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PhD studentships in Biological and Geosciences (QUADRAT DTP)

PhD studentships in Biological and Geosciences (QUADRAT DTP)

Applications are invited for UKRI funded PhD studentships starting 1st October 2021

The deadline for applications is Monday 18th January 2021

QUADRAT DTP brings together two research and teaching centres of excellence in biological sciences and geosciences. The University of Aberdeen is a world class multidisciplinary research and training institution and Queen’s University Belfast is a Russell Group University with an international reputation for world class research.

Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), with support from several partner organisations, QUADRAT DTP will provide outstanding students from the UK, EU and overseas with unrivalled opportunities to gain the skills and holistic understanding essential for the next generation of scientific leaders in academic, industry and policy development due to our unique geographic positions, unprecedented research and training infrastructure and strategic alliances of the two academic partners.

Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Each year, we award approximately 20 studentships to exceptional students, providing funding to support Doctoral studies for PhD programmes. Our research themes of Biodiversity, Earth Systems and Environmental Management allow for an integration of both theoretical and applied projects capable of addressing the most significant environmental and societal challenges we face now and in the future. The QUADRAT DTP vision is to equip students with the skills, outlook, purpose and holistic understanding to lead, communicate and translate innovative cross-disciplinary research that meets the challenges associated with the effective management of the natural environment; and position our graduates as the next generation of scientific leaders in academia, industry and policy development.

Projects will be supervised by a team of academic staff in the following areas:

  • Biodiversity
  • Earth Systems
  • Environmental Management
PhD studentships in Biological and Geosciences (QUADRAT DTP)


QUADRAT PhD projects are competition funded by the QUADRAT NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. This opportunity is open to UK and International candidates (including EU nationals) and provides funding to cover stipend, UK level tuition fees and a research and training support grant (RTSG). Please refer to the UKRI website, Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions and for full eligibility criteria. Please note QUADRAT funding does not cover visa costs (including immigration health surcharge) or other additional costs associated with relocation to the UK. Please be aware that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject. Applicants with a minimum of a 2.2 Honours degree may be considered providing they have a Distinction at Master’s level.

Fees and Funding

QUADRAT DTP students are funded for a minimum of 3.5 years (up to 7 years part-time), to start on 1st October 2021.

They include:

  • Stipend based on UKRI rates (currently £15,285 pa for 2020/21, updated annually)
  • Fees (Home)
  • Research and Training Costs (£11,000)

What to do next

For a full list of available projects please visit our website.

Please visit our funding and eligibility and HOW TO APPLY webpages for full details before submitting your application.

We advise all applicants to contact and discuss the project content with the relevant project supervisor.

It is anticipated that shortlisted candidates will be called for interview between Monday 1st March and Friday 5th March 2021 Interviews are expected to be conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams.

PhD studentships in Biological and Geosciences (QUADRAT DTP)

Available Projects

QUADRAT DTP CASE: Environmental change and the epidemiology of a multi-host pathogen in reservoir hosts: Leptospira in AfricaDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Exploring behaviour and behavioural changes in the light of climate change in Irish Sea codDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Rewilding and the return of interacting meso-predators: Understanding, modelling and monitoring predator-prey dynamics in non-equilibrium ecosystemsDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Salmonid conservation in American rivers in the wake of proliferative kidney disease outbreaks: using functional genomics to understand climate-change driven disease emergenceDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Sustainable Resilience to Coastal Erosion: A Demonstration Project of an Innovative System for Erosion Mitigation for Coastal Golf CoursesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: ’Killing two challenges with one biochar’: biological enrichment of biochar to increase sustainability and food securityDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Actions of early life endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure on adult fish health using the zebrafish modelDetails
QUADRAT DTP: An evo-devo approach to understand resilience to climate changeDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Automated soil profiling: identification of soil characteristics using Machine Learning and image analysisDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Biodiversity of the gut microbiome and their links with growth, reproduction and ageing in a wild birdDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Bridging ecology and economics to develop effective and sustainable rodent management strategies in rural AfricaDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Chemodynamics of climate-smart rice production: optimizing nutrient cycling in paddy soilsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Conservation implications of variation in reproductive traits among fragmented populations of tropical forest treesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Ecological and evolutionary processes associated with environmental change in microbial populationsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Ecology of dynamic seasonal salt lakes and their responses to hydrological changesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Establishing Marine Biodiversity Baselines for Blue Carbon HabitatsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Evolution and consequences of mating systems for range dynamics and species’ responses to environmental changes.Details
QUADRAT DTP: Exploring past biodiversity in Scotland and Ireland using environmental ancient DNADetails
QUADRAT DTP: Fruit flies: when a food waste party gets too crowedDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Impacts of Offshore Wind Turbines on fishing and the environment: An assessment of Bottom-fixed versus Floating Wind Turbine Concepts.Details
QUADRAT DTP: Mapping and measuring glacier mass balance: developing a best practice approach for understanding glacier changeDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Modelling long-distance migrants in the face of environmental change: The case of Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers.Details
QUADRAT DTP: Monitoring environmental change with ambient seismic noiseDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Predicting the ecological impacts of invasive alien insects at multiple levels: from genes to communitiesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Quantitative environmental risk assessment of binary and tertiary heavy metal mixtures in agricultural soilsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Quenching the thirst at the foot of the giants: the effect of climate change on glacier-derived water resources in high mountain regionsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Spineless, or socially skillful? Social competence in insects and spidersDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Study of the role of microbial networks on carbon cycling under controlled pressure and temperature conditionsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: The evolutionary ecology of prokaryotic viruses in hyper-saline environmentsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: The individual within the invaders - how individual variability influences invasion interactions and outcomesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: The Low Enthalpy Geothermal Potential of Shallow Aquifers in Northern Ireland and Northern ScotlandDetails
QUADRAT DTP: The role of transposable elements in driving evolution and adaptation in the deep seaDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Towards an integrated workflow for geothermal reservoir characterisation with seismic noiseDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Understanding and managing connectivity in species with spatially complex life-historiesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Understanding social values on low carbon sub-surface technologies in Scotland and Northern IrelandDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Vulnerability of UK marine species and communities to climate change and implications for adaptation planningDetails
QUADRAT: DTP: Eco-evolutionary responses of soil microbes to drought stressDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Links between energetics and disease in mammals: use of biologging and remote sensing to assess behaviour and movementDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Quantifying the resilience and functioning of lotic ecosystems across spatial and temporal gradients of environmental stressDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: The Irish Damselfly: identifying population genetic structure and optimising habitat management for an iconic Irish speciesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Authentication of Sustainable Oil Palm Production for Protection of Tropical BiodiversityDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Biodegradable bioplastics as emerging environmental pollutantsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Biological control of mosquitoes: optimising the efficacy of native macroinvertebrate predatorsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Do nutrition-parasite interactions drive One Health under climate change?Details
QUADRAT DTP: Ecological drivers and conservation implications of parental care diversity in vertebratesDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Greening cities: biodiversity and ecosystem services associated with street trees, from ecology to planningDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Identifying Environmental Factors for Soil Transmitted and Food Borne Helminth Diseases in Border Regions of Northern ThailandDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Increasing culture biodiversity and eco-evolutionary understanding of novel bacterial isolates using culturonmics and computational toolsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Investigating the nature and implications of archaea-bacteria interactionsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Investigating the relationship between soil microbiome diversity and resilience to stressors caused by a changing climateDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Modelling the fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Northwest European Shelf ecosystem with a suite of high-resolution numerical modelsDetails
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Quantifying kelp detrital pathways: what is potentially locked away as Blue Carbon?Details
QUADRAT DTP: Air Quality and Environmental Impact on Human HealthDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Development of artificial reefs: design, scientific monitoring, environment impact and management in North/Irish SeasDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Glacial meltwater evolution during the deglaciation of Fennoscandian Ice SheetDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Properties of Glacial Tills: Engineering, Environmental and Glaciological ApplicationsDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Repurposing fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) composite waste for marine renewable energyDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Resilience and adaptation of First Nations Communities in Canada to Disappearing Winter Road Infrastructure in a Changing ClimateDetails
QUADRAT DTP: Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of global peatland fireDetails

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