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Agriculture, Food and Vet Sciences Research (UoA6)

Who we are

Agriculture and Food Science sits within the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. The School, located in the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, is the third largest academic unit within the University. It has a diverse community of 135 academic staff and an annual turnover of £35million.

The School formed in 2017, encompassing subjects from across the Natural Sciences. Initiatives to revitalize and invest in Agriculture and Food Science began with a major external review in 2015.

Since 2014, our investment increased by 15.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) of new staff. This helped us to grow in key areas, leading to:

  • increased research income (>50%)
  • PhD students (>45%)
  • a qualitative/quantitative improvement in outputs

Our research supports the production of safe and nutritious food within a sustainable and resilient food system.

We conduct research which covers molecules, ecosystems, fundamental science and policy formation.

The large and diverse academic base has delivered impactful solutions across:

  • industries
  • the government
  • NGOs
  • the wider agrifood community

Research themes

Research partnerships

Our research outputs align to the needs of industry and society. In 2015, the newly formed Fera Science Ltd. selected us as their academic partner.

We enjoy easy access to agricultural land, and rural and urban settings in the North East. We cultivate many important agritechnology partnerships.

Research case studies

Our approach

Collaborative working

We have a breadth of interdisciplinary working across the School.

Our staff in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences engage in environmental research, global ecology and analytical chemistry.

Interactions include:

  • computer science on machine learning applied to animal welfare
  • engineering on precision agriculture
  • mathematics, statistics and physics on Bayesian networks applied to modelling

We also work with the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Our collaborative working includes the Human Nutrition Research Centre and Neuroscience.

We co-run CRE with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. They are also links to the Business School in marketing and consumer research.

Our ethos

We have built the ethos of our research culture on the pillars of:

  • creativity
  • transparency
  • multidisciplinarity
  • collaboration

We engage with community-building events, postgraduate forums, and a biannual School symposium. We also have a seminar series overseen by a dedicated Associate Director of Research Culture.

We govern our research integrity through:

  • compliance with the Home Office and ethical and welfare standards
  • a mandatory requirement for ethical approval for all research involving human subjects
  • compliance with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regulations
  • compliance with Health and Safety Executive regulations

All our researchers follow the University Code of Good Practice in Research. This codifies expectations relating to integrity, conduct and professional standards.