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Masters Excellence Scholarships: up to £500,000 in tuition fee discounts available

NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership

PG Penguins helping a postgraduate with their fieldworkA total of 190 postgraduate research studentships in Environmental Science will be available across the GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership over five years with the first students having started in October 2014. 140 of these are awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), making it the largest of those awarded by the NERC.

The GW4+ DTP programme is one of 15 DTPs and the largest of its kind in the UK.

In addition to the core GW4 partners (the University of Bristol, Cardiff University, the University of Exeter and the University of Bath), the GW4+ DTP brings together a consortium of over 30 research, industrial and third-sector organisations to deliver innovative training to environmental science PhD students.

Those collaborating include: the Welsh Government; Natural Resources Wales; the British Antarctic Survey, the British Geological Survey, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Met Office, the Natural History Museum, BHP Billiton, the Food and Environment Research Agency, and Syngenta.

Under the programme, a minimum of 30 per cent of the students will work with non-academic partners. This is intended to provide students with the valuable industry experience they need to enter a wide range of careers.

At Cardiff University, the following NERC GW4+ DTP studentships for an October 2015 entry are currently available:

School of Biosciences

PhD in Disease Ecology
Project title: Interactions between parasitic helminths (macrobiota) and the gut microbiota in a wild rodent system

PhD in Marine Microbiology
Project title: Interactions of "Dark Matter" Bacteria and Archaea in Estuarine and Coastal Sediment

PhD in Evolutionary Biology
Project title: Local adaptation and domestication of sheep

PhD in Organisms and Environment (Cardiff University Otter Project)
Project title: Dynamics of demographic expansion and population structure in the otter Lutra lutra

PhD in Organisms and Environment (Fungal Ecology)
Project title: Forest edge effects on wood decomposition and fungal community development

PhD in Organisms and Environment (Tropical Reef Communities)
Project title: Real-time and remote monitoring of cleaner fish interactions

PhD in Parasitology
Project title: Infection with Toxoplasmosis: quantifying environmental drivers of infection

PhD in River Catchment Ecology
Project title: Trophic Cascades and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Contrasting River Catchments

School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

PhDs in Earth Surface Processes
Available projects:

  • Unravelling the origin of floodplains along freely meandering rivers
  • Himalayan sediment production: unravelling the role of frost cracking
  • Quantitative observations of storm-driven coastal change using a UAV

PhDs in Geodynamics
Available projects:

  • Jurassic Oceanic Gateways of the North Atlantic
  • How fast do rocks deform? A speedometer for fracture in the Earth
  • Early tectonic and magmatic evolution of the Panama arc and inter-American seaway
  • How does the mantle drive plate tectonics?
  • Geometry, Deformation Mechnanisms, and Seismic Style of Oceanic Transform Faults Research theme: Natural Hazards, Resources and Sustainability

PhDs in Geomicrobiology
Available projects:

  • Bacterial endospores – shuttles to the deep biosphere and beyond?
  • New tricks to old bugs –links between the marine organic carbon and nitrogen cycle and methanogenesis

PhDs in Paleobiology
Available projects:

  • The role of heterotrophs in glacier surface ecosystem productivity
  • Origin, development, and early evolution of wood
  • ‘Microbialite’ carbonates: from hydrocarbon play to carbon sequestration

PhDs in Paleoclimate and Climate Systems
Available projects:

  • Atmospheric CO2 variability during the Plio-Pleistocene
  • Surface to deep water connections in the Labrador Sea during the Holocene
  • Probing the top of the world: Arctic temperatures and chemistry from foraminiferal proxies
  • The role of carbonate dissolution in the formation of organic rich sediments in the modern ocean
  • How Hot is Hot? Palaeotemperatures in the Eocene Indo-Pacific Warm Pool
  • What is driving glacial–interglacial ocean change in the subpolar North Atlantic?
  • Seasonal to decadal extremes in the North Atlantic system
  • Oil Palm to Coral Reefs: Understanding down stream responses to land use intensification using geochemical records in coral reef skeletons

PhDs in Magmatism and Metallogenesis
Available projects:

  • Reconstruction, petrogenesis and economic potential of the c. 1.97 Ga Pechenga-Onega LIP of northern Europe
  • Crystal-scale records of the mid-ocean ridge magma plumbing system
  • Petrogenesis of the Kemi chromite deposit, Finland
  • Development of nascent arc lithosphere following subduction initiation: controls on post-axial magmatism in the Oman-UAE ophiolite
  • The relationship of gold mineralisation to ocean crustal structure and hydrothermal systems in the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus

School of Engineering

PhD in Marine Engineering (Coastal Sediment Stability)
Project title: Coastal Sediment Stability: a mechanistic study of biogenic coastal defence in estuaries

PhD in Marine Engineering (Sandbank Dynamics)
Project title: Study of Offshore Sandbank Dynamics

PhD in Marine Engineering (Riverine Fish Habitats)
Project title: Modelling hydraulic and physical features of riverine fish habitats

Application deadline: 15 January 2015

The following individual project is also available:

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Browse currently available NERC GW4+ DTP studentships.

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