PhD projects within the School of Earth Sciences are published on this page. It will be expected that you contact potential supervisors in advance of submitting an application.
Unless otherwise stated, all projects are eligible for full funding via our NERC GW4+ postgraduate training award. Please see the GW4+ website for further details. Students may also be funded from a variety of UK and international industry and government sources; any funded studentships for which we are currently recruiting are also advertised below.
To apply to the University of Bristol you must apply online. For all non-DTP projects you should select PhD in Geology as the programme in the drop down menu.
Fully funded (non DTP) projects available:
Apply before 17:00 GMT, Monday 30th November 2020:
- Determination of processes governing hypogene dissolution and collapse of carbonate rocks [Supervisors Prof Cathy Hollis (University of Manchester), Prof Fiona Whitaker (University of Bristol)] Determination_processes_hypogene_dissolution_HOLLIS_WHITAKER (PDF, 646kB) [Note: For this project appply online through the University of Manchester]
European Research Council (ERC)
This fully funded, four-year studentship starting in autumn 2021 forms part of the ERC funded, Evolution of the Non-Uniformitarian Earth project. The project will be based at Bristol but involve collaboration with partners in University of Western Australia (Perth), Oxford University and ETH Zürich.
Apply before 17:00 GMT, Friday 8th January 2021:
- History of continental growth using detrital feldspars [Supervisors: Tim Elliott (University of Bristol), Chris Coath (University of Bristol), Tony Kemp (University of Western Australia)] History_continental_growth_using_detrital_feldspars_ELLIOTT_COATH (PDF, 647kB)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
STFC studentships to start autumn 2021. We typically obtain funding from STFC for one fully funded studentship (the quota for this academic year will be confirmed in January 2021). The projects below indicate topics of interest of potential supervisors. Please contact supervisors directly to express interest and discuss details.
Apply before 23:59 GMT, Monday 1st February 2021:
- In situ dating of meteoritic olivines (Supervisors Prof Tim Elliott and Dr Chris Coath) In_situ_dating_of_meteoritic_olivines_ELLIOTT_COATH (PDF, 830kB) (see related PhD studentship on same project offered at Oxford)
- Planetary atmospheres: observing Titan’s chemistry and dynamics [Supervisors Dr Nick Teanby (School of Earth Sciences, Bristol), Dr Dann Mitchell (School of Geographical Sciences, Bristol)] Planetary_atmospheres_observing_Titans_chemistry_dynamics_TEANBY_MITCHELL (PDF, 522kB)
- Self-diffusion in iron alloys at extreme conditions [Supervisors Dr Oliver Lord (School of Earth Sciences, Bristol), Prof Simon Clark (Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Macquarie University)] Self-diffusion_in_iron_alloys_LORD_CLARK (PDF, 656kB)
South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP)
Apply before 17:00 GMT, Monday 7th December 2020:
- Establishing evolutionary timescales (Supervisor Prof Philip Donoghue) Establishing_evolutionary_timescales_DONOGHUE (PDF, 498kB)
- Development, function and evolution of the mammalian jaw joint and middle ear (Supervisor Prof Emily Rayfield) Development_function_and_evolution_of_mammalian_jaw_joint_and_middle_ear_RAYFIEL (PDF, 497kB)
- Exploring joint mechanics and the relationship between shape, strain and cellular behavior through life (Supervisor Prof Emily Rayfield) Exploring_joint_mechanics_RAYFIELD (PDF, 497kB)
NERC GW4+ DTP projects 2021
Applications for the GW4+ DTP for study starting in September 2021. The deadline for applications is Friday 8th January 2021 at 23.59 GMT.
Individual project titles that are available are listed below. Each description has details of the Project and Supervisor, and other background information.
When applying for the GW4+DTP please select 'NERC Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Programme DTP PhD' in the Programme Choice page drop down menu. When you reach the Great Western Four + DTP page at the end of the application pages, after the CV page, please specify the School of your project choice. You will need to make a separate application for each project.
- Game of Stones: Do “harder” rocks build higher mountains? (Lead supervisor Dr Byron Adams) ADAMS_Do_harder_rocks_build_higher_mountains (PDF, 418kB)
- Selective recovery of critical metals from environmental and anthropogenic waste by biologically mediated fractionation (Lead supervisor Dr James Byrne) BYRNE_Selective_recovery_of_critical_metals (PDF, 339kB)
- Tracking the topographic evolution of the Sierra Nevada, California (Lead supervisor Dr Frances Cooper) COOPER_Tracking_topographic_evolution_Sierra_Nevada (PDF, 740kB)
- Novel probes of upwelling mantle in the Southern Pacific Ocean using floating and land-based seismic data (Lead supervisor Dr Jessica Irving) IRVING_Novel_probes_upwelling_mantle (PDF, 368kB)
- The thermal history of the continental lithosphere; a perspective from diamonds and their inclusions (Lead supervisor Prof Simon Kohn) KOHN_Thermal_history_continental_lithosphere (PDF, 512kB)
- Self-diffusion in iron alloys at extreme conditions (Lead supervisor Dr Oliver Lord) LORD_Self_diffusion_iron_alloys (PDF, 415kB)
- Quantifying magmatic processes of pantellerites from Mayor Island (Tuhua), Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand (Lead supervisor Prof Heidy Mader) MADER_Quantifying_magmatic_processes_pantellerites (PDF, 250kB)
- Unravelling Mantle Heterogeneities from the Oceanic Crust (Lead supervisor Dr Ian Parkinson PARKINSON_Unravelling_Mantle_Heterogeneities (PDF, 303kB)
- The role of marine plankton in the Earth’s chemistry (Lead supervisor Prof Daniela Schmidt) SCHMIDT_Role_marine_plankton_Earth_chemistry (PDF, 315kB)
- Exploring Titan’s dynamic atmosphere using spacecraft remote sensing observations from the Cassini Spacecraft and the James Webb Space Telescope (Lead supervisor Dr Nick Teanby) TEANBY_Exploring_Titans_dynamic_atmosphere (PDF, 332kB)
- Monitoring Injection-Induced Earthquakes in the UK (Lead supervisor Dr. James Verdon) VERDON_Monitoring_Injection_Induced_Earthquakes (PDF, 333kB)
- Mass spectroscopic mapping of organically preserved fossils (Lead supervisor Dr Jakob Vinther) VINTHER_Mass_spectroscopic_mapping_organically_preserved_fossils (PDF, 260kB)
- How do large earthquakes start? Illuminating the nucleation phase from seismology and geodesy (Lead supervisor Dr Max Werner) WERNER_How_large_earthquakes_start (PDF, 301kB)
- Probing mantle dynamics with seismic anisotropy (Lead supervisor Prof James Wookey) WOOKEY_Probing_mantle_dynamics_seismic_anisotropy (PDF, 309kB)
To apply for any PhD project other than one within the GW4+DTP you should select PhD in Geology as the programme in the drop down menu.
If you have any questions, please contact the Postgraduate Administrator via email email@example.com.
General information on postgraduate admissions can be found on the University postgraduate webpages http://www.bris.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/
Did you know?
The Bristol School of Earth Sciences currently has around 100 PhD students across all years of study.