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We have 10 Ecotoxicology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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Ecotoxicology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 10 Ecotoxicology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Ecotoxicology would provide you with the opportunity to undertake a three or four-year interdisciplinary research project into the effects of toxic chemicals or biological agents on organisms or an ecosystem. You could be researching the effect of pollution on the ocean or investigating the effect of nanoparticles on healthy people, but you’ll mostly be in the laboratory to conduct experiments on samples from the field.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Ecotoxicology?

Doing a PhD in Ecotoxicology, you’ll become proficient at skills in the laboratory, particularly with the techniques used in Ecology and Toxicology. You’re also likely to gain valuable experience working in the field taking samples from the air, water, or soil for later analysis.

    Some typical research topics in Ecotoxicology include:

  • Ecotoxicological effects of a specific group of nanoparticles on a healthy population
  • Investigating the effect of air pollution on a specific group such as those with asthma
  • Researching specific receptor interactions between pollutants and an organism
  • Investigating the effect of pollution on aquatic life
  • Researching how pollutants are affecting soil and plant life

Ecotoxicology PhD programmes are mostly advertised projects, with the project aims pre-determined by the supervisor, with full funding attached. However, some advertised projects are only available to self-funded students, which can be difficult since you’ll need to cover both PhD fees and bench fees. This also makes proposing your own project in Ecotoxicology rare.

Regardless of funding, your project will end in a thesis of approximately 60,000 words and a viva exam, which allows you to defend your work.

Day-to-day you’ll be conducting field work and taking samples from your ecosystem of interest or in the laboratory analysing samples previously collected. You’ll write up your methods and results from each set of experiments, perform statistical analysis on any data you collect and will chat with your colleagues and supervisor about your work.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Ecotoxicology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology at Merit or Distinction level. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Ecotoxicology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Ecotoxicology PhDs in the UK is the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). They provide fully-funded studentships including a stipend for living costs, a consumables budget for bench fees and a tuition fee waiver. Students don’t apply directly to the BBSRC, you apply for advertised projects with this funding attached.

It’s difficult for Ecotoxicology PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

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