P.I. Bioscience


3 Year Industry-led Funded PhD: Ref. No. CGE 24

Using phytohormone interactions to improve nitrogen fixation in legumes

Legume crop interactions with soil-borne bacteria produce nodules on the roots of these crops, within which atmospheric nitrogen is fixed and made available to the plant. Successful symbiotic interactions allow high crop yields in the absence of nitrogenous fertilisers, with crop residues fertilising the subsequent crop. However, the amount of nitrogen fixed is highly variable and very sensitive to environmental stresses. Plant hormones (produced by either plant and/or bacterial partner) regulate this plant-microbe interaction.

This research project aims to improve nodulation and biological nitrogen fixation making our vision for more sustainable crop production possible. Applicants should have a relevant plant / agricultural sciences or chemistry degree. Current affiliated projects include the effects of drought stress on soybean yields with Plant Impact plc.

Industry Partner

This doctoral research project will be supervised by Lancaster University and P.I. Bioscience  Ltd, part of Plant Impact Plc. P.I. Bioscience leads research and development in crop enhancement (sometimes called crop efficiency) to create products that growers can rely on to improve the yield and quality of their crops. P.I. Bioscience use our business expertise to find the best ways to bring those products to growers worldwide.

Why Apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation you will receive £15,000 tax free per year as a centre graduate, have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth £4,121/year (fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,085/year to £12,964/year), become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D, and finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas. This post is subject to confirmation of European Union funding.


Application Deadline

  26th September 2016

Provisional interview date early October 2016, with a view to starting the project in Autumn 2016.

How to apply

To apply for this opportunity please email graduate-applications@cgeinnovation.org with:

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

This doctoral research project is one of a cohort of industry-led funded research projects from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, an international alliance supporting university-business collaboration. The Centre delivers high quality, business-led research to create eco-innovative technologies, products and services.

At the heart of the Centre are people who are researching, developing and innovating to address global challenges, including energy, water, natural capital, resource efficiency, food, and waste, to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits. Launched in 2012 the Centre and has won two national awards for its ground breaking approach to sustainable R&D and knowledge exchange.