• Application Deadline
  • 36 months
Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship for doctoral projects that support Global Challenges (GCRF) and UN Sustainable Development Goals. The successful candidates will be joining the project Development of Optimal Lighting System to Improve Crop Productivity.
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An organism’s biological clock called the circadian system, is vital for optimal biological functions coordination. In plants, the circadian system is responsible for crop productivity-related functions (e.g. flowering and hypocotyl growth). Recent advances in the area of plant circadian system have shown that the use of different light colours can improve crop productivity. However, a systematic characterisation and framework on light properties (e.g. intensity, photoperiod) leading to optimal crop productivity is still lacking. 

This Development of Optimal Lighting System to Improve Crop Productivity project from Coventry University aims at enhancing plant growth and productivity by developing a framework of optimal lighting system that is simple, cost-effective and energy-efficient to implement. 

Research Opportunity

This will be achieved via the development and validation of a computational model of plant circadian system based on the influence of light colours on plant growth. The model will be used for scenario simulations to establish a framework of optimal light regulation, which will be used to design an optimal lighting system on a lab scale as initial proof-of-concept. 

The bespoke cost-effective lighting system that will be developed will support to achieve better crop productivity, thus aligning with the GCRF strategy of global access to sustainable agriculture and UN SDG Goal No. 2 of achieving zero hunger. 

Detailed Programme Facts

Programme Structure

Training and Development
  • The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
  • All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • Successful candidate will have at least a minimum of a 2:1 first degree in Control/Electronics/Electrical/Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics or a related discipline (and preferable a Master degree)
  • Real passion for plant biology and would like to be involved in building cutting edge technology in the area of application engineering to smart farming.

Desired Skills

  • Mathematical modelling
  • Programming
  • Electronics
  • General: Excellent communication skills and an ability to interact professionally and productively with other team members. The candidate should be able to present well, plan, be confident and proactive. The candidate is expected to take initiative in planning and executing experiment with minimal supervision.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Bursary plus tuition fees  (UK/EU/International)

Living costs for Coventry

  • 656 - 1060 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Development of Optimal Lighting System to Improve Crop Productivity
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