Apply for a funded PhD position

We offer a range of PhDs funded by different sources, such as research councils, industries or charities. As a PhD student, you will become a valued member of a research group. Here you will work with internationally respected academics, post-doctoral research associates and technicians. Find out more about our research groups below.

How to Apply

To apply for a funded PhD please read the advertised project information carefully as requirements will vary between funders. The project information will include details of funding eligibility, application deadline dates and links to application forms. Only applicants who have a relevant background and meet the funding criteria can be considered.

Current PhD Opportunities

  • Using drone imagery to manage tree failure hazards

    Supervisors:  Alan Blackburn, Duncan Whyatt, Paul Scholefield (CEH)

    Tree failures, which typically occur during severe storms, regularly cause severe disruption to transport and power networks. Operators of infrastructure networks and public spaces face the difficult task of managing the many millions of trees that are in their areas of responsibility, to minimise the risks of failure.

    This project will exploit the emerging generation of novel aerial platforms, sensors and data analysis techniques to acquire detailed information on individual trees and their environmental context, to inform tree management decisions for a range of utility and transport companies...

    The project will generate: (i) protocols for acquiring remotely-sensed data that is suitable for measuring key tree and environmental parameters; (ii) analytical procedures that can extract tree and environmental parameters accurately; (iii) effective methods for repeated monitoring of risky trees; (iv) an efficient data processing platform that will support the operational application of large remotely-sensed data sets for tree survey and inspection. 

    This project builds on recent research projects funded by NERC and EPSRC and has strong potential to open up new markets in the UK and overseas, in the context of tree failure risk management and more widely in arboriculture, orchard management, forestry, ecological survey and carbon accounting. To enable data collection, the student will undergo training and certification as a UAV pilot and will also benefit from all the required training in image processing and data analysis.

    More details on the Geospatial Data Science Research Group at Lancaster Environment Centre can be found here https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lec/research/research-areas/geospatial-data/

    Informal enquires are welcomed, please contact Professor Alan Blackburn alan.blackburn@lancaster.ac.uk  or Dr Duncan Whyatt d.whyatt@lancaster.ac.uk.

How the application process works

  1. Select the project you wish to apply for. You can make informal enquiries to the project supervisors if you wish. Please ensure that you check the application deadline dates and eligibility criteria.
  2. Complete your application by following the links to the application form. At this stage, you are able to apply for more than one advertised project if you wish.
  3. After the closing date, the Department will consider all applications. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. Interviews can be arranged by Skype or telephone. The timescale for this will vary but is in the region of 4 weeks.
  4. If you are successful at interview for the studentship, you will be invited to formally apply via the admissions portal online. This ensures that you receive a formal offer of admission. Please submit one application only, and state the studentship that you have applied for in the source of funding section.
  5. Once a formal offer has been made, you will need to check the conditions in your offer letter and supply any outstanding documents by the required deadlines. If your offer is unconditional then this will not apply to you.

Research Groups

Facilities

Laboratories

You will find yourself taking advantage of several laboratory facilities at Lancaster Environment Centre. There are our £4.4 million Teaching Labs, for example, as well as specialist facilities for Environmental Chemistry, Noble Gas, and Plant and Soil Ecology.

Research Facilities

There are no fewer than 15 purpose-built glasshouse modules, 16 controlled environment plant growth rooms, 4 solar domes based at the Hazelrigg Weather Station and a suite of ultraviolet radiation research facilities that can truly claim to be world-class.

Field Sites

You could find yourself working at a range of catchment science sites across England and Wales, including the local River Eden Valley, or they can travel much further afield to the tropical forests of the Amazon and Borneo.

Cutting-Edge Technologies

You can be trained to use a range of equipment, such as our Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer Facility, X-ray CT Scanner, Magnetometer or the LI-COR Portable Photosynthesis System, which has the capacity to measure plant gas exchange with exceptional speed and precision.

Rich Data Resources

Dedicated support staff with expertise in GIS, statistics, modelling, information technology and programming are available to provide specialist training in all aspects of data acquisition, processing and analysis.