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Without quality researchers, there can be no quality research.

This is why the University of Hull invests into PhD scholarships to attract the best academic talent and further our research endeavours. Many projects are interdisciplinary and/or in collaboration with industry.

If you choose to carry out your postgraduate studies with us, you will become part of a vibrant, forward-thinking research community.

Our postgraduate students are a well-integrated and fundamental part of our research and contribute a great deal to the shaping of the Faculty. We pride ourselves on supporting them and ensuring that they achieve their full potential. In addition to their own research, all PhD students at the University of Hull also complete the  Postgraduate Training Scheme.

University of Hull 2018 PhD Scholarships

Register now to keep up to date about our scholarship rounds for 2018 and beyond.

The brain as a predictive machine

A fundamental human capacity is to construct predictive representations of upcoming events (the brain as a predictive machine). This is of special relevance within the social world, where the events that matter most are others’ actions, whose accurate prediction/anticipation critically affects social success. This project will investigate whether, and if so in what way, mirror neuron mechanisms in sensorimotor cortex play a role in the involuntary, automatic, anticipation of other’s actions, and whether this capacity is compromised in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The project will use EEG recordings (mu rhythm), as well as behavioural and eye-tracking paradigms, and will apply tDCS/TMS (in collaboration with Dr Igor Schindler), to examine the cognitive and brain systems that underpin this ability and its possible disruptions in autism spectrum disorder. There will also be scope for the design of intervention techniques based on the results. The successful candidate will be encouraged to identify novel questions and design innovative studies. 

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Novel methods of synthesising circulation metabolites of natural products

Plant-derived polyphenols are an interesting class of natural product that have been identified to have some pharmacological activities in a range of disease states including cardiovascular diseases (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 60, 4, 787-797).  These compounds undergo significant metabolic processing in humans, however these metabolites are not available for use in in vitro drug screening approaches, due to substantial challenges using traditional synthesis methods.  This project will utilise existing expertise in microfluidic synthesis technology at the University of Hull, to develop and characterise such devices for the synthesis of polyphenolic metabolites.

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REDEEM: Research and Development of fish and Eel Entrainment Mitigation at pumping stations

The European eel, Anguilla anguilla, is widely distributed throughout European estuarine and inland waters, but concern over the status of eel stocks is so great that the European Union has specific legislation (The EC Eel Regulation (1100/2007)) for their protection from human mediated activities including impingement and entrainment at pumping stations. Water is frequently pumped from or into rivers to provide water for domestic supply, agriculture and industry as well as being controlled for flooding and hydropower generation. Eels can be drawn into pumps and water intakes, especially adult silver eels during downstream migration. However, the extent of the problem is not fully understood and gaps in our knowledge prevent adequate, cost-effective remediation measures being identified. Funding to address knowledge gaps has been provided by EU European Marine and Fisheries Fund (ENG2130), Environment Agency (FCRM and Fisheries), Internal Drainage Boards, Association of Drainage Authorities and University of Hull.

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How emerging environmental contaminants affect the airways

Environmental pollutants such as diesel exhaust particulates, ozone and cigarette smoke can contribute to the development, exacerbation and progression of respiratory pathologies, including asthma, chronic cough, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fibrosis and cancer. Emerging environmental contaminants include the ultrafine particles present in 3D printer dust, nanoparticles associated with the growth of nanotechnology and microplastics released by cosmetics and clothing. The aim of this project is to identify how emerging environmental contaminants aberrantly affect the airways.

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How environmental contaminants affect the reproductive systems

Emerging evidence suggests that high occupational or ambient residential exposure to environmental contaminants affects the reproductive systems of men and women, impacting on embryonic development and increasing aggressive cancer risk. Examples of this human toxicity include exposure to phthalates, neonicotinoids, dioxins, epoxy resin, the plastics agent bisphenol A, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons consumed as part of cooked-meat diets and organophosphates/organochlorines used in agricultural pesticides. The aim of this project is to compare the way in which exposure to these environmental contaminants can modify epithelial cells of the male and female reproductive systems leading to reproductive dysfunction and predisposition to increased aggressive cancer risk.

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Machine learning to recognise and identify bird species from radar data

The Humber estuary is rich in resident bird life and represents a significant corridor for migratory species. However, it is also a highly dynamic and industrialised landscape thus presents a mix of risks, challenges and benefits to the birds that use it. Conversely, the presence of resident and migratory birds along the estuary raises issues for industrial development and, potentially, human and livestock health. In partnership with the Animal & Plant Health Agency we share an ambition to create a new, vibrant research community with an explicit focus on bird ecology and behaviour in order to answer pure and applied questions regarding the use of the landscape by birds and interactions with human interests.

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Materials for optical oxygen sensing

Oxygen concentration in biological tissue is an important health indicator. Low concentration of oxygen in the tissue may be a symptom of serious diseases, such as cancer or inflammation. The overall scientific goal of this project is to develop biocompatible and robust materials for use in oxygen sensing for biological tissue and integrate them onto an optical probe.

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Developing an advanced computing platform for urban/district energy & carbon management and eco-design

The School is seeking a qualified PhD candidate who will work on a UK Newton Fund project to develop an advanced computing platform for urban/district energy & carbon management and eco-designbased on Guangdong (China)’s energy data base.

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Global Cultures of Risk: Insurance in Non-Western Contexts 1870-1980

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates to work on “Global Cultures of Risk: Insurance in Non-Western Contexts 1870-1980”, which is a joint University of Hull-University of Basel research project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. 

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