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Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

The EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

The EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment supports the sustainable growth of the offshore wind industry. Applications to Cohort 3 will open in the autumn for high-quality applications from students from a broad range of academic backgrounds for 4-year taught and research PhD scholarships.

Join a growing industry

The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, providing over 10% of the UK’s electricity and growing at an unprecedented rate. The new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal predicts that by 2030, the industry will provide a third of British electricity and triple its workforce. The Sector Deal will see industry invest £250 million, including a new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, driving global exports which are set to increase fivefold to £2.6 billion by 2030.

Supportive research environment

The Aura CDT is led by the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull with partner universities Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield. It integrates the core strengths of each institution in environment, engineering and energy and also works closely with over 20 international industry partners. Students will have both an academic supervisor and an industry link, giving access to world-leading research and development facilities in both environments.

Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

Impactful research with strong industry links

Your research could make a real impact to the environmental and engineering challenges facing the offshore wind industry. We are seeking high quality, innovative people whose backgrounds, experience and identity broadens and enhances the diversity of our existing team. You will initially study in Hull, in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary, and the global centre for research, innovation and development for the sector. The first year combines taught skills and experiential learning to bring all candidates up to date with developments in the offshore wind industry and to prepare for their PhD Research. In subsequent years, candidates may be based at one of the partner universities of Hull, Durham, Newcastle or Sheffield and get real sector experience with the industry partners mapped to your chosen area of research. The broad research areas identified are:

  • 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

Entry Requirements

Applications are actively encouraged from candidates with a background in a wide variety of STEM subjects as the research areas covered by the Aura CDT are diverse. If you have received either, a first class honours degree, or a 2:1 honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in any of the following, or associated subjects, we would like to hear from you. For overseas students we also require an IELTS score of 7.0 with no element below 6.0.

  • Biology
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • Psychology

The partners are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; applications are welcome from students from diverse backgrounds (part-time study available for Home/EU students only due to Tier 4 Visa rules).

Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment

Funding and eligibility

The Aura CDT is funded by the EPSRC and NERC, allowing us to provide scholarships that cover fees plus a stipend set at the UKRI nationally agreed rates, circa £15,000 per annum for full-time students (subject to progression). Scholarships are available for EU and UK nationals who satisfy the residency rules of the EPSRC. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply to the Aura CDT but must be self-funded candidates.

Apply now

Application is by online form only as your research proposal is developed during your first year at the Aura CDT. Applications have now closed for Cohort 2, beginning study in September 2020. Further cohorts will be recruited to begin in September 2021, 2022 and 2023.

For more information about the Aura CDT including research project examples and how to apply, please visit auracdt.hull.ac.uk or call +44(0)1482 463331.

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