AgriFoRwArdS Activities

Events and activities for the 2023/24 Academic Year

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT work hard to provide an exciting and varied calendar of events for our students. Below is a snapshot of just some of the activities being arranged for the 2023/24 academic year.

EventDatesFurther Information
Welcome activitiesLincoln – 21st September 2023
Cambridge – 29th September 2023
East Anglia – 31st October 2023
Held locally at each university. At Lincoln the event is a perfect opportunity to welcome our new cohort of students who all join us at Lincoln for their MSc study. Cambridge and East Anglia also hold events to welcome their PhD researchers.
The AgriFoRwArdS CDT Annual Conference 202428th to 30th August 2024@ Brunel University
The AgriFoRwArdS CDT Summer School 20247th to 13th July 2024@ Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands
MSc Cohort 5 catch ups with the CDT Director3rd Oct 23, 5th Dec 23, 6th Feb 24, 9th Apr 24, 4th Jun 24, 6th Aug 24Occur every other month and are a great opportunity for students undertaking their first year of CDT study to share experiences, and for the CDT to disseminate important information.
PhD catch ups with lead academicsLincoln – 8th November 2023 and 29th April 2024

Cambridge – 29th September 2023 and 26th April 2024

East Anglia – 31st October 2023 and 25th April 2024
Occur twice a year and are local to each university, these meetings are a great opportunity for students undertaking their PhD study to share experiences, and for the CDT to disseminate important information.
2023/24 Seminars25th January 2024
20th June 2024
Previously we have run a monthly seminar series. This year, we are going to be organising 2 student-led seminar days, packed full of interesting talks and activities.
January – Visit Riseholme for the LAR Mini Conference
June – Visit to G’s Grower – students will have the opportunity to hear from leading experts within agri-robotics. Students will visit the G’s Growers site in Ely in Cambridgeshire, take a tour of the facilities, and hear from people from various areas within the business.
Introduction to Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges12th October 2023, 7th May 2024, 14th May 2024, TBCTraining provided each year for the MSc students which gives an introduction to the role of current technologies in agriculture as well as helps students ground their research in real challenges and opportunities.
Visit to the National Centre for Food Manufacturing22nd April 2024Students visit the National Centre for Food Manufacturing located at the University of Lincoln’s Holbeach Campus. The day involves a tour of the facilities and training focused on the UK’s food and drink industry, held at the new Centre for Excellence at the Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone.
Quarterly Research Progress Meetings25th January 2024
21st June 2024
22nd & 23rd July 2024
Every quarter our students and academics meet to allow the CDT’s PhD students to update the group on their research progress. Not only is this a great opportunity to find out about what our students have been up to, it also gives students an opportunity to develop their presentation skills in a friendly and supportive environment.
Visit to Dyson Farming4th June 2024Students are invited to the Dyson Farming Estate in Lincolnshire to hear all about the cutting edge research taking place on the site.
What Napoleon Bonaparte can teach you about giving a scientific presentation5th December 2023This Seminar addresses the best ways to present complicated scientific data to a general audience.
Implementing Robotics into your Business12th February 2024Students visit the Manufacturing Technology Centre for a tour of the facilities and training, which focuses on ways students may be able to use their robotics knowledge in developing their own business in the future.
Visits to Industry Partner sitesDates TBCThroughout the year we arrange various visits to our Industry Partners, giving students opportunity to find out about real life challenges the sector faces. Examples of such visits in the past include, Stocks Farm and Lower Hope Farm.
Intellectual Property: What is it and why is it important5th March 2024Students are introduced to the various types of Intellectual Property (IP) that exist and shown how to protect any IP they generate, whether through their PhD or in the wider world.

We also encourage students to engage with various activities and events external to the CDT which may be of interest and may contribute to their personal and professional development. These include; training sessions run by the University’s Doctoral Teams (e.g., Surviving your PhD, Reflective Practice and the Research Process, Critical Reading and Writing for Research Students); international conferences (e.g. TAROS, ICRA, IROS, UKRAS).

Current students can head to the portal for more detailed information on events and activities.

We always welcome suggestions for activities from our students, so if you have an idea, do get in touch!

Ways for Students to get involved

The Elanor Glanville Centre are currently developing an EDI training programme specifically for students. More details will follow as they become available.

There are also lots of other EDI related activities which students can become involved in, including seminars, lectures and workshops. To find out more, visit the Eleanor Glanville Centre's event calendar.

The University of Lincoln's Doctoral School is a hub for the postgraduate community at Lincoln. They support postgraduate researchers (PhD and Masters by Research) across the University of Lincoln, facilitating cross-university networks and opportunities to meet up and share experiences with peers throughout the wider research community.

There are various events held by the Doctoral School each year, which are available to all University of Lincoln PhD students. These include, development programme training sessions, postgraduate conferences, 3-minute thesis workshops, postgraduate research groups, writing retreats, and many more.

Although the Doctoral School activities are optional, we strongly recommend making the most of these fantastic resources.

For more information about the Doctoral School, and the events they facilitate, visit their website.

Upcoming events include;

The PEARL Team work to enhance the University of Lincoln's public engagement by supporting research students and academics. They deliver various research activities, support resources, recognition opportunity and strategies to enable this.

PEARL run a Public Engagement Training Programme each year, which consists of five workshops (Introduction to Public Engagement with Research, Audiences and Publics, Activity Planning, Digital Approaches to Engagement, and Evaluation). The aim of this programme is to develop your skills as a researcher, and so although we strongly recommend all Lincoln PhD students undertake the programme, we would specifically encourage participation by students following the academic career path.

In addition, PEARL arrange regular events, projects and initiatives, which you can find out more about on their website.

In Semester 1, MSc students will be invited to complete online training with the University of Cambridge.

These online resources are geared towards Research Skills and can be completed online in your own time.

Drink Outside the Box is a fortnightly casual social event for students, of AgriFoRwArdS and the wider robotics community at Lincoln to get together, find out about each other’s research in an informal setting, but most importantly connect socially.

These student led sessions involve a range of activities, and students can expect a mix of games and competitions, short informal presentations, discussions, chats, watch parties, and plenty of opportunities to contribute their own activities.

You can get involved by attending these sessions or joining the DotB Planning Team.

For more information email the team at

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT produce a quarterly online newsletter, which aims to bring together the CDT, and the wider agri-food robotics community. The newsletter, now distributed to over 300 people within the sector, is an opportunity for students to shout about their achievements, as well as let the community know about things that interest them.

Students will be asked to contribute to the newsletter, and we would expect students to make us aware of any achievements, publications, presentations, etc. so that these can be included.

You can view previous editions in our Newsletter Archive

The AgriFoRwArdS Student Blog is a student-led space, where you can speak about the things effecting you, and that interest you, as AgriFoRwArdS students.

We are looking for students to volunteer to run the blog, with support from the CDT Admin Team. Posts can be about anything related to you as a student, the AgriFoRwArdS CDT or the Agri-Food Robotics sector. This is a platform to share ideas, interesting reads, support fellow students, and promote activities. Plus, the running the blog looks great on a student's CV!

To be involved in the student-led blog, please email

In any publications, presentations etc. completed you should acknowledge ESPRC as the funder with the following statement.

“This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [EP/S023917/1]”

Students will also be allocated a UKRI Project Reference number, this should also be included in the above acknowledgement.

Doing the above ensures that contributions are recorded. For more information visit our Acknowledgement Guidance page.

The AgriFoRwArdS CDT Advisory Board is a great opportunity to get to know our industry partners, and gain experience in how meetings are run. There is the opportunity to give opinions from a student's perspective and understand the short/long term vision of robotics and agri-food from an industry perspective. The Advisory Board includes both industry and academic colleagues, as well as student representation, and it provides expert opinions and feedback to the Steering Board.

To get involved with the Advisory Board email

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Panel is an opportunity to contribute to the shaping of EDI processes. The panel supports the CDT’s diversity ambition to develop an inclusive research environment, by monitoring (amongst other things): membership of CDT Boards and Panels; the diversity of the student body; recruitment processes and marketing; EDI training and support available to students and staff.

To become involved with the EDI Panel, email

Elected from the student body, the Student Panel will provide the Steering Board with advice and guidance relating to all aspects of the student experience. This is an opportunity to bring any concerns, feedback and ideas from the whole cohort.

Students will receive details regarding the Student panel during tutorials, however, any questions should be directed to

Ways for Academics to get involved

We politely request that all members of the AgriFoRwArdS Supervisor Pool complete their institutional mandatory training:

Equality in the Workplace; Unconscious Bias; Active Bystander – Challenging Unacceptable Behaviour; Inclusive Modern Higher Education Practices; Safeguarding; Recruitment and Selection Workshop; Trans Awareness; Inclusive Research Environments.

Courses may vary by Institution.

The newsletter is published quarterly, in October, January, April and July.

You may be asked to contribute to the newsletter and/or website.

We would expect you to make us aware of any relevant agri-food robotics research so that it can be included.

In any publications, presentations etc. completed you should acknowledge ESPRC as the funder with the following statement.

“This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [EP/S023917/1]”

For more information visit our Acknowledgement Guidance page.