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We have 207 Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students in the UK



Biological Sciences



United Kingdom



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I am a self funded student

Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students in the UK

We have 207 Biodiversity PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students in the UK

A PhD in Biodiversity provides you with the opportunity to study an ecosystem in detail during a three-year project. Whether you’re working in a tropical rainforest, a city, or the ocean, you’ll be investigating the factors that have been influencing biodiversity or trying to develop ways of reducing the impact.

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

As a Biodiversity PhD student, you’re likely to spend time doing field work and collecting samples that you’ll later analyse in the laboratory. Depending on your exact project you’ll spend more or less time in the laboratory, but regardless, you’ll gain a range of skills and experience in your field.

Some typical research topics in Biodiversity include:

  • Impacts of mining/quarries on biodiversity
  • Conservation management plans
  • Developing artificial habitats to reduce the loss of biodiversity
  • The effect of climate change on biodiversity
  • Effectiveness of National Pollinator Strategy
  • The effects of deep-sea plastic on sea life (cross over with Marine Biology)

A general day will consist of surveying your ecosystem of interest and recording data or testing samples previously taken in the laboratory. You’ll also spend time chatting to your supervisor and colleagues about your methods and results and plan your next set of observations and experiments. At the end of your PhD, you’ll produce a thesis of around 60,000 words and have a viva exam to defend your work.

The majority of Biodiversity PhD programmes are advertised projects that come with full funding attached. While the project is pre-determined to a degree, you are responsible for choosing where to take the work along the way.

Proposing your own project in Biodiversity is uncommon, as you’ll have to find a supervisor with research interests that overlap with your project, they need to have the connections to send you to your ecosystem of study, and you must find funding to cover both PhD and bench fees.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biodiversity PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with experience in Environmental Biology desirable, 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 Biodiversity funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biodiversity 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 uncommon for Biodiversity 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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4-year PhD Studentship: Cats’ perspective and welfare associated with outdoor access

Although freedom of movement is a key pillar of animal welfare, and outdoor access is considered the best way to allow cats to exercise and express natural behaviours1, restrictions often apply to owned cats. Read more

Continuous monitoring and mitigation of methane emissions at energy facilities PhD

Methane is a major greenhouse gas and so contributes to climate change. Cranfield and SLB are offering an iCASE PhD studentship, developing modelling methods to couple with observations of methane from energy facilities. Read more

Improving biodiversity forecasting using evolutionary history

Project description. After decades of research and action, we are finally at the point where the global community is committing to action to conserve and restore biodiversity! But with this success comes another challenge. Read more

Evolution Education Trust PhD project: Teaching evolution via biodiversity conservation

The University of Bath is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD opportunity based at the Milner Centre for Evolution, a unique, cross-faculty research centre bridging biology, health and education. Read more

Using UK cemeteries to record and monitor non-native arthropods

  Research Group: Institute of Ecology & Evolution
Cemeteries, churchyards and burial grounds make up 4% of UK’s greenspaces and are thought to play an important role as havens for wildlife given that they are less disturbed than the surrounding habitat. Read more

Fitness effects of germline-specific DNA

  Research Group: Institute of Ecology & Evolution
Complex organisms, like ourselves, contain trillions of cells, each a little different in order to make skin, bones, blood and all the other tissues that make up our bodies. Read more

Comparing the relationship between inequality and biodiversity in croplands with weak and strong sustainability

Understanding the agriculture-inequality-biodiversity nexus is critical to sustainable development, which must reconcile potentially conflicting goals to eliminate hunger, reduce inequalities and protect life on land. Read more

An experimental approach to mitigating hippo human conflict

The common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is one of a handful of extant African megaherbivore species. Unlike other megafauna, hippo are relatively underfunded and understudied. Read more

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