Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Environmental Sciences (13) Nursing & Health (27) Politics & Government (30) Sociology (32)

  PhD opportunities in Pollution Research and Policy


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 Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

About the Programme

Help shape new policies and regulatory priorities for pollution control and protect human health and the environment from harmful chemical pollution.

Chemical pollution is recognised as one of the main determinants for non-communicable diseases and the deterioration of the natural environment. The production of synthetic chemicals has diversified and has led to a widely spread blanket of contamination composed of myriads of chemicals. These substances, many of them untested for their toxicity, enter the environment and threaten wildlife and human health, air, soil and water quality as well as water and food supply.

Work with our world-class experts to provide solutions for critical human and planetary healthcare needs and inform industry and policy-makers:

  • predict the toxicity of chemicals 
  • explore the combined effects between radiation and chemicals 
  • investigate the effects of toxic chemicals on different cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, immune cell function and cancer
  • examine toxicity of plastic ingredients such as phthalates or bisphenol A interfaces 
  • establish and validate methods for tracking and archiving data on the fate and behaviour of various chemicals across the production-consumption-management system

Our research focuses on:

  • Predictive approaches in toxicology, including combined chemical exposures (“cocktail effects”) and the development of new frameworks for non-animal approaches for predicting toxicity
  • Endocrine disruptor research with an emphasis on mechanisms of disease and test method development
  • Pollution monitoring, clean-up technologies and chemical analytics
  • Wildlife and human population health as affected by exposure to environmental chemicals
  • Evidence synthesis for regulatory decision making and development of new practices and policies for pollution control at different scales.

Our supervisors play leading roles and are fully embedded in the international network of endocrine disruptor researchers. Working alongside them you will benefit from the use of the following facilities: 

  • Human toxicology molecular biology and cell culture lab
  • Microscopy and imaging suite
  • Chemical analytics and associated preparatory laboratories
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Histology laboratories
  • Animal unit for controlled exposures of fish and molluscs
  • Environmental molecular biology and environmental sciences labs

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Brunel

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Find out more: Brunel Library

Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.

Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.
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