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Sustainable approaches to reducing air pollution and carbon emissions in urban hospital environments (RENU22C/EE/GES/DEARY)

   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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  Dr M Deary  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU)is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2022.

The overall aim of this project is to study, for the first time, how an integrated net-zero carbon and clean air strategy can improve ambient and indoor air quality at major urban hospital sites (RVI and Freeman hospitals, Newcastle upon Tyne), and to explore the potential for hospitals to contribute to air quality improvement in the wider municipal area. A key component of the strategy will be the application of the ‘Clean Air Hospital Framework (CAHF)’ methodology to influence changes in policy and practice in relation to energy use, procurement, transportation and estates management at the hospitals. The project will evaluate progress towards the achievement of ‘Excellent’ status under CAHF by 2025, a key theme for which will be the transition from the hospitals’ existing fossil fuel energy infrastructure to renewable energy sources (both from suppliers and on-site). Reductions in greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions as a result of the strategy will be evaluated by standard methodologies, and improvements in air quality will be assessed through extensive monitoring and modelling of key air pollutants across the two hospital sites. Overall, the work will allow the estimation of health improvements to staff, patients, visitors and the wider community that are predicted to be achieved by the strategy.

The project is a partnership between Northumbria University and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NUTH), where part of the project will be based. NUTH are proud to be one of the exemplar organisations across the NHS on sustainability, with a long history of delivering Sustainable Healthcare in Newcastle (Shine) and the first healthcare organisation in the world to declare a climate emergency. Their strategy includes commitments to being Net Zero by 2030, for their direct carbon footprint, and Net Zero by 2040 for their footprint plus. For more information on these initiatives, please see: NHS England’s Net Zero plan: and the NUTH Climate Emergency Strategy:

The project would suit a capable graduate or MSc student from a science background and with a strong interest in sustainability and the environment. Ideally the candidate will have some experience of environmental monitoring and Geographical Information Systems. Strong interpersonal skills are also required as the project will involve liaison with a wide range of stakeholders. As a student at Northumbria University, you will join a ReNU Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) cohort and participate in a fully funded EPSRC 4-year training programme. The project is supervised by Dr Michael Deary and Prof. Jane Entwistle at Northumbria University and by Anna-Lisa Mills at NUTH. For informal enquiries please contact [Email Address Removed].

The application closing date is 6th June 2022. Please note that interviews, should they be arranged, will be online rather than in person due to COVID-19.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

·        Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.

·        Appropriate IELTS score at application stage, if required.

·        Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere or if they have previously been awarded a PhD.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see 

Please note that applications must include all of the following to be considered:

  1. A research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), and include the advert reference (e.g. ReNU22C/…).
  2. You must upload with your application at least 2 reference letters
  3. You must read our privacy notice about how we use your data and acknowledge this by including in your personal statement the following phrase : ‘ I confirm I have read and agreed to the privacy policy in

Deadline for applications: 6 June 2022

Start Date: 1 October 2022

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff and students. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

Funding Notes

Home and International students (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. The studentship is available to Home and International (including EU) students and includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2022/23 full-time study this is £16,602 per year) and full tuition fees. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges). 

Applicants should be aware of the following additional costs that you may incur as these are not covered by the studentship.

·      Immigration Health Surcharge

·      If you need to apply for a Student Visa to enter the UK, please refer to the information on It is important that you read this information very carefully as it is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the correct funds required for your visa application otherwise your visa may be refused.

·      COVID-19 tests and quarantine rules for travel to England

·      Costs associated with English Language requirements will not be borne by the CDT. 

We have a limited number of International awards available. To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

• Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or

• have settled status, or

• have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or

• have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student. For further information please see Annex B of

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