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PhD Scholarships

Fishing and very large scale offshore wind deployment


Funded PhD


3 years (full-time) 5 years (part-time)

Application deadline:

10 February 2023

About this project

All of the nations bounding the North Sea have ambitious plans for offshore wind deployment that have expanded during 2022 in response to the energy crisis. For example, the UK currently has around 11 GW of offshore wind capacity, but intends to expand that to 50 GW by 2030 and likely far more by 2050 (although not all of this will be in the North Sea). The resulting very large scale, and very rapid, deployment of offshore wind will be central to the decarbonisation of north-west Europe, but will result in wind farms occupying a significant fraction of the North Sea. This is likely to result in spatial conflicts with other sea users, including the fishing industry.

Applications are invited for a PhD project which will,

  1. Predict future layouts for offshore wind in the North Sea.
  2. Engage with the small-scale fishing industry to develop an understanding of what types of fishing (e.g. mobile vs static gear, and types of each) can safely share space with what types of wind farm (e.g. fixed and floating, different foundation types, different turbine spacings).
  3. Produce policy recommendations to enable and optimise the shared use of space between these two industries.

Areas which might be explored include best practices for designing wind farms, changes to operational practices in both industries to accommodate the other, and further synergies such as (for example) low-carbon fishing vessels being able to recharge or refuel offshore from wind farms. This project is part of a PhD cluster on Sustainable Terrestrial and Maritime Food Systems: Environmental Technologies and their Implications.

The successful candidate will be based on the University of Hull campus and will be provided with physical workspace and the specific equipment and resources needed for their research. They will benefit from interaction with stakeholders from both industries and from government. The successful student will benefit from joining a collaborative, multidisciplinary and nurturing environment, and will be provided with excellent opportunities for external networking. We will hold regular meetings with the entire cluster, with opportunities to present and discuss research, invite internal and external speakers and collaborators and foster networking.

For informal inquiries, please contact Dr Simon Waldman.


Join us at a free webinar at 6 pm on Thursday 1 December for more information about the funded projects available through this cluster. You will be able to hear from PhD supervisors and ask questions about the programme. 

About the research cluster


Sustainable terrestrial and maritime food systems: environmental technologies and their implications

This PhD project is part of a cluster of inter-related, inter-disciplinary projects, which between them focus on the implications of environmental technologies for the practices of people involved in primary food production on both land and sea. Our food and energy production systems contribute significantly to environmental problems, including climate change, and technological solutions are often proposed as ways of reducing their carbon footprints. Yet these can be challenging to implement and can have unanticipated effects on the practices of those engaged in farming and fishing. This cluster of projects involves a combination of scientific projects aiming to develop and test different environmental technologies, and social science projects aiming to look at the effects on the practices of primary food producers as society aims for a low carbon world. Specifically, the cluster will: 1. advance the development of two technologies for use in terrestrial food production and examine the implications of these for farmers, and 2. examine the effects on the small-scale fishing industry of high energy prices and large scale offshore wind deployment.

As part of a PhD cluster, in addition to becoming an expert in your own area you will join a collaborative, multidisciplinary and nurturing environment with other researchers around a common theme. You will be part of regular cluster meetings where you can present and discuss your research, as well as engaging with the wider community of postgraduate researchers in the university. You will have opportunities to build relationships with external stakeholders, and you will be supported in development towards your future career – whether that be within or without academia.

How to apply

You will need to supply a personal statement when applying for this scholarship position. Find out more about writing a personal statement. Please also ensure you include the following information:

  1. What motivates you to pursue PhD study
  2. Why you are interested in this project
  3. How your skill set matches the requirements for your choice of project and/or any additional training you will need
  4. The wider significance of research in this area and potential future research directions for the project.

Apply for this scholarship Full time | Part time

Closing date for applications

10 February 2023

Start date

18 September 2023

Postgraduate Rebecca Humphries & Georgia Sykes walking by HUBS Wharfe Building

University of Hull's Doctoral College provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the college is here to help you achieve your potential.


  • The successful applicant will receive a fee waiver and a maintenance grant/stipend for three years (full-time) or five years (part-time), which covers the research period of the PhD. The fee waiver for 22/23 is £4,596 (Home fee) and the maintenance grant is £17,668 per annum. This rises each year in line with the UKRI’s recommended stipend allowance.
  • If you need to move into a fourth year (full-time) or sixth year (part-time) to complete your thesis, please note that you will not receive a tuition fee waiver or maintenance grant during this period and you will be required to pay a continuation fee.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2:i in a relevant undergraduate degree. A Masters degree in a relevant area would be an advantage, but is not required.

As this is an interdisciplinary project, applicants are encouraged from a wide range of backgrounds; if in doubt, please speak with us. Interest in and enthusiasm for the topic is essential. Prior experience or knowledge of any of the following would be an advantage:

  • Marine policy
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Commercial fishing
  • Offshore wind energy

For more details on our entry requirements please visit the postgraduate admissions webpage.

This scholarship is available for full-time and part-time study.

International applicants

This opportunity comes with a Home fee waiver only, which will not cover the full International fee. You will therefore need to pay the difference between the Home fee and the International fee every year and will need to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover this.

The amount you will have to pay will depend on the PhD programme that you will be registered on.

Submission of thesis

Submission of your final thesis is expected within three years and three months from the start of your PhD scholarship for full time and within five years and six months if studying part-time.

Research training

As a PhD student here at the University of Hull you will undertake the Postgraduate Training Scheme alongside your main degree, to help you develop the research skills and knowledge you’ll need in your future career. You will gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Research Training in addition to your PhD.