PhD Opportunity: Studying Climate Change at the University of Plymouth

Project description 

The Coastal Processes Research Group at the University of Plymouth are seeking applications for one fully funded PhD studentship starting in October 2020. 

Join a multidisciplinary team of coastal, ocean and climate scientists on a high-impact PhD research programme aimed at predicting coastal erosion and accretion in a future with anticipated higher sea-levels and potentially larger waves. 

Climate change over the next century is inevitable, and will further increase pressure on coastal environments, infrastructure and communities due to coastal erosion and flooding. In spite of considerable advances in predictions of waves and sea level, our ability to accurately infer, and therefore properly prepare for, the impact on our coastlines has remained elusive. The PhD project will bridge this significant gap in knowledge; providing coastal managers and forecasters with an effective and skilful numerical tool for the prediction of beach erosion and recovery over a variety of time-scales (storm to multi-decadal). 

The successful candidate will contribute to advancing an exciting new numerical modelling technique pioneered by the research team for predicting coastal erosion and accretion. They will also be actively involved in an ongoing programme of beach surveys and coastal monitoring of the beaches in Devon and Cornwall, adding to a world-leading dataset on coastal evolution that will be used directly in this project to shape and test model developments. The project will involve working directly with scientists at the Met Office (the UK’s National Weather Service) providing a PhD opportunity with real value and importance; amplifying the impact of the research.


Applicants with a masters and/or first-class undergraduate degree in a science or engineering subject. Knowledge of coastal processes that shape the coastline would be valuable and scientific computing skills (particularly in MATLAB and/or Python) also highly advantageous. As the PhD student will be required to conduct regular fieldwork and liaise with collaborators at the UK Environment Agency and Met Office, good practical, communication and teamwork skills are desirable, as are any previous experience of surveying and a UK driver’s licence. 

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,285 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees would have to cover the difference between the home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £12,405 per annum).

General information about applying for a research degree at University of Plymouth is available here. You can apply via the online application available on the link above and by clicking 'Apply now'.

Please mark the application for the attention of Doctoral College and clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship with the School of Biological and Marine Sciences.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 29 May 2020. 

Story by University of Plymouth

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