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Applications for 2024-25 are now closed. 

Applications are invited for fully-funded four-year PhD studentships to join the SUSTAIN doctoral training program conducting research in the application of Artificial Intelligence to sustainable agri-food.


Click here to be kept informed of 2025 application dates.

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Be part of the future
of food production

Programme Structure

​Students will study a 4-year PhD at their chosen host institution (the University of Lincoln, University of Aberdeen, Queen’s University Belfast or the University of Strathclyde), investigating a research area that links both an identified industry need and individual academic interests, helping to develop a new generation of AI systems across the food supply chain. ​

Associated Training

A cohort-based, integrated research training programme will take place throughout the 4-year PhD, to include tailored training pathways in Computation and Data, Animal Science, Agronomy, sustainable land management, and Responsible Innovation. SUSTAIN will deliver training in several formats, designed to meet the research development needs and learning styles of individual students. Students will also benefit from participation in the CDT’s annual summer schools and conferences. 

How to Apply

Available studentships are on our Studentships Page. Check Eligibility requirements below.

Please download and submit your application form
via email to, along with the following additional support documents:

  • Official transcript(s) of your latest degree

  • Official transcripts(s) of any previous degree(s)

  • Current CV

  • Language certification (if applicable)

  • Personal statement(s)​

Please ensure that you do not include any identifying data (such as name, gender, age etc) within your personal statement.​


For further enquiries contact the SUSTAIN Team.


Studying with us

Bringing together the expertise and resources of our four academic institutions, SUSTAIN spans the landscape of UK agriculture, critical AI research areas, and the national geography of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It provides training in technical and social science aspects of AI, alongside training in plant, animal and/or biosciences, tailored to individual students’ needs and interests.  


 Our fully-funded studentship package includes: 

  • All PhD tuition fees paid 

  • A tax-free stipend at UKRI rates to cover living costs 

  • A Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £3,000 each year to support travel, training and consumables costs (up to £12,000 in total) 

  • Additional funding to support outreach and dissemination, attendance at summer schools, research events, and development projects.

The SUSTAIN CDT is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Fees Paid

All PhD tuition fees paid

Research Grant

For travel and training

Tax-Free Stipend

To cover living costs

Additional Funding

For outreach and events

Hydroponic Lettuce

This is your chance to make a real difference by helping to address the challenges facing the global agri-food industry - through application and/or consideration of AI: climate change, population growth, political pressures affecting migration, and the demographics of an ageing population. 

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If you are a dynamic, focussed graduate who either holds or is predicted a minimum upper second-class honours degree - apply to be part of the AI-enhanced food production revolution.

Student Eligibility

Both home and International students must be resident in the UK for the majority of their studies and any time spent overseas should be for the purposes of fieldwork/long-term attachment. 

To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria and the associated residency requirements: 

  • Be a UK National or, 

  • Have settled status or, 

  • Have pre-settled status or,

  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If a candidate does not meet these criteria, they would be classed as an International student. 

This will not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement. 


International students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5.The standard UKRI cap of 30% open eligibility for studentships applies to all CDT grants. The 30% cap is per academic year intake (CDT cohort) from the Academic Year 2024/25 onwards. 

Part time study is available. 

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