Determination of the key parameters influencing dislodgeable foliar pesticide residues

An exciting and unique opportunity for a PhD is now open for applications. Pesticides are a vital tool in meeting the challenge of feeding the rapidly increasing world population. However, it is vital that they are used in a way which does not compromise the safety of humans or the environment. To this end, rigorous assessment of the risks involved is carried out to satisfy the demands of regulatory authorities and other stakeholders. The population can become exposed to pesticides in many different ways but farm works are particularly at risk. Exposure assessment for farm workers takes into account, amongst other factors, the amount of residue which can be transferred from plant foliage to the skin or clothes. These type of residues are known as a Dislodgeable Foliar Residues (DFRs). Understanding DFRs is important for evaluating the occupational exposure of farmers in their working environment, for example, by establishing the period of elapsed time needed following greenhouse spraying before it is safe to re-enter. Additionally, such data are used to ensure that members of the public entering treated crops do not encounter unacceptable risk. Previous research has shown that there is a relationship between the proportion of residue that is dislodgeable and a range of factors including the pesticide application rate; chemical characteristics; the product formulation; the environmental conditions including temperature and humidity; and the plant architecture and leaf type. However, these issues are not fully understood, therefore the purpose of this 4-year work programme is to explore some of these issues with the intention of enabling the refinement of re-entry risk assessments. The work is expected to include analysis of existing large datasets, glasshouse, laboratory and analytical work.

The successful applicant will spend their first year based at Syngenta’s prestigious international research centre at Jealott's Hill, Berkshire whilst also undertaking studies in research skills, on a day release basis, at the University of Hertfordshire. The subsequent 3 years will be based at the University of Hertfordshire undertaking a PhD with time spent at Jealott's Hill as the research demands. Greater details can be found in the background document available for download. More information about the sites can be found below. 

Informal enquiries only may be made directly to Prof. Kathy Lewis at However Prof. Lewis cannot accept applications directly. Please DO NOT send CVs or applications to Prof. Lewis.

To apply, eligible applicants interested in this opportunity should obtain an application pack from and, once completed, it should be returned to by the deadline date.

The PhD will be undertaken in several locations including Syngenta's Jealott's Hill site in Berkshire, the University of Hertfordshire's field station at Bayfordbury and College Lane Campus in Hatfield. 

Jealott's Hill is located in the countryside 8 miles west of Windsor. It is a key site in Syngenta's global Research and Development network with about 800 people working at the site. The site houses a number of centres of scientific excellence, both chemical and biological,that support Syngenta's worldwide R&D activities . It is similar to a university campus, with a number of different departments, a cafe and restaurant, and sports facilities. The site and its employees are also active in the local community through the Jealott's Hill Landshare and our recreation club partnering with local charities.

The Bayfordbury campus is located in the countryside 2 miles southwest of Hertford. The campus covers over 40 ha and consists of a variety of habitats including amenity grassland, semi-natural woodlands (secondary and ancient), grasslands, ponds, a Lake, scrubland and hedgerows. The main building houses the student teaching and project labs as well as controlled environment chambers. There are also a number of glasshouses and an experimental plot. The Bayfordbury Observatory (the University of Hertfordshire's teaching observatory for astronomy and astrophysics) is also based on the campus.

The University of Hertfordshire's College Lane campus is the main campus of the university. It is located on the south side of Hatfield, adjacent to Junction 3 of the A1(M). The campus has all the usual facilities including the Forum, which has a number of bars, cafes and shops, and is a key music venue in Hertfordshire. There are a numerous sports facilities at the College lane campus and just 10 mins walk away is Hertfordshire Sports Village on the De Havilland campus. 

Jealott’s Hill
Jealott's Hill


College Lane Campus
College Lane Campus

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Qualification type: PhD + industry experience
Location: UK – Bracknell, Berks & Hatfield / Bayfordbury, Herts
Funding for: No restriction but must be fluent in English
Stipend: Starts at £14,777
Start date: Negotiable - Autumn 2018
Time period / hours: 4 years full time
Application deadline: 17:00 31 August 2018

Further information:

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