Integrated Pest Management Scholarships


CP 102 - Integrated Pest Management Scholarships

Start Date: 
Completion Date: 
Project Leader: 
Professor Simon Leather, Harper Adams University
CP 102

HDC project cost: £45,000


The Problem:

There is a serious lack of training in the UK for specialists in integrated crop pest and disease management (including weed scientists). The proposed scholarship bursary scheme would complement that which is already in existence for the MSc in Entomology based at Harper Adams University funded by the Royal Entomological Society. Crop protection issues in horticulture are rarely covered at undergraduate level in the UK and when they are, never to any great depth. The UK lacks suitably qualified graduates in this area. Providing funding will stimulate and enable suitably motivated students to acquire specialist post-graduate training in this area.
The course which previously ran at Silwood Park has been enhanced since the move to Harper Adams. Students have compulsory modules in the Biology and Systematics of Insects of Economic Importance, Plant Health Management (weeds, plant pathology and nematology) and advanced research methods. They also have compulsory modules in Commercial and Practical Biological Control, Biology-Based Chemical Control Methods and Ecological Principles and Decision Tools. These three latter modules make our students particularly attractive to the commercial sector and are also marketed as short courses for external users. The first two modules equip our students for positions with advisory roles. The strong academic content of the course as well as the substantial practical elements and research project also equip our graduates with research capabilities and many have gone on to undertake applied PhDs. Past graduates have also gone on to government positions within the BBSRC and Defra.
At the recent AAB Conference on advances in Biological Control and IPM, a number of former students from the MSc course were present, representing Koppert, Syngenta, Becker-Underwood, Berry Gardens, Exosect, Fargro, ADAS, BCP Certis as well as the university sector.
The provision of well trained and highly motivated graduates will be a great benefit to industry. The amount of post-employment in-house staff training will be reduced, allowing staff development programmes to be streamlined and to be pitched at a higher level with ensuing savings. The influx of a new generation of highly motivated graduates across the sector will have an invigorating effect in research and development as well as in technical and advisory provision.
Aims and objectives:

Project aim(s):

To encourage the study of integrated pest management

Project objective(s):

1. To provide three IPM scholarships for UK-based students doing projects in areas of research relevant to the horticultural industry;

2. To establish a UK-based IPM centre of educational excellence;

3. To provide a cadre of well-trained graduates for the UK horticulture industry.