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Working with Coventry University

Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

View current job vacancies.


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Study With Us

Come Study With Us


  • 50 strong team of international experts
  • Transdisciplinary research
  • Research led teaching
  • Research seminar series
  • PhD student seminar series
  • Stimulating learning environment
  • Access to labs and state of the art equipment
  • Dedicated administrative support
  • And we do social events really, really well!

Our academic experts

We have an international team of academics ranging from early career researchers to full professors who are world leaders in their fields of research.

For further information on their areas expertise please see our staff list.

Stimulating learning environment

In keeping with our research themes, our office is suitably situated at Ryton Organic Gardens. Some of the teaching is conducted on site giving students hands-on experiential learning. Campus based courses offer opportunities to students to interact with their peers and access the extensive university facilities.

Support cohort building

We support cohort building through a variety of activities including dedicated administrative support, access to facilities, funding of student led events and our research seminar series.

Postgraduate research

As a Doctoral Training Centre we offer bespoke training to our PhD students. Tailored work shops are run every year taking advantage of the breadth of knowledge and varied research areas of our staff. A Summer School also takes place with a strong focus on writing as well as sessions on surviving the PhD and time management.

New taught Masters programme

We are excited to announce the launch of a new programme entitled MSc Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty (title subject to validation) which will commence in September 2018. The programme will encompass enhanced knowledge from our now larger team of experts and will be informed by recent research. This will replace the MSc Agroecology and Food Security which will run for the last time in the September 2017-2018 academic year. Please check back here for details which will be published very soon.


An internship is a great way to gain an insight into working in a professional environment and an understanding of whether this aligns with your interests and aspirations. You can benefit from learning from our researchers whilst developing your skills and possibly gain credit for the time spent.

If you are interested in joining us as an intern at CAWR please get in touch; still unsure if this is for you? The Student Voices tab on this page includes blog posts from previous internships on their experiences at CAWR.

Doctoral Research


We are looking for exceptionally talented, motivated and creative scholars interested in a new generation of issues linked to the sustainable food supply for the planet, the governance of food systems, technical and social aspects of food production, hydrological processes and change, eco-hydrology, provision of clean water, and community resilience or adaption to climate change.



An engaging Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) providing bespoke and relevant training and mentoring, delivered by an international team of field experts. The DTP is versatile and flexible in addition to having rigour and relevance, allowing you to choose creditable development activites that fit your needs and research schedules. 

An array of DTP activities including discipline-specific seminars and workshops, annual summer schools, peer-to-peer presentations and discussions, as well as various social activities throughout the year. We encourage and facilitate student-led activities to complement and enhance this programme. 

The Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) and access to facilities. The University has invested over £7.5 million to establish the dedicated research facility at Garden Organic, Ryton Gardens, which boasts extensive office space, meeting rooms, IT equipment, soil and water labs, a computational modelling lab and a video-editing suite. As an integral part of CAWR, you will have access to all facilities and equipment. 

The CAWR Research Community. We are an international team of 50 strong academics, from early career researchers, to full professors who are world leading experts in their respective fields. As a CAWR student, you will be regularly invited to participate in our thematic group meetings, guest seminars and general staff meetings, thereby gaining access to research expertise and mentoring beyond the immediate supervisory team. This allows you to gather insight into work culture, practices and norms by working alongside researchers and other professional services staff at the centre. You will have dedicated administrative support through the various stages of your progress, from application to award. 

Post-doc Incentive for PhD students with a successful track record and prompt completion, who are offered the opportunity to compete for 1 year of post-doctoral funding at Coventry University. 



Informal expressions of interest, including a motivation letter, a resume and a brief research proposal, can be submitted to potential supervisors within CAWR.

Entry requirements:

  • a recognised Masters degree in a relevant discipline from a reputable institution,
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three year period of study,
  • English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component). 

For details on the formal application process and forms, please see Making an Application on the University’s website.

For potential supervisors and their areas of expertise, please see our staff list.

Contact our Current PhD students to hear first hand about their experience at CAWR.



The Nigel Baker PhD Studentship on Food System Sustainability

Full Title: Assessing the Impact of Agroecological Practice: Transdisciplinary Approaches in Contrasting Geographical Contexts
Funding: Bursary plus tuition fees - UK/EU/International
Duration: Full-Time - between three and three and a half years fixed term
Application Deadline: 31 October 2017

For details and to apply

Nigel Baker was a member of the very first cohort of Masters students to complete CAWR’s MSc in Food Security Management in 2014. He was committed to trying to make the world a better place by tackling injustice and environmental destruction. In his Master’s thesis he proposed a new concept called ‘Net System Productivity’ which measures food system productivity by taking into account food waste and nutritional quality – elements which are ignored in conventional measures of productivity.  He applied this measure to an agroecological system in the form of a Community Supported Agriculture scheme and made some preliminary comparisons with the conventional supermarket – industrial agriculture food system.
In September 2015 Nigel began work on a PhD to extend and deepen the research he had begun in his Master’s thesis. Sadly, he had to suspend his studies in the springtime of 2016, owing to illness.  He lost his fight against cancer on 16th February 2017.  This award is dedicated to Nigel’s memory.

Coventry University Scholarships:

For information regarding the scholarships that are available via Coventry University please see the 'About our Scholarships' page for further details.


Moussa Sidibe




"I always perceived a PhD as a daunting task, I shall admit that undertaking it in a transdisciplinary and innovative oriented research centre as CAWR, makes it easier. As a CAWR PhD student I feel lucky to be in contact with brilliant minds from all around the world."

MSC in Agroecology and Food Security

Please note: We are excited to announce the launch of a new programme entitled MSc Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty (title subject to validation) which will commence in September 2018. The programme will encompass enhanced knowledge from our now larger team of experts and will be informed by recent research. This will replace the MSc Agroecology and Food Security which will run for the last time in the September 2017-2018 academic year. Please check back here for details which will be published very soon.

Food security is of critical concern globally, and the development of food systems that  provide food of high quality and quantity in a sustainable way, is now a research and policy priority. 

The MSc in Agroecology and Food Security is designed to equip professionals and graduates with the knowledge to critically analyse and assess the relationships between agroecological food production and management, farming systems, climate change economics and the environment.



Downloadable Flyers:

All students undertake an individual research project that can be directed to future career pathways.

Employment opportunities present themselves in national and international government agencies, non governmental policy, research and development organisations, the private sector including food companies and the farming sector.

For further details on how to apply please see the MSc Agroecology and Food Security course page.


Coventry University Scholarships:

For information regarding the scholarships that are available via Coventry University please see the 'About our Scholarships' page for further details.


 Ismail Rilwan (2014-2015)


“The MSc Programme was very fascinating and I am passionate working with Action Against Hunger in Nigeria, especially with the help of skills I acquired during my Masters program at Coventry University, which gave me an edge."

After studying at CAWR Ismail completed the PGD in Crop Production and Management at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in Nigeria. Ismail also established a food security firm which consists of professionals from different agricultural backgrounds. Ismail has now gained the post of Food Security and Livelihoods Officer with Action Against Hunger.


Joseph McCrohon (2016-2017)

"Having been involved in political activism and permaculture I felt that going back to university and doing the MSc in Agroecology and Food Security would be an intersting thing to do. Having a biology degree has helped complement the knowledge that I have gained on this course. My favourite module is definitely food security and I've enjoyed the lessons on food sovereignty the most. I think CAWR is a good place to study due to the interdisciplinary nature of the centre. You are always likely to bump into someone with a different, though complementary, view to your own."

Joseph is a current student studying at CAWR.


Recruitment and Admissions Office (UK students only):
 Tel: +44 (0) 24 7765 4321


International and EU students:

 Tel:  +44 (0) 24 7615 2152

Email: or

Enquire Now (


Enquiries about CAWR & the MSc:

Mina Thompson

Postgraduate Programmes Coordinator
Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience
Coventry University
Ryton Gardens 
Wolston Lane, Ryton-on-Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3LG

Tel: 02477 651 602



Student Voices


Carla Kay is researching 'Smallholder adaptation to climate change in West Africa: Pathways to social and ecological resilience'. Her research is based in Senegal, and she is doing Participatory Action Research with the Association Sénégalaise des Producteurs de Semences Paysannes (Senegalese Association of Peasant Seed Producers - ASPSP). They are looking at how agroecological knowledge and experiences are being spread by female and male peasants, thus reinforcing social networks and environmental regeneration.

For full details of her research and updates on her progress in the field, please see her website.

Carla's Parcipatory video training in Senegal.

This short video introduces one of Carla's Participatory Video training sessions delivered in Senegal in 2017.

The sessions train female farmers to use the cameras to produce their own videos on subjects that matter to them.

An important part of Carla's PhD will be to analyse the content they produce.


Carla Kay, PhD Researcher (2016-2019)

"Studying at CAWR has been a fascinating learning experience. Not only am I researching the area that has always been my greatest passion, but I am doing this in a cooperative environment filled with experts with a wealth of knowledge and experience. During my fully-funded three year PhD I have the opportunity, and am encouraged, to get training, internally and externally, to continually expand my skills. What I love the most about CAWR is the feeling that we are all working together and beyond academia to bring positive change to the world."

The title of Carla's research is Smallholder adaptation to climate change in West Africa: pathways to social and environmental resilience. Carla is currently undertaking field work in Senegal through Participatory Action Research.

Panama Donaldson, MSc Student (2016-2017)

"I really enjoy studying at CAWR. It not only challenges me academically, but personally, which has resulted in me having my own allotment. I have learnt many theories and practices that I can carry into my future career, which I hope will help to shape real change in the future."