Studentships and scholarships

The school welcomes strong applications from UK/home, EU and overseas students, including students who are self-funded or hold scholarships from their own country.

Below are some example PhD projects which exemplify the range of subjects covered.

This list is not exhaustive, so if you have another idea or project in mind, please contact one of the supervisors listed below, other potential supervisors or the postgraduate admissions tutors to discuss and develop further.

Project title Supervisor(s)
Environmental, economic, political, and social development: ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC) Dr David Manley

Further information is available.

Advanced quantitative methods in social science and health Dr David Manley

Further information is available.

Nitrogen cycling in desert soil: a significant and neglected component of the global N cycle Dr Alex Anesio

Further information is available.

Down the cryoconite hole: An interdisciplinary investigation of biogeochemical dynamics at glacier and ice sheet surfaces Dr Sandra Arndt

Further information is available.

Water level dynamics in the Amazon River from CryoSat radar altimetry Professor Jonathan Bamber

Further information is available.

Current and future European flood risk Professor Paul Bates

Further information is available.

Energy and nutrient transfers at the “nexus of weathering and biology”: the rock-soil interface Dr Alex Anesio

Further information is available.

Palaeoenvironmental controls on the accumulation of hydrocarbon source rocks in Paratethys Dr Rachel Flecker

Further information is available.

Improved models of water quality behaviour for evaluating monitoring strategies, prediction uncertainties, and to support decision-making. Professor Jim Freer

Further information is available.

Decoding geomorphological chatter: non-linear communication between hillslopes and channels in dryland valleys Dr Katerina Michaelides

Further information is available.

Evolution and climate impact of newly discovered marine phytoplankton Dr Fanny Monteiro

Further information is available.

Modelling global ocean diversity of zooplankton and response to climate change Dr Fanny Monteiro

Further information is available.

Closing the gap between land surface and flood inundation modelling Dr Jeff Neal

Further information is available.

Developing regional scale hydrodynamic models Dr Jeff Neal

Further information is available.

Assessing past oxygen in the ocean using Cr isotopes as a palaeoproxy Dr Fanny Monteiro

Further information is available.

Fractionation of magnesium isotopes during bacterially mediated carbonate precipitation; A new tool for understanding the origins of Mg-rich carbonates Dr Alex Anesio

Further information is available.

Spatial and Temporal Variation of Quaternary Uplift Rates from Dating of Cave Deposits Dr David Richards

Further information is available.

Quantifying englacial decoupling in the Antarctic ice sheet and its significance on large-scale ice flow Professor Martin Siegert

Further information is available.

Exploring the Subglacial Biogeochemical Reactor and its Role in Global Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Professor Martyn Tranter

Further information is available.

Case studies

  • Rebecca Harrison

    “My PhD project investigates how agricultural pesticides threaten drinking water quality and can have long lasting effects on water resources.

    Given that UK drinking water companies spend a lot time and money dealing with pesticides, the local water provider for the Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire region, Wessex Water, agreed to part-fund my PhD research, as the industrial sponsor of a CASE (Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering) studentship.

    My study investigates patterns of pesticide transport in the soil, sediment and runoff from a lowland agricultural catchment upstream of a drinking-water reservoir. I am particularly interested in understanding pesticide movement in response to seasonal changes and individual storms and the relative roles of runoff and erosion processes in driving pesticide transport.

    I use a range of methods in my research including analytical organic chemistry, sediment analysis and catchment monitoring. Drs. Katerina Michaelides, Jim Freer and Ian Bull (Chemistry) are supervising my work; I was the successful applicant for the CASE studentship they previously obtained from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).”

    Rebecca Harrison
    Supervisors: Dr. Katerina Michaelides and Dr. Jim Freer

  • Beatriz Caicedo Velasque

    “My research aims to understand the geographical variation of aggressive behaviour across neighbourhoods in the city of Medellin, Colombia, as well as the importance of structural and social neighbourhood conditions such as poverty and social control.

    I am using multilevel modelling, which allows me to investigate neighbourhood and individual influences simultaneously.

    I am also using GIS technology to predict areas that are at high risk of aggression. My PhD is funded by a mix of grant and loan student from the COLCIENCIAS Science & Technology Program (Colombia) and the University I work for in Colombia (the University of Antioquia).

    Additionally, since the COLCIENCIAS programme does not include any money for books or conferences, I have done some work at the University of Bristol as an auxiliary librarian, teaching assistant and research assistant.

    These university-based jobs have flexible schedules, meaning that I have been able to do them without reducing my productivity as a researcher, and while still enjoying University life.”

    Beatriz Caicedo Velasque
    Supervisor: Professor Kelvyn Jones