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HDC Studentships Fund the Future of Horticulture

Five new studentships funded by the Horticultural Development Company (HDC) will deliver high quality research for the benefit of the bulb and outdoor flowers, hardy nursery stock, soft fruit and crop protection sectors whilst developing high-calibre individuals for the horticulture industry of the future.

The HDC funded studentships for 2013 have been awarded across four separate institutions: East Malling Research, University of Warwick, Scottish Agricultural College and James Hutton Institute. They comprise four, three-year studentships and one four-year funded Walsh Fellowship in partnership with Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority.

The aim of the HDC studentship scheme is to address the loss of horticultural courses and the consequent reduction in suitably qualified people entering into and serving the continuing needs of the industry. Jon Knight, HDC’s Head of Research and Development said, “The consensus of the approval Board was that the successful studentship projects all demonstrated clear relevance for both the profitability and sustainability of the horticulture industry.”

“Each of the successful projects will deliver applied research that has both benefit and impact, whilst simultaneously investing in highly-skilled new talent to help to underpin the long-term needs of the sector.”

Amongst the successful studentships to be undertaken in the 2013 – 2014 academic year were projects on the precolonisation of strawberry runners with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to manage Verticillium wilt; the application of precision agronomy to UK production of Narcissus; novel approaches for the management of leaf and bud nematodes in hardy nursery stock; and integrated protection of horticultural crops through enhancing endogenous defence mechanisms.

Since its inception in 2000 the HDC PhD Studentship Scheme has rigorously assessed applicants to ensure that only the cream of the crop is successful, helping to generate high quality research outputs, based on original ideas, for the benefit of the commercial and academic horticultural arenas.

For full details on the Studentship Scheme 2013, please click here.

Source: HDC