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09 Fully Funded PhD Programs at University of Plymouth, England

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Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for fully funded PhD positions? University of Plymouth, England invites online application for multiple funded PhD Programs / fully funded PhD positions in various research areas.

Candidates interested in fully funded PhD positions can check the details and may apply as soon as possible. Interested and eligible applicants may submit their online application for PhD programs via the University’s Online Application Portal. 

1. Fully Funded PhD Position in image dynamic sinking behaviour in marine phytoplankton

Summary of PhD Program:

This project seeks to understand the biological processes that influence sinking rates in a range of marine phytoplankton. It will involve laboratory studies to image sinking behaviour in different phytoplankton groups, using both cultures and natural phytoplankton communities. We will examine how changes in environmental parameters (light, nutrients and temperature) influence these processes. In situ observations of phytoplankton orientation and sinking rates in the Western English Channel will be performed using a holographic imaging system that can be deployed from a research vessel. The experimental data will be used to develop a modified ecosystem model to examine how distinct sinking rates between phytoplankton groups could influence wider ecological processes such as carbon export.

Application Deadline: 8 January 2024

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2. Fully Funded PhD Position in Sound of Sharks

Summary of PhD Program:

Elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) play a key role in maintaining ecosystem structure and function, building ocean-human connections through tourism, and underpin valuable recreational and commercial fisheries. Globally, elasmobranchs are threatened with extinction, attributed mainly to overfishing and incidental bycatch, and population recovery is limited due to being slow to mature and reproduce. Insufficient monitoring and management have allowed the proportion of threatened elasmobranchs to increase in recent years. Elasmobranchs are a critical marine resource that requires a dramatic improvement to management.

Application Deadline: 8 January 2024

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3. Fully Funded PhD Position in Use of AI and computer vision to develop next generation marine biological observing capability

Summary of PhD Program:

Predicting how ocean life will respond to pressures from increasing human use and climate change is the basis for science-informed decision-making. It requires development of models that enable forecasting of possible outcomes in ‘what if’ scenarios. Such models demand large unbiased biological ‘training’ datasets, which are difficult and expensive to collect and analyse using current human-reliant methods. Greater automation in collection and analysis of observations is needed to deliver sufficiently large datasets to significantly enhance our predictive modelling capability. In this respect, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a potentially powerful tool. This studentship will investigate current AI capability to deliver ecologically meaningful metrics from image-based data; and in so doing develop the methods and tools to support the wider application of AI to image-based biological observations.

Application Deadline: 8 January 2024

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4. Fully Funded PhD Position in Organic Nutrients Sustain Shelf Seas Productivity

Summary of PhD Program:

Marine phytoplankton play vital roles in regulating the global climate, contributing almost half of net primary production. A major factor controlling phytoplankton assemblages is the availability of crucial nutrients including nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), the supply of which can vary dramatically in space and time. Most work examining the role of N and P in driving phytoplankton productivity has focussed on inorganic forms (e.g., nitrate and phosphate). By comparison, the roles of organic N and P forms (DON and DOP, respectively), which can make up to 50% of the dissolved N and P pools in seawater, are poorly understood. We recently demonstrated that marine phytoplankton are capable of assimilating organic N and P, even in the presence of high levels of inorganic nutrients. Additionally, we have found that the availability of organic N forms enhances organic P acquisition, suggesting that phytoplankton coordinate N and P signalling and uptake pathways in order to maximise acquisition of these essential nutrients.

Application Deadline: 8 January 2024

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5. Fully Funded PhD Position in physical and numerical modelling data to create digital twins 

Summary of PhD Program:

A digital twin of a floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) can provide a means to support this innovation, through everything from improved turbine and platform control, O&M strategy, fault detection and response etc. A digital twin is a model-based representation of a real assist trained or developed using real data, and for a FOWT can be designed and used with many different objectives. A validated digital twin can be used for conducting testing and research on new operations and maintenance procedures without the risk of experimenting on real wind turbines. However, an issue with such an approach is the availability of suitable data sets to both train and validate the digital twin. Waiting to get data from a deployed asset means that a digital twin will not be available in this initial stage of a project. The inclusion of low probability extreme events in the training data will also clearly be governed by the random occurrence of such events.

Application Deadline: 10 November 2023

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6. Fully Funded PhD Position in Integrated modelling of Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Systems

Summary of PhD Program:

Development of offshore renewable energy is a key part of the Government’s Net Zero and Energy Security strategies with ambitious targets of 50GW offshore wind by 2030, including 5GW floating offshore wind (FOW), and 100- 140GW by 2050. However, the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of floating offshore wind is still high compared with fixed foundation offshore wind. Floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) are exposed to harsh and complex conditions in the marine environment and it is important that at the design stage, potential extreme environmental loads on FOWTs under storms, are clearly identified and quantified. This is critical not only for evaluating the survivability of FOWTs, but also to inform the design of new FOWTs for an extended envelope of safe operation and maximum energy output. The accumulation of lifetime operational fatigue loads in non-extreme weather are also critical in reducing the cost of energy from FOWTs.

Application Deadline: 10 November 2023

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7. Fully Funded PhD Position in Benefits of Restoring Marine Ecosystems

Summary of PhD Program:

This research project will develop new evidence of the costs and benefits of kelp, seagrass and native oyster habitats with regard to coastal erosion, flood risk, climate change, biodiversity management and wider benefits. Based on fieldwork at case study sites in the North East UK, results from the PhD research will provide a blueprint for flood risk management authorities to follow when considering the role of marine nature-based solutions in future coastline management strategies, including improved natural capital accounting data.

Application Deadline: 27 October 2023

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8. Fully Funded PhD Position in remediation work to support undergraduate medical education

Summary of PhD Program:

Remediation is often defined as a process in which individuals who are underperforming are given additional support. Remediation is, therefore, a vital component of the process of assurance that students are meeting the requisite standards to become competent doctors. It is a complex intervention, as student performance is linked to the need to reach specific standards of practice to ensure patient safety following graduation. This means the consequences of not reaching these standards may have implications for the student’s continued progression through the programme. Moreover, and linked to this, the process of becoming a doctor is not simply an educational one, but inextricably bound up with the development of a professional identity. Remediation is therefore a difficult and sensitive intervention. As yet, we know very little about whether and how remediation programmes work to support struggling students to get back on track to becoming capable doctors.

Application Deadline: 23 November 2023

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9. Fully Funded PhD Position in Elucidation of the mechanism of immune tolerance in beekeepers

Summary of PhD Program:

Allergy to honey bee venom is especially prevalent in beekeepers and their family members. Nearly a quarter of the anaphylactic reactions reported in Europe are caused by the stings of bees. Over 20 patients per year with a diagnosis of anaphylaxis to bee venom are seen in the Peninsula Allergy service at University Hospital Plymouth. Although severe anaphylactic reaction leading to death following bee stings is rare, it is a concern to all beekeepers as it is not possible to predict when or if an individual might be affected. To date no parameter has been identified that may predict which sensitized individual will have a future systemic sting reaction (SSR). Venom immunotherapy (VIT) is the most effective method of treatment for people who had SSR. Development of peripheral tolerance is the main mechanism during immunotherapy and the contribution of regulatory T cells in it have been reported. However, the detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms in establishing tolerance to bee stings are far from clear.

Application Deadline: 23 October 2023

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