Opportunity to co-fund PhD studentships

The SUPER DTP is training postgraduate research students with excellent potential from across society, and equipping them with the necessary skills to become 21st Century Scientists and Leaders. As part of our programme, we are committed to the integration of collaborative partners into student projects.

We are now reaching out to organisations who would be interested in co-funding studentships that would start in October 2024. The estimated contribution required towards the cost of a studentship would be ~£20k (17%). There is also the potential to act as a CASE Award partner, which provides a smaller financial contribution, and which may be attractive to SMEs and industry partners.

If this opportunity is of interest to your organisation, please provide us with any areas of research and innovation interest that your organisation might wish to develop as a potential PhD studentship project. All we need at this stage is: a brief title; any specific aims and objectives of the research and; a contact point for any inquiries. This information will be used as part of a call with a view to attracting the interest of researchers who will then need to prepare a PhD project proposal for submission to SUPER. After the proposals have been assessed and ranked, the non-HEI organisation proposing the project area will also be invited to view and assess any relevant proposals and decide whether, in principle, they would be prepared to sponsor a particular proposal(s). Submissions to the last call can be seen below.

We would appreciate responses to [email protected] by close on Monday 26 June 2023. There is no financial obligation expected at this stage.

SUPER PhD projects 

The SUPER remit supports the holistic study of the ecological dynamics of systems from headland rivers and catchments through lowland regions and riparian systems to estuarine and coastal waters and marine ecosystems. 

You can find projects starting on Monday 2 October 2023 and their respective Principal Investigator (PI) below:

Edinburgh Napier University

  • Quantifying antibiotic resistance and antibiotic resistance selective chemicals in the River Almond Catchment Area – a baseline for risk assessment and intervention targets. PI: Donald Morrison. Applications CLOSED.
  • Pollination ecosystem service support by sustainable urban drainage systems. PI: Gavin Ballantyne. Applications CLOSED.

Heriot-Watt University

  • Inclusion of the ‘youth voice for nature’ in regional marine planning. PI: Karen Alexander. Applications CLOSED.
  • The effect of offshore windfarms on the distribution, behaviour, and abundance of fish. PI: Paul Fernandes. Applications CLOSED.
  • The combined impacts of climate change induced environmental variation (salinity and temperature) and pollutant mixtures on stress response in a typical estuarine species (Mytilus sp). PI: Mark Hartl. Applications CLOSED.

The University of Aberdeen

  • Further development of the ECOSSE-model for quantifying and mapping the impacts of degraded and restored Scottish peatlands on net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under climate change. PI: Mohamed Abdalla. Applications CLOSED.
  • The molecular basis of daily and seasonal migration behaviour in the copepod Calanus finmarchicus in the face of climate change. PI: Marius Wenzel. Applications CLOSED.
  • Populations at the edge: range dynamics and conservation of the Great Crested Newt under global change. PI: Greta Bocedi. Applications CLOSED.
  • The interaction of waves with seaweed farms: wave attenuation and intra-farm hydrodynamics. PI: Dominic van der A. Applications CLOSED.

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)

UHI Shetland
  • Interactions between biology, environmental and anthropogenic factors on the exploitation of pelagic species by the Scottish fleet. PI: Chevonne Angus. Applications CLOSED.
The Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • Deep connections: how do changes in deep sea faunal communities relate to surface physics and biology. PI: Bhavani Narayanaswamy. Applications CLOSED.
  • Lighting up zooplankton – mapping marine light using robotics. PI: Finlo Cottier. Applications CLOSED.
  • Multi-stressor impacts on coastal Antarctic and temperate sea urchins. PI: Helena Reinardy. Applications CLOSED.
  • An environmental evaluation of deep-sea mine tailings placement (DSTP). PI: John Alexander Howe. Applications CLOSED.
  • Optimising marine image capture and analysis from autonomous underwater vehicles (MICA). PI: Tom Wilding. Applications CLOSED.

The University of St Andrews

  • Mad, bad and dangerous: Multiple stressors in coastal ecosystems. PI: Julie Anne Hope. Please contact PI if interested.
  • Linking predator and prey dynamics: spatio-temporal trends in seals, seabirds and fish around Shetland. PI: Debbie Russell. Applications CLOSED.
  • Predicting physiological impacts of disturbance on marine mammals: Implications for population-level effects. PI: Carol Sparling. Applications CLOSED.

The University of the West of Scotland

  • The role of recreational marinas in facilitating the impacts of invasive non-native species. PI: Mhairi Alexander. Applications CLOSED.

SUPER studentships

A 3.5 year (42 month) studentship includes:
• Home (UK) rate tuition fees each year*;
• A yearly stipend based on RCUK rates (£17,668 for the 2022/23 academic year); and 
• Separate funding for research training and professional development.

*for International students, there may be funding available to cover the full international tuition fee through the respective institution and this should be discussed with the Principal Investigator (PI). If funds are not available, the candidate will be required to cover the difference in fees each year (this may be in excess of £10,000 per annum). 

Part-time study is an option, with a minimum of 50% of full-time effort (7 years; 84 months). Funding will be provided pro-rata.

In general, applicants to the SUPER DTP are expected to have a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent). Institutions may have more stringent or further eligibility requirements, please see adverts below for more information.

Have you secured an interview for a project? Read our top doctoral interview tips!

To find out more about the SUPER DTP, please see our video below.

Demystifying the DTP