PhD Studentship position: Consumption of milk and plant-based dairy alternatives at the University of Reading

PhD Studentship position: Consumption of milk and plant-based dairy alternatives at the University of Reading

PhD Studentship position at the University of Reading – School of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Sciences in Consumption of milk and plant-based dairy alternatives: Implications for nutrition, household expenditure and environmental sustainability is available for interested and qualified applicants.

Description of PhD Studentship position

Project title: Consumption of milk and plant-based dairy alternatives: implications for nutrition, household expenditure and environmental sustainability

Department/School: University of Reading, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development

Project Overview 

Milk is an affordable and the most nutrient-dense staple in human diets (>95% UK consumers) but dairy products are a source of saturated fats and contributes to global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, consumers are concerned about dairy animals’ health/welfare; thus stimulating the replacement of dairy foods in human diets with costly plant-based dairy alternatives (PBDAs). Such unit volume replacement may promote deficiencies in milk-based nutrients already inadequate in many UK diets, causing non-communicable diseases in vulnerable groups which are at higher risk of associated deficiencies.

Nutrient-fortified PBDAs can however deliver key nourishment in those with dairy allergy and lactose intolerance, but they are expensive and they are excluded from the Government Nursery and School Milk Schemes and Healthy Start Scheme. This disadvantages socioeconomic groups in lower incomes and ethnic groups with higher intolerance rates. To resolve this, the project will quantify the effect of replacing milk/dairy products with PBDAs on nutrient balance and environmental sustainability, and develop new affordable dietary patterns for optimal human and planetary health; via the following studies:

(1) nutrient balance and household expenditure implications in different demographics by unit volume replacement of milk/dairy with PBDAs,

(2) environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of different consumption patterns of milk/dairy products and PBAs,

(3) development of new affordable dietary patterns with milk/dairy products and PBDAs for optimal public health including vulnerable groups.


    • Dr Sokratis Stergiadis, University of Reading, Department of Animal Sciences (lead supervisor)
    • Dr Michelle Cain, Cranfield university, Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Informatics
    • Dr Miriam Clegg, University of Reading, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences
    • Dr Laurence Smith, University of Reading, Department of Applied Economics and Marketing

Read Also: Msc and Phd Graduate Research Assistantship positions in Animal Science, Clemson University, United States

Eligibility Requirements 

Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or equivalent in a related science (e.g. human nutrition, food science, animal science, biology, agriculture). An MSc in relevant science would be advantageous, but not essential.

PhD Studentship Funding Details

  • Starts: 1 October 2022 (negotiable)
  • 3-year award
  • Funding covers full Home tuition fees plus UKRI stipend. International candidates are welcome to apply, but would be required to secure their own funding to cover the difference between the Home and International fees.

Application procedures 

Please complete the Student Application Form which can be found at and submit it to [email protected]. Please quote the reference GS22-024 in your covering e-mail when submitting your application.

Additional information

Please note that this is one of two potential projects being advertised under this scheme, but only one will be funded, based on the preference of the selected candidate.

Application Deadline:  12 April 2022

For further enquiries contact: Dr Sokratis Stergiadis: [email protected]

Successful candidates will be informed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.

Read also: Research Associates/Postdoc positions (Soil Chemistry) at the TU Darmstadt, Germany

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