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Record Intake of Doctoral Researchers at LEC in 2009

A record number of 33 full-time and part-time doctoral researchers started at the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) in October 2009, a more than 20 per cent increase from the previous two years.

"This is a great achievement for all at LEC", says Professor Kevin Jones, Associate Director of Research at LEC, who continues that "Lancaster's ambition is to increase the number of postgraduate researchers to 10 per cent of the overall student population by 2015. With this year's intake we have made a significant step toward the 25 per cent increase in doctoral researchers that was recently announced in the University strategic Plan for 2009-15. As part of this commitment to increasing doctoral research, LEC successfully bid for four University studentships and a Faculty studentship".

This year's intake are funded from a range of sources including more traditional sources of funding from UK Research Councils (such as the Natural Environment Research Council or NERC), and government departments such as DEFRA.

Research is also funded by the British Commonwealth and overseas government scholarships with nearly a quarter of doctoral researchers coming from outside of the EU.

A central feature of doctoral research at LEC is the focus on inter-disciplinary training and development. Dr Kirk Semple, Associate Director of Postgraduate Study, explains that "supervisors are often from different disciplinary backgrounds - whether that is biological, environmental, geographical or social aspects of environmental science.

Inter-disciplinary supervisory practices help ensure that doctoral researchers are well placed to respond to the complex issues of our time. Here at LEC we have a large and vibrant doctoral community with very good completion rates".

LEC supports a wide range of doctoral research topics through the five research themes and five research centres. This year's doctoral researchers will be focusing on the impact of soil compaction on soil functioning, environmental change and crop production, developing a cloud proof vegetation characterisation from remote sensing products and participatory science and urban heat phenomenon, to name a few.

For further information on doctoral study at the Lancaster Environment Centre, please contact lec.pg@lancaster.ac.uk.

Wed 28 October 2009