Breeding for improved organoleptic quality in Wild Rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia (L.) DC) using marker assisted breeding


Food Security has risen to the top of the international agenda following recent spikes in the price of food and the perceived growing threat to future supplies (see, e.g., the “G8 Action on Food Security and Nutrition” Along with an efficient distribution system and minimizing waste, providing an adequate supply of food is a key contributor to securing food supply. Sustaining this into the future will be very difficult in the face of a steadily increasing population and diminishing availability of fertile land and water for agriculture. The challenge is made even more difficult by projected changes to climate. To meet this challenge is going to require new and innovative strategies and a new type of biologist.

This is a joint project between Liverpool and CN Seeds Ltd combining training in plant trait genetics, and plant breeding. This project will seek to identify novel sources of genetic variation captured in a unique wild rocket collection, that can be used to improve traits such as yield, disease resistance, and improved quality attributes, that can be transferred into novel breeding material. The PhD candidate will receive training in the latest plant phenotyping techniques, genetic analyses, and plant breeding. The candidate will benefit from spending time with academic and industry-based supervisors. To broaden the training experience, through CN Seeds Ltd., the student will learn about the seed industry, commercial breeding, and the supply chain through commercial growers to saleable product and have the opportunity to engage with industries in these sectors and present their work.


Applications should be made by emailing  with:

·      a CV (including contact details of at least two academic (or other relevant) referees);

·       a covering letter – clearly stating your first choice project, and optionally 2nd ranked project, as well as including whatever additional information you feel is pertinent to your application; you may wish to indicate, for example, why you are particularly interested in the selected project(s) and at the selected University;

·      copies of your relevant undergraduate degree transcripts and certificates;

·      a copy of your IELTS or TOEFL English language certificate (where required);

·      a copy of your passport (photo page).

A GUIDE TO THE FORMAT REQUIRED FOR THE APPLICATION DOCUMENTS IS AVAILABLE AT Applications not meeting these criteria may be rejected.

In addition to the above items, please email a completed copy of the Additional Details Form (as a Word document) to . A blank copy of this form can be found at:

Informal enquiries may be made to 

The deadline for all applications is 12noon on Monday 9th January 2023. 




Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

CASE studentships are funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for 4 years. Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK rate only, a Research Training and Support Grant (RTSG) and stipend. We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK and are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.