Navigating tensions in co-production across agrifood system stakeholders in the AgriFood4NetZero Network +


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the College of Health, Science and Society, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by UWE Bristol.

Ref 2223-JUN-CHSS01

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 June 2024
The closing date for applications is 13 April 2024.

Studentship details

The agri-food system produces around 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions and will need to play a significant role in the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050.

The AgriFood4NetZero Network+ is a new £5 million investment by UKRI to bring together new and existing partnerships across the sector to co-produce a pathway to net zero, whilst benefitting livelihoods, biodiversity and ecosystems. This is not without challenge. The agrifood system comprises a large network of interested parties and is shaped by a range of evolving social and economic drivers and characterised by unequal distribution of power across actors. Achieving net zero will require negotiation and the creation of strong relationships between all affected groups in the agri-food sector.

To create a network capable of delivering on net zero, a variety of communication and engagement methods will be used to co-produce with stakeholders from across the agrifood system.

This PhD studentship will evaluate the process of co-production and engagement with and between different communities in the agrifood system. The PhD studentship will address the challenge of how to engage and co-produce effectively, considering different drivers, objectives and power imbalances. Specific research questions and research design will be developed by the PhD student. The student will work alongside the Network + Executive team, co-Is and Champions to carry out PhD research objectives. The student should have a good understanding of the challenges of meeting net zero targets across the agrifood system and/ or experience of evaluating communication and engagement strategies. Relevant skills in qualitative data collection and analysis, coproduction, place-based methods will benefit the candidate; willingness to learn these skills is required.

Find more information about the AgriFood4NetZero Network+.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Angelina Sanderson Bellamy at


The studentship is available from 1 April 2024 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax-exempt stipend, which is currently £18,622 (2023/24 year) per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants must have an MSc in a relevant field and should have a demonstrated interest in the topic and some prior research experience using qualitative methods.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-JUN-CHSS01.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your cover letter, explaining how you are qualified for the role and with some ideas of how you would propose to address the research challenge, all your degree certificates and transcripts and a recognised English language qualification is required.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is 13 April 2024.

Further information

Interviews will likely take place the week of 18 May 2024. If you have not heard from us by then, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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