and other devastating knock-on effects – from biodiversity loss and rising carbon emissions to soil erosion and water contamination. There is a movement within the poultry industry to reduce its reliance on soya meal as a protein source, and replace it with more sustainable alternatives. The aim of this PhD is to evaluate the impact of diets based on alternatives to soya bean meal protein sources on the health, welfare and egg production variables of laying hens. The project will involve a series of in vivo poultry experiments and supporting downstream analysis including laboratory based and statistical data analysis.

The National Institute of Poultry Husbandry at Harper Adams University is a purpose-built research facility designed to conduct high impact research investigating solutions towards improving poultry production, nutrition, health and welfare; whilst safeguarding animal, human and environmental health. 

The student is expected to have a good knowledge on farm animal science and animal physiology, biology and biochemistry. The student needs to have good practical abilities with handling and managing poultry. 

The stipend for this studentship is £16,062 per annum based on the standard UKRI 2022/23 rate. The expected start date for the studentship is September 2022. The student will be registered for a PhD at Harper Adams University and based at Harper Adams University, Edgmond, Shropshire, UK.  

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Harper Adams University is one of the premier UK Higher Education institutions focused on the land-based and food supply chain sector. With around 2,800 undergraduate students, plus those completing postgraduate, research and CPD programmes, Harper Adams University is the UK's largest single provider of higher education for these subjects.  Programmes fall into eleven broad subject areas – but none operate in isolation. Community and collaboration are key at Harper Adams, meaning everyone, including staff, students and industry partners, benefits from a close network of knowledge and opportunity exchange. Situated in Shropshire, the campus and the surrounding area provide an excellent working and living environment for staff and students alike.

Harper Adams is consistently positioned highly in a range of national ratings, performance measures and league tables. The University has been the highest performing modern university in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for the last four years, climbing to 17th place in the overall league table. In the 2020 guide Harper Adams was named Modern University of the Year and runner-up University of the Year. In the 2019 Whatuni? Student Choice Awards, based on student reviews, Harper Adams won the Student Support category for the fifth time – the only university to have taken the title since the awards began - and won the category for best job prospects for a fourth year running. In the 2020 QS World Rankings for Agriculture and Forestry published in March 2020, Harper Adams was ranked first in the UK for academic reputation and second in the world for its reputation with employers.


Applied research is at the heart of the university’s activity, with the work of a thriving academic community underpinning both teaching and work with the industries allied to Harper. The 2014 Government Research Excellence Framework rated all of the university’s research as “of international quality”, and more than half was deemed “world leading” or “internationally excellent”.
 


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