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PhD Studentship: NERC RED ALERT CDT studentship for 2024 Entry – Assessing Impacts of Combined Sewage Overflows and Surface Water Outfalls on Invertebrate Populations in River Catchments in Southwest England -PhD in Biological Sciences.

University of Exeter - Biosciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Exeter
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622 An annual stipend for 3.5 years (current award for 2023-24) in line with UK Research and Innovation rates Payment of university tuition fee; A research budget
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th February 2024
Closes: 14th March 2024
Reference: 5055

About the Partnership

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Real-Time Digital Water-Based Systems for Environmental Health Protection (RED ALERT CDT).  The NERC RED ALERT CDT consists the University of Bath, Bangor University, Cardiff University and the University of Exeter plus the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.  RED-ALERT CDT’s vision is to train and empower a new generation of leaders to transform how we manage aquatic   environmental health via Real-Time Digital Water-Based Systems.

For eligible successful applicants, the studentship comprises:

  • A stipend for 3.5 years (currently £18,622 p.a. for 2023-24) in line with UK Research and Innovation rates
  • Payment of university tuition fee;
  • A research budget of £11,000 for conferences, lab, field and research expenses;

Project Background:

Freshwater systems are  considered to be the most threatened globally and chemical pollution has contributed significantly to freshwater wildlife population declines. It is important to understand  the different pollution sources  and their impact on freshwater biodiversity  so that mitigation strategies can be prioritised for the best wildlife protection. Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO)  have hit the media headlines in recent years  and there is widespread concern about their environmental impacts on freshwater biota however these concerns are largely unquantified.  We recently secured a major grant to better understand the impacts of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) and Surface Water Outfalls (SWO) on riverine biota across catchments in southwest England (rivers Exe, Tamar and Dart) that will support this PhD research project. The PhD will therefore be part of an exciting  large multidisciplinary research project with diverse supporting expertise and industry engagement for enabling real world impact. The PhD will involve a combination of in-field sampling, invertebrate monitoring using both traditional and eDNA methods, chemical bioavailability assessments (for selected chemicals identified in the CSO and SWO discharges through the wider research programme), and risk analyses/modelling using these  data together with wider invertebrate/chemical monitoring  and ecotox  database information. Importantly, the project has great flexibility and the student will get every opportunity to help shape the PhD project to suit their main interests and training preferences.

Essential: A biological/relevant degree and a passion for research and the environment.

Desired: Some knowledge of, and ideally experience of working with, invertebrates and/or molecular biology and /or analytical chemistry. Some field experience would be an advantage.

Applicants should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK.   Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have Master’s degree.  Applicants with a minimum of Upper Second Class degree and significant relevant non-academic experience are encouraged to apply.

All applicants would need to meet our English language requirements by the start of the project http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained. This should be an interim transcript if you are still studying.
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your current proficiency in English, please see the entry requirements for details.
  • Two references

 

 

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