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PhD Scholarships

Without quality researchers, there can be no quality research.

This is why we invest into PhD scholarships and support you during every step of your research journey. Many of our projects are interdisciplinary and 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.

Register now to keep up to date about our scholarship rounds for 2021 and beyond.

NERC/EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

The NERC/EPSRC funded Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment (led by the University of Hull’s Energy & Environment Institute, partnering with Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield universities and over 20 Industry partners) invites candidates for 4-year taught and research PhD scholarships. These are fully funded PhD opportunities to attract exceptional graduates to this pioneering industry.

The Aura CDT is an enabler for innovation in the offshore wind sector, unique in its cross-disciplinary engagement of engineering and environmental scientists, industry and policy makers. Your research could make a real impact to the environmental and engineering challenges the offshore wind (OSW) industry is facing. Areas identified for research and innovation include:

  • Big marine data and metocean
  • Environmental interactions, seabed dynamics and benthic habitat
  • Logistics, safety, risk and human factors
  • Low carbon transitions and community benefits
  • Next generation materials and manufacturing
  • Operations and remote autonomous monitoring

Application deadline: Friday 13 December 2019


Microplastic Transport in Environmental Flows

Microplastics are anthropogenic particles that range from micron to millimetre in size. Carrying biological and chemical pollutants they pose a significant risk to natural ecosystems and habitats. 

Our limited understanding of microplastic transport arises due to the complex characteristics of different microplastics, and the additional complexity of environmental flows. 

The PhD will develop models to estimate and then predict the flux of microplastics transported by a range of environmental flows. Research will integrate new theory, developed from reduced complexity fluid dynamics, which will be validated against new data developed from laboratory-controlled physical experiments.

Application deadline: Friday 13 December 2019

Sand mining sustainability: Quantifying rates and locations of sand mining using high-resolution satellite data

Global economic development has fuelled growth of the construction industry and increased exploitation of global sand reserves, with considerable volumes of sand now extracted from the world’s large rivers. 

The advent of high-resolution satellite imagery allows for novel approaches to quantify the locations and rates of sand extraction from large rivers, such as the Mekong.

This project will seek to use such datasets (including Planet’s satellite imagery at 3m spatial resolution and daily temporal resolution) to record the presence of sand mining vessels within the lower Mekong River and its Delta, and provide an up-to-date assessment of the rates of sand being extracted.

Application deadline: Friday 13 December 2019

Living with Water: Perceptions, Processes, Responses and Mitigation of Flooding PhD Cluster

The magnitude and frequency of flooding and the associated risks to infrastructure, economic activity and human life are known to be increasing due to changes in rainfall and storm intensity, frequency and seasonality, in conjunction with the pressures of increased development on floodplains and in the coastal zone. There is a need for society to adapt to Live with Water.

This PhD cluster will focus on better understanding the impacts of flooding and improving the approaches to mitigating flood risk to societies. Improved understanding of the impacts of flooding requires an improved understanding of the processes leading to flooding and the processes active during floods; from the changes in fluxes of water and debris, through to emergency responders’ and the public’s behaviour and perception in response to flood events.

The cluster brings together researchers in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Life Sciences, and Computer Science with social scientists and physical and numerical modellers in Geography and Geology.

Application deadline: Friday 13 December 2019

NERC Panorama DTP
ESRC White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

The University of Hull is part of the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership - a collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, Bradford and Manchester Metropolitan University - and through this is able to offer a range of ESRC funded Postgraduate Scholarships.

The University of Hull can accept applications to five Interdisciplinary Themed Pathways of ESRC training in the 1+3 (Masters and PhD), +3 (PhD only), for both full and part-time study. 

In addition to the Themed Pathway awards, the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (DTPalso offers 4 fully funded Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards. The DTP will give priority to those who will be working with large data sets (an ESRC priority).

You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application.  All applicants should submit a standard PhD application to the University of Hull.  Shortlisted applicants will be aided to prepare an application to the DTP.

Application deadline: Wednesday 29 January 2020


Sticky biomolecules - from sediments to astrobiology

Adhesion of biological material to igneous rocks and silicates is still a poorly understood phenomenon at a molecular level. Yet such information is crucial in many domains where biological material comes into contact with rocky formations. This is the case for biofilms growing on clay sediments in river banks, for chemically accurate models of comets, but also for the formation of building blocks of life on other planets.

This project will use supercomputers to investigate the adhesion of simple amino acids to clay and silicate surfaces at a molecular level. 

Application deadline: Monday 6 January 2020

Happy Chemical Cluster: exploring serotonin as the missing link between pollution, climate, animal behaviour and human health

We’re looking to recruit three PhD students to join our “Happy Chemical Cluster” and work with us on Animal Behaviour and/or Molecular Biology. These projects will focus on the role of serotonin -  a chemical known to contribute to wellbeing and happiness - and often called the happy chemical, and of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). In fact, SSRI are some of the most frequently prescribed drugs for the treatment of depression but the role of serotonin is complex, associated with appetite, anxiety, temperature regulation, sexual activity and sleep. 

Here at the University of Hull, we have the opportunity to examine the role of serotonin in various animal behaviours and better understand the molecular pathways involved, and the likely impacts of pollution of waterways with SSRI, using our superb aquarium systems and molecular laboratories.

You will join a thriving and supportive community of postgraduate students across the Departments of Biological & Marine Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, with regular lab meetings, journal clubs, Departmental seminars and annual postgraduate conferences. Depending on the PhD project, you will be supported with Home Office training for licensed procedures, animal tracking and behavioural analysis, animal husbandry, biochemical analyses, molecular biology methods, bioinformatics, ecotoxicology and pharmacology. Candidates with some experience already in any of these would be welcome.

Application deadline: Wednesday 29 January 2020

Homeless Healthcare Hull

The aim of this interdisciplinary research cluster is to better understand and improve healthcare services for homeless people in the UK.  Three distinct PhDs in Hull York Medical School will examine homeless healthcare service users with particular attention to hospital admissions and discharge, experiences of homelessness, barriers to self-care, and access to primary care services.  

Homeless people are more likely than the general population to be victims of violent crime and abuse and significantly at more risk of numerous health issues including mental health problems, substance misuse, chronic diseases, skin problems, infectious diseases and oral health problems.

These issues are frustrated by difficulties accessing primary healthcare services or feeling stigmatised by healthcare providers. Improved homeless healthcare provision has the potential to avoid premature deaths and significantly improve the lives of homeless people in the UK.  Homeless Healthcare Hull is an exciting opportunity for three candidates to undertake doctoral research into this challenging but crucially important area.

As members of the Academy of Primary Care and Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research, you will join a vibrant research environment with dedicated facilities and resources. You will be based at the award-winning Allam Medical Building where you will be supported by an interdisciplinary supervisory team with expertise in generalist medicine, patient-centred care, drug addiction, victimisation, alcohol dependence, long-term conditions, social inclusion and health inequalities.

Your doctoral research will make use of our collaborative connections with primary care networks, local hospitals, Hull City Council and homeless healthcare services.  

Application deadline: Wednesday 29 January 2020

Clinical Application of Next Generation Microbiome Profiling

Hull York Medical School are looking for talented candidates to join a multi-disciplinary cluster of four funded PhD scholarships. Working with a major industry partner you will develop and apply cutting edge microbiome profiling technologies to real world clinical and consumer applications.

We are covered, inside and out, by diverse communities of microorganisms, collectively termed our ‘microbiota’. These microorganisms are intimately associated with their micro-environment, producing a range of factors that regulate both our heath and susceptibility to disease.

As a student within this cluster you will focus on understanding the microbial complexity of the skin or respiratory tract, two tissues that are currently poorly studied. You will explore new ways to promote a “healthy” microbiome, test the microbe-supporting effects of new products, or develop new methods to characterise the resistance of wound bacteria at the population level.

Supervised by a team of internationally recognised academics you will have access to outstanding research facilities, including the Hull “VIPER” high performance computing, and NHS/clinical partners.

These projects will provide unique “big data” bioscience training, within a vibrant, supportive research environment, equipping you with skills that are essential for a future career in modern academia or industry. 

Application deadline: Wednesday 29 January 2020

Better Policing, Safer Communities

Applications are invited for PhD scholarships, to join a multi-disciplinary Research Cluster, working with experts from across the University as part of the, Humberside Police-Academic Collaboration (H-PAC).

The common theme for this diverse range of research topics is to improve community safety through better policing. The topics have been co-produced with Humberside Police to meet the Force priorities, to support government strategies and to reflect the new ongoing commitment to collaboration between University of Hull and Humberside Police.

In addition to having two internal academic supervisors, each candidate will have a third supervisor who is a senior police officer. Students will be required to undertake 12 weeks of placement with Humberside Police during the PhD programme and to make an annual progress presentation to Humberside Police.

This novel continuous co-production model of supervision is designed to create researchers who are uniquely qualified to lead the future of policing research.

Application deadline: Wednesday 29 January 2020



Living with the consequences of 'modern slavery'

The cluster explores critical questions of victimology in modern slavery studies. It aims to investigate critically the problems experienced by those living with the consequences of ‘modern slavery’, whether directly as ‘victims’ of exploitation, or indirectly as ‘victims’ of the measures put in place to prevent it.

This cluster focuses attention on the pitfalls of intervention as well as the benefits. There are two strands.

Currently there is much emphasis on identifying those affected by modern forms of slavery through raids and rescue operations, known as the carceral approach (Bernstein, 2012). The attribution of victim status and hence their access to support, protection and justice, is entirely dependent on a series of bureaucratic processes known for their inaccuracy and bias in decision-making (ATMG, 2010; Arocha, 2013).

At the same time, it is clear that there are significant gaps in our knowledge about what it is that allows differential access to justice: while some victims have been able to secure a successful outcome, many others have not.

The first strand of these scholarships has two elements, being concerned on the one hand with an investigation of the experience of those ‘victims’ as witnesses in the court process, and on the other with the ongoing experiences of victims in the medium to long-term as they move on with their lives.

The second strand examines the experience of those prevented from exercising their human rights because of restrictions placed on them by measures put in place, both locally and internationally, to prevent the emergence of ‘modern slavery’.

Together these three scholarships will allow us to understand the mechanisms and impact of three decades of policies and interventions aimed at eradicating ‘modern slavery’, and provide a blueprint for improving the lives of those who have had to live through this.

Application deadline: Wednesday 29 January 2020

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