Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows

Getting to the roots of black-grass control: Crop-weed allelopathic interactions in Alopecurus myosuroides

Applications are invited to join Rothamsted Research and the University of Nottingham BBSRC iCASE Studentship to undertake an innovative four-year PhD training programme to work on a specific project:

Project description: Alopecurus myosuroides (black-grass) is a major threat to UK crop production. The evolution of resistance to herbicides in black-grass means there is an urgent need to develop novel control strategies. There is much interest in the potential for allelopathic interactions (the production of biologically active compounds by plants to inhibit growth of their competitors) to provide novel solutions for black-grass control. You will work with an interdisciplinary team to explore plant ecological and evolutionary interactions, chemical ecology and soil ecology. You will develop skills in plant, chemical and soil ecology underpinned by modern approaches in quantitative biology, analytical chemistry and soil metagenomics. You will develop fundamental scientific knowledge about basic ecological interactions, applying this knowledge to one of the most pressing issues in UK crop production. You will have the opportunity to work with one of the UK’s leading farm management consulting companies to realise the potential of your findings in agronomic field trials.

This project will be based at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, and will be supervised by Dr Paul Neve (Rothamsted) and Prof.Karl Ritz (Nottingham).

Applications are invited from students who have/expect to graduate with a first/upper-second UK honours degree, or equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. Students with an appropriate Masters degree are particularly encouraged to apply.

Funding details

Funding is available for four years from October 2017.  A full award would be fees plus an annual stipend.  This is set by the Research Councils and was £14,296 for 2016/17.

Eligibility for full funding is restricted to UK students. 

How to apply

Applicants should download the application and reference forms from the information bar.  Applications should include: a fully completed application form; a CV of no more than two A4 pages; a transcript of module marks achieved at the time of submission; and two references.  Application forms and CVs should be named in the following format: SURNAME-initial-DTP_BBSRC_iCASE-application.doc (.docx or .pdf) and SURNAME-initial-BBSRC_iCASE-cv.doc (.docx or.pdf)  e.g. SMITH-A-BBSRC_iCASE-application.doc

Applications should be sent via email with the subject line ‘BBSRC iCASE Studentship’ to by the closing date of 1st April 2017.

References should be sent directly from the referees to by 1st April 2017.  Please note it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the references are sent in good time for the deadline.  Further details are on the reference form. 

Enquiries should be sent to:

Please quote ref: BBSRC iCASE

An equal opportunities employer