Multiple Funded PhD Studentships from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (CDT SuMMeR)

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The new CDT SuMMeR is now open for applications for up to 18 PhD projects, commencing in October 2022. The CDT has been designed to deliver the next generation of innovative transdisciplinary engaged researchers, solution providers and practitioners needed to support governmental and non-governmental sectors to ensure sustainable management of our marine resources.

Why study with us?

The CDT’s PhD candidates will be supported by supervisors and co-supervisors from leading and renowned academic and research institutes in marine research across the UK. Through this partnership and in collaboration with Associate Partners from industry, government and non-governmental organisations, the CDT’s PhD candidates will:

  • Receive core training to enable students to fully understand what it means to be an interdisciplinary researcher; develop expertise in building robust scientific evidence; and develop competence in research engagement and impact.
  • Receive advanced training in their specialist subject.
  • Work in collaboration with stakeholders and end users such as industry, government or non-governmental organisations, to gain unique experience for on-the-ground application for the research challenge areas.

What projects are available?

A summary of the Projects for 2022 are listed below, full project details can be found at the CDT-SuMMeR’s website 

Bangor University

  • Setting thresholds for good status in marine ecosystem management – Prof Jan Geert Hiddink (
  • Management approaches and tools to empower fishing communities – Dr Shelagh Malham (

University of Exeter

  • Investigating the history of Sussex kelp habitats and their impact on local communities – Prof Callum Roberts (
  • Past, present and future benefits from marine biogenic shellfish reef habitats – Ruth Thurstan (
  • Using an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate pollution impacts and antimicrobial resistant pathogen dynamics across terrestrial, estuarine and marine environments – Prof William Gaze (
  • Characterising the dynamics around offshore wind farms by combining machine learning and oceanographic techniques – Ian Ashton (
  • Factors limiting marine connectivity at a species’ range edge – the case of the pink sea fan, Eunicella verrucosa – Dr Jamie Stevens (

 Heriot-Watt University

  • Assessment of Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement – Dr Phil Renforth (
  • Energy, Technology, Behaviour, Culture and Regulation; The complex problems and transition engineering solutions for the future of local, sustainable fishing – Prof Susan Krumdieck (
  • Exploring geovisualisations as place-based planning tools for collaborative marine and coastal management  – Dr Lauren McWhinnie (
  • Evaluating environmental and economic implications of management measures for the UK scallop fishery – Dr Marija Sciberras (
  • Understanding the biodegradation and residence time of microplastics in the ocean – Dr Tony Gutierrez (
  • Improving the future sustainability of fishing communities in the Firth of Clyde – Dr Andrew Johnson (
  • Offshore wind farms effects on ocean fronts and seabirds – Prof Stephen Votier (

University of Plymouth

  • Shifting Seas – a gene to landscape approach to understanding saltmarsh vulnerability and resilience to sea-level rise – Dr Mick Hanley (
  • Revealing the hidden identity and toxicity of priority chemical pollutants released during microplastic degradation and additive leaching in marine and coastal environments – Dr Michael Wilde (  

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

  • Building evidence for action: Novel assessment of ocean acidification impacts around the UK – Dr Helen Findlay (
  • Butt Out: A transdisciplinary approach in understanding and addressing the risks of littered cigarette butts – Dr Matthew Cole (


Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification or similar experience.

CDT SuMMeR studentships are partially funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which applies the eligibility criteria laid down by its parent body, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and co-funded by the respective Hosting Partner institutes.

The studentship is supported for three years and eight months. All UKRI-funded PhD students will be eligible for the full award – both the stipend to support living costs (£16,062 per annum pro rata at the 2022/23 rate), and fees at research organisations’ UK rate.

How To Apply

Full details on how to apply can be found at the CDT-SuMMeR’s website ( The closing date for applications is 16.00 BST on 23rd May 2022.

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