Our research is driven by the key challenges that we face in the world today.
For example: How do we produce sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet the needs of a growing global population while at the same time ensuring that people have a healthy diet and that we do not damage the environment or waste scarce resources in the process?
We live in an ever changing world where, factors such as climate change impact on the environment, which in turn effects our food systems. Our research is designed to address these major challenges and to provide the scientific evidence to make informed decisions.
We do this by undertaking inter- and multi-disciplinary research collaborating widely with scientists and stakeholders across the world. The School's research staff span a range of disciplines across both the natural and social sciences, from economists and anthropologists to animal, crop and environmental scientists - all located within a single School.
The excellence of our research was highlighted by the REF 2014 (the UK nationwide research assessment exercise for all Universities and research institutes) results, where over 80% of our research was rated as internationally excellent and 45% as world leading. A further demonstration of the importance of our work to society is highlighted by the fact that 85% of our research impacts were rated as world leading.
Our research is organised into four Research Groups:
The Agri-Environment Group (AE); works on the dynamics of agro-ecosystems, and the services they provide (including food, fuel and fibre) in a changing environment.
The Crop Production Group (CP): works on the sustainable intensification of crop production systems.
The Agri-Food Economics and Social Sciences Group (AFESS); works on the links between agro-ecosystems, food production, the food consumer (in particular their health), rural livelihoods and wider society.
The Animal, Dairy and Food Chain Sciences Group (ADFC); works on the links between food, diet and health and includes understanding the environmental cost of using animals as food producers.
Our research and research staff play key roles in the Centre for Food Security (CfS) and Walker Institute, which are cross-campus communities of researchers working on food security and climate change respectively.
Our research is supported by significant external funding. In 2011/12, we generated £5.4M in grant income from the Research Councils, Government Agencies, EU, Industry and Charities. These funds support a thriving, cutting-edge community of senior and early careers researchers.
The School has about 50-60 PhD students at any one time, illustrating our commitment to post-graduate research training. We train students for careers in research, as well as teaching students key skills that provide the foundations for a wide range of careers in the public and private sectors.
Our research staff play a wide range of advisory roles, ensuring that the scientific knowledge we produce gets to the people who need to use it.