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Hull invests in 20 PhD scholarships to explore critical health challenges

Committed to improving the health of the region and beyond, the University of Hull is investing in 20 PhD scholarships worth £1.2 million to investigate some of this century’s most urgent challenges.

Designed to attract the best talent and deliver great research that has impact, these scholarships are open to high-calibre students who will work on specific projects, all with critical importance.

Successful candidates will have their tuition fees funded throughout the PhD programmes as well as stipendiary living costs, totalling around £19,000 per year.

Dr David Richards, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University, said:

“As a University, we believe that identifying some of the most pressing challenges in health and generating the cutting-edge research to solve them is paramount. We want to attract ambitious students to the University to work with us on specific health projects that can make a difference to future generations.”

Exploring how environmental contamination might impact human fertility is just one of the ways that the University of Hull is addressing issues that may prove critical in the future.

Dr Roger Sturmey, Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine at Hull York Medical School, said:

“There is evidence that there are chemicals that can act like hormones that exist in our environment and that these are building up around us,  however the concerning fact is that we know very little about how these so-called endocrine disrupting compounds might affect human fertility. 

“Using new models of the male and female reproductive tract developed at the Hull York Medical School at the University of Hull, our research is exploring how these compounds may change the physiology of the male reproductive tract, the female fallopian tubes and early embryos.”

"We want to attract ambitious students to the University to work with us on specific health projects that can make a difference to future generations." Dr David Richards, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise

In addition to those exploring human reproductive and maternal health, other projects will cover research in cancer imaging, arterial disease in diabetes and the diagnosis of chronic disease as well as the effect of environmental contaminants on respiration, and the health inequalities faced by different communities.

The investment in health research is part of the University’s wider £3-million investment in PhD scholarships to tackle a range of issues from human trafficking to the stresses placed on our oceans as a result of climate change and pollution.

Developing scientific insights and innovative treatments to benefit patients is ongoing at the University of Hull.  Our PhD students are already working with global medical technology giant Smith & Nephew, which combines the brightest minds with the finest R&D facilities to drive research into pioneering approaches to advanced wound care.

Many of our PhD students working in health will benefit from access to the vibrant research community at the heart of our new £28-million Allam Medical Building and health campus, which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in November. The Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, which opened last year, has already brought together a group of high-profile world-class researchers here.

The investment in PhD scholarships builds on a history of support for postgraduate research at the University of Hull, with £18 million invested in the last five years. The £3-million investment for entry in 2018 includes projects across the University, some of which are interdisciplinary and in collaboration with the NHS and industry.

University of Hull Research

From slavery and emancipation to health and medicine, logistics and renewables, and energy and environment, our research is making a real difference by addressing global challenges. 

The University ranked in the top 50 UK institutions based on research power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 62% of the submitted research classified as internationally excellent or world leading, and areas such as Geography and Computer Science achieving a top five ranking based on research impact.

Confidence in our research capability has never been stronger.In response to the changing and increasingly competitive environment in which we operate, our focus over the last year has been on using our expertise to develop mutually beneficial, long-term collaborative relationships with external partners. As a result, the University has significantly increased (by 35%) the number of competitively won research grants over the last year.  For example, we are shaping the future of offshore wind in the UK’s energy estuary and have been successful in securing £76 million to improve wind power technologies as part of a collaborative bid. The five-year programme will help to reduce the cost of electricity from offshore wind.

In addition, our Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its outstanding contribution that has helped uncover the true extent of slavery around the globe, and highlighted how lessons from the past can educate our future.

Building on the University’s strong track record of research into how cancer is understood, diagnosed and treated, Yorkshire Cancer research has awarded the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School a grant of over £5 million to tackle cancer inequalities in the region.

Visit www.hull.ac.uk/phd for a full list and further details, including closing dates.

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