April 26, 2023

Digitising and publishing Rothamsted Research LTE data on ley-arable crop rotation experiments

Location: Rothamsted Research

Duration: 8 -10 weeks

Research (Harpenden, Hertfordshire) is home to the oldest continuing agricultural field experiments in the world. Seven of these Long-term Experiments (LTEs) continue today and provide an invaluable resource for scientists around the world (

 We are looking for an enthusiastic student to work on digitising and publishing the Highfield and Fosters ley-arable experiments. The aim is to publish all data from the over 70 years of the experiments as an open access, ‘frictionless’ dataset available for all to use with ease (i.e. FAIR data), in line with other LTE datasets published by Rothamsted Research. The data currently exists in yield books available at the Rothamsted campus, and so working with this is predominantly a desk-based study involving data entry, cleaning and processing in Excel.

 The student will benefit from improved skills in data processing, greater knowledge of agricultural practises and crop science and benefits from collaboration with other researchers. As well as these fundamental skills, the student will learn from writing a clear and concise method and, once the placement is complete, benefit from a first-author data publication – as the data will be made freely available and published with a DOI, with the student listed as an author.

 Established in 1843, Rothamsted Research is one of the UK’s leading Research Institutes delivering world class agricultural science. Our commitment to learning and development, equality and diversity as well as creating a positive work life balance, enable a welcoming environment for all prospective employees. Rothamsted Research values its commitment to equality and diversity in its workforce and we particularly encourage applications from student groups that are typically underrepresented within the Higher Education pathways. These could include (but not limited to) students from ethnic minorities, those with a disability or from low-income backgrounds. The selection process will follow these criteria to select the best possible students to undertake these placements.

To apply

We encourage applications from students from all backgrounds. Please check you meet eligibility criteria before completing the EDI Form 2023 ; this form is a mandatory part of the application process but contains ‘prefer not to say’ options for all questions asked.

Once you have completed the online data collection form you will receive an email with the application form and details of how to apply to the supervisor. The application form should be completed and emailed to the lead supervisor along with a reference from your personal tutor.