Deadline: January 9, 2012
Cranfield University is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake this exciting research project which aims to explore the agricultural use of NutriSphere-N® for improving efficacy of nutrient uptake by crops.
NutriSphere-N® is added to fertilisers to slow the activity of the urease enzyme, and thus reduces N volatilisation. In addition, it is envisaged that interactions between NutriSphere-N® and the soil microbial community instigate N retention within the soil, mostly in its ammonium form, which converts slowly to nitrates. This enables a slow supply of nitrates to the crop as and when needed.
Preliminary research has been conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of NutriSphere-N® in inorganic fertilisers, but the detailed mechanisms have not been fully explored. There is also potential for Nutri-Sphere to be used in conjunction with organic fertilisers, such as digestates from sewage sludge and food waste.
This project entails using NutriSphere-N® with organic fertilisers to reduce nitrate loss through leaching, as run-off from soils, and as nitrous oxide emisisons. We will explore the mechanisms that influence the interaction of NutriSphere-N® when applied to soil in terms of soil microbiology and chemistry to unravel its potential. Experiments will be carried out in well equipped laboratories at Cranfield University. Additional plot scale experiments will be conducted in the University Farm in Silsoe.
This project will provide exciting opportunities for the researcher to get hands-on experience of soil chemical and microbiological methods to optimise nitrogen dynamics in agricultural soils. In addition, newly developed methods of detecting nitrous oxide emission will also be deployed.
Doctoral Training Centres
This higher research degree is associated with one of our Doctoral Training Centre, which is funded in part by the Research Councils and industry. A generic core skills training programme is provided for all research students. This is structured as a series of half day or full day events and acts as a social and networking forum to foster and develop Cranfield’s research student community.
Applicants should have a First or Second Class UK honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline such as soil chemistry, soil microbiology, soil fertility, environmental science, geography.
*The studentships will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only and provide a bursary of up to £14,000 p.a. for three years. To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have:
• no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK, i.e. no visa restrictions or have ‘settled status’, and
• have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant and
• not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals).
All EU nationals are eligible to receive a fees-only award if they do not have ‘settled status’ in the UK.
All non-EU nationals are very unlikely to be eligible for this funding under the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997.
How to apply
If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form. For further information contact us today:
School of Applied Sciences
T: +44 (0)1234 754086
Please note that we are unable to consider submissions for specific research studentships that fall outside of the stated eligibility criteria.