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Overview

NERC Doctoral Training Partnership in Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE)

NERC DTP logoDepartments of Biology, Environment, Archaeology and Chemistry

 

This prestigious NERC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) brings together the very best in environmental, ecological and evolutionary research across the Universities of York, Sheffield and Liverpool, together with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH). Students will benefit from a PhD training programme that has interdisciplinary collaboration at its core. The aim is to produce multi-skilled researchers equipped to tackle cutting edge environmental science of global significance, embedded within a unique, supportive training environment. At York, the NERC Partnership brings together researchers from the Departments of Biology, Environment, Archaeology and Chemistry. All projects are co-supervised, most of them with supervisors in different institutions, in order to foster innovative science, collegiality, and breadth of experience.

Among the Doctoral Training Partnerships funded by the NERC, ACCE is the only DTP with a clear emphasis on the biological component of environmental research. This biological core, combined with the international standing of the partners in biological and related fields, makes ACCE a natural choice if you wish to undertake a PhD in biological research and related disciplines.

Our fully-funded PhD programme in Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE) offers projects aligned with the grand challenges in environmental research: securing ecosystem services and environmental resources; predicting and mitigating impacts of climate change; understanding the dynamics of biodiversity; and mechanisms of evolutionary change. Last year we offered 9 Biology projects where the lead supervisor was based in York Biology. In addition there were projects also available in the departments of Environment and Archaeology.

One of the York studentships each year can be allocated to well qualified students who have devised their own research project, together with a York ACCE supervisor. The project must fall broadly within one of the ACCE themes. If you are interested in this route, please contact a potential supervisor in the departments of Biology, Environment, Archaeology or Chemistry to discuss your idea and help develop your project outline.

Applications are now open.  The closing date for applications is Monday 9th January 2017.

Studentships

Studentships

Studentships: Twenty-two fully funded PhD studentships are available, across York, Sheffield and Liverpool, on this outstanding programme for entry in October 2017. To be considered you need to select a suitable project from the list available and submit an application through the University of York online system. 

Student-led projects: One of the York studentships each year can be allocated to well qualified students who have devised their own research project, together with a York ACCE supervisor. The project must fall broadly within one of the ACCE themes. If you are interested in this route, please contact a potential supervisor in our department to discuss your idea and help develop your project outline. Supervisors must submit projects to our Biology Admissions Office and students must submit their application through the University online system by the same deadline.

Value: The studentships are fully funded for 3.5 years in the first instance, and students must complete their PhD in four years. The studentships cover: (i) a tax-free annual stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£14,296 for 2016-2017, to be confirmed for 2017-2018 but typically increases annually in line with inflation), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Studentships can be extended for another six months on a case-by-case basis: for example 3 months extra funding is guaranteed if students opt to take a 3 month internship during their PhD.

Eligibility: The studentships are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Further information about eligibility for Research Council UK funding

Entry requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.  The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any relevant subject that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and experience for the DTP, including environmental, biological, chemical, mathematical, physical and social sciences. Please check the How to apply tab for further details.

Shortlisting: Supervisors can only put forward one student for consideration per project. Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the closing date and successful applicants will be notified promptly.

Interviews: The interviews will take place at the University of York on Thursday 16th February 2017. Video interviews can be arranged for international applicants. As part of the interview process, candidates may be asked to make a 10 minute presentation on a research project they have undertaken.

Queries: If you have any queries about a specific Biology project, please contact the appropriate project supervisor, their emails can be found on our academic staff list. If you have any queries related to the application process, please contact our Biology Admissions Office biol-pg-admissions@york.ac.uk.

Available projects

Biology projects

Our Biology PhD programme in Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE) offers projects across the spectrum of environmental science, focussing on ecosystem services, climate change, biodiversity and evolution. We are offering 6 projects where the lead supervisor was based in York Biology. In addition there were projects also available in the departments of Environment, Archaeology and Chemistry.

SupervisorsProject TitleResearch Area

Dr Colin Beale with Dr Kate Parr (Liverpool) & Professor Sue Hartley (Biology)

Unravelling the effects of climate change on the Tanzanian grasslands Ecology and Conservation, Zoology / Animal Science, Botany / Plant Science

Dr Kanchon Dasmahapatra with Professor Jane Thomas-Oates (Chemistry) & Dr Owen McMillan (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute)

Evolution, ecology and biosynthesis of sex pheromones in Heliconius butterflies Ecology and conservation, Evolution, Zoology, Analytical chemistry 

Dr Daniel Franks with Professor Robert Freckleton (Sheffield) & Professor Nick Blurton Jones (UCLA)

The impact of social organization and cooperation on survival and reproductive success in Hadza modern hunter-gatherers  Evolution, Zoology / Animal Science, Ecology & Conservation, Data Analysis, Information Science, Statistics, Applied Mathematics 

Dr Ville Friman with  Dr Robert Griffiths (CEH) & Professor Peter Urwin (Leeds) & Dr John Elphinstone (Fera)

The eco-evolutionary consequences of biofumigation in the rhizosphere bacterial communities  Agricultural Sciences, Agronomy & Soil Science, Ecology & Conservation, Evolution, Microbiology 

Dr Elva Robinson with Dr Kate Parr (Liverpool) & Dr Kevin Watts (Forest Research) & Professor Justin Travis (Aberdeen)

Wood ants on the move: impacts of land-use on species range expansion

Ecology & Conservation, Evolution, Zoology / Animal Science, Data Analysis

Professor Chris D Thomas with Professor Roger K Butlin (Sheffield) & Professor Calvin Dytham (Biology)

The Anthropocene archipelago and long-term diversity changes on planet Earth Evolution, Genetics, Bioinformatics, Computer Science & IT, Ecology & Conservation, Environmental Science, Geography

Environment projects

The Environment Department is part of this Doctoral Training Partnership. Applications to their projects must follow a different route. Instructions on how to apply will be in the Environment Department ACCE NERC website. For further information on the application process please email maroula.hill@york.ac.uk.

 

Archaeology project

The Department of Archaeology is part of this Doctoral Training Partnership. Applications to their project must follow a different route. Instructions on how to apply will be in the Archaeology Department ACCE NERC website. For further information on the application process please email janine.lyon@york.ac.uk.

 

Chemistry project

The Department of Chemistry is part of this Doctoral Training Partnership. Applications to their project must follow a different route. Instructions on how to apply will be in the Chemistry Department ACCE NERC website. For further information on the application process please email chemgrad@york.ac.uk.

 

 

How to apply

Before you apply

Applications are made via "Select" (our University's Online Application Service). Your application can be completed in stages as our online system allows you to save your progress and come back later to finish it. We do not require you to provide a sample of written work.

Academic requirements

Students applying for this research programme should normally have obtained an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

Eligibility

The studentships are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Further information about eligibility for Research Council UK funding.

Selecting a project

Please try to identify a research project that suits you.  This is to ensure a proper match between your research interests and your prospective supervisors. If you are attracted by more than one project in ACCE, rather than applying to several, we would encourage informal discussions with different project supervisors to help you decide which is the most appropriate project, to maximize your chances of obtaining a studentship. Contact details for academic staff can be found on each project description.

Student-led projects: One of the York studentships each year can be allocated to well qualified students who have devised their own research project, together with a York ACCE supervisor. The project must fall broadly within one of the ACCE themes of “securing ecosystem services and environmental resources”; “predicting and mitigating impacts of climate change”; “understanding the dynamics of biodiversity”; and “mechanisms of evolutionary change: genes to communities”. Students with ideas for their own project should contact a potential supervisor in the Department of Biology to discuss their idea and help develop their project outline. Supervisors must submit projects to the Biology Admissions Office and students must submit their application through the University online system by the same deadline. In the application, students should add the following words to the project title 'NERC DTP ACCE student-led project'.

Applying

To submit your application, please click on the 'APPLY NOW' button inside the project description.  This will take you to the University's Online Application Service. Please select '2017 October, Full Time' as your start date and then click on the 'Start application' button. It is very important that you write the title of the project you are applying to and the names of the project supervisors. The closing date for applications is Monday 9th January 2017.

After you apply

Once your application has been received, it will be assessed by the appropriate project supervisors. You might be asked to discuss your suitability for the project with the supervisors. The strongest applications will then be forwarded to the York ACCE Admissions Committee for shortlisting. If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited for a formal interview where you will be required to make a 10 minute presentation to the panel. The interviews will take place in the Department of Biology on a date to be confirmed.  Video interviews can be arranged for international applicants. You will be notified as soon as possible after the interview dates whether your application has been successful, placed on a reserve list, or unsuccessful. If you are successful, you will be required to confirm your intention to accept the studentship soon afterwards.

If you have any queries related to the application process, please contact our Biology Admissions Office biol-pg-admissions@york.ac.uk

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