Team GB banner on Brynmor Jones Library

Race to Zero: An Olympic journey


Funded PhD


3 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

31 May 2021

About our partnership with Team GB

The University’s partnership with Team GB was announced in January 2019 and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The partnership is borne out of a synergy between the University’s ambitions and values, and those of Team GB, and is built on the belief that there is the extraordinary in everyone. The partnership has gone from strength to strength, and we have recently announced double Olympic Champion, Max Whitlock, as our new ambassador as part of our two-year anniversary celebrations.

Find out more about our partnership with Team GB.

About this project

Elite sport has many benefits for global society, including its ability to promote an environmental message to those who are hard to reach by other routes. However, it has its own significant environmental footprint which should be recognised and minimised.

One of Team GB’s strategic goals is to understand and reduce its carbon footprint, and this PhD project will work in partnership with Team GB and two of the University’s research institutes – the Energy and Environment Institute and the Logistics Institute – to further this goal. This will be achieved by performing a carbon audit of the team’s activities, informed by a series of interviews, to build understanding of which parts of its operations are the most carbon-expensive and where there is potential for improvement. In collaboration with Team GB we will develop recommendations for change, and produce a data-driven decision support tool to help them optimise an area of their operations. Where appropriate, our findings will be generalised to allow other similar units to benefit from the new understanding.

As this is an interdisciplinary project, the successful candidate will be a member of both the Energy and Environment Institute (EEI) and the Logistics Institute (LI) at the University of Hull. The project aligns with the primary objectives of the Energy and Environment Institute, which involve exploring the interdisciplinary space around climate change and a low carbon transition, while also building on extensive existing expertise within the LI regarding carbon footprinting and impact reduction of commercial activities and logistics.

Based in the EEI, you would be part of a large multidisciplinary team that offers unique approaches to solving big problems in a supportive, collegiate environment.

Find out more at our webinar

To find out more about the Team GB PhD projects and to hear direct from Team GB and the personal supervisors you can register to attend a webinar on Wednesday 12 May at 6 pm. This is your opportunity to ask questions and also to find out more from your potential future supervisors. Register to attend here.

The University's Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme.

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The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help. 

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The 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. 

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain the slavery.

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The successful applicant will receive a fee waiver and a maintenance grant/stipend for three years, which covers the research period of the PhD. The fee waiver for 21/22 is £4500 (Home fee) and the maintenance grant is £15609. This rises each year in line with the UKRI’s recommended stipend allowance.

Submission of thesis

Submission of your final thesis is expected within three years and three months from the start of your PhD scholarship.

If you need to move into a fourth year to complete your thesis, please note that you will not receive a tuition fee waiver or maintenance grant during this period.

Entry requirements

You must hold at least a 2.1 or equivalent in an undergraduate degree in a relevant numerate subject (eg Engineering, Physical or Environmental Sciences, Business Studies or similar. If unsure, please ask). You must have interest in, and enthusiasm for, low carbon transition, and should demonstrate this in your application.

Either a Masters degree or relevant experience outside academia would be advantageous.

If you have experience or familiarity with elite sports this would be valuable: please tell us about this in your application. Similarly, if you have programming experience and/or experience with handling and manipulating large datasets, this would be advantageous.

We welcome and encourage applications from retired or retiring athletes.

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

This scholarship is available for full-time study only and not open to candidates who have already obtained a PhD.

International applicants

This opportunity is open to Home candidates only.

How to apply

Apply here, providing a personal statement, of no more than 800 words outlining:

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