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Department of Plant Sciences


Plant Sciences at Cambridge includes the Department of Plant Sciences (20 research group leaders) together with colleagues at the Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) (3 research group leaders), and two also administering the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. There are two group leaders based at the new Crop Science Centre as part of a the collaboration with the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB). Three other group leaders are based primarily or partly at the David Attenborough Building, affiliated with the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Initiative (UCCRI), and the Department makes a major contribution to three other Interdisciplinary Research Centres (Global Food Security, Synthetic Biology and Energy Transformations) as well as Cambridge Zero.

The Department of Plant Sciences is currently funded by over 98 research grants with a value of around £57m from a diverse range of sponsors, including UKRI constituent Research Councils, principally as responsive mode funding via BBSRC, NERC, EPSRC and the Royal Society, and targeted funding via GCRF and Newton Fund; charitable bodies such as The Leverhulme Trust, The Gatsby Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Isaac Newton Trust; government funding eg DEFRA, FCDO; European Union funding; the Human Frontier Science Programme; industrial sponsors. There are around 60 Postdoctoral Research Associates in the Department, 3 Junior Research Fellows, 7 Senior Research Fellows and 46 Assistant Staff. There are approximately 95 Postgraduate students based in the Department, and at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Crop Science Centre, NIAB and BAS. Research excellence was recognised in the 2014 REF submission from the School of Biological Sciences by the volume of staff identified as researchers of world-leading or international status, as well as a supportive Strategic Research Review in 2019. A recent Learning and Teaching Review acknowledged the excellence, enthusiasm and commitment of staff, and commended the learning support given to students and the introduction of new teaching initiatives.