Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

KESS 2 & KESS 2 East Scholarships

           

1. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship:

Energy harvesting to extend high-resolution telemetry to small passerines.


Location: The Schools of Electronic Engineering, and Environment, and the School of Natural Science, Bangor University, UK.

Project ID: BUK2E018

Annual Stipend: £14,057

Application Deadline: 31-01-2020

Applications are invited for a three-year research PhD studentship in piezoelectric materials and microelectronics engineering at the Schools of Electronic Engineering, and Environment, and the School of Natural Science, Bangor University, UK. The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (www.kess2.ac.uk) in collaboration with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). It will cover tuition fees and a tax-free stipend at the standard RCUK rate (£14,057 per year), along with microelectronics training and conference attendance. The studentship is availab1e from 1st. March 2020.

Applicants should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in electronics/microwave engineering, or a related degree. UK or EU citizenship is required. Please submit a CV (max 2 pages) together with a covering letter to Dr Cristiano Palego / Dr. Paul Cross at c.palego@bangor.ac.uk/Paul.Cross@bangor.ac.uk  and cc to Penny Dowdney p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk by the 31st January 2020.

Birds are highly mobile and much of their ecology is relatively well understood, but high-resolution movement data can highlight critical thresholds in their ability to adapt to change and disturbance, and ensure that anthropogenic landscape management continues to be based on the best available data from this policy-critical taxonomic group. The study will adapt Bangor University’s pre-existing, novel bee-tracking technology to tracking small passerine birds in agricultural systems. In adapting the technology and the necessary assessment of body placement, attachment method(s) and the weight and data resolution limits of this method for use in birds, will ultimately define the range of species and any spatial limitations (territory size and seasonality) of the method for the investigation of small birds' movements in complex habitats such as agricultural landscapes. This studentship objectives are therefore to:

  • Complete a literature review of radio-telemetric tracking systems, and plan the experimental work for the monitoring of bird movements in the field.

  • Undertake initial lab-environment experimentation including high-resolution video of body displacement in flying passerines to evaluate the scalar efficiencies of the tracking device.

  • Determine whether the device provides a single resolution signal and refine the drone-scanning and feedback control resolution for the auto-tracking system to achieve a 3km scale tracking capacity.

  • Evaluate the potential of portable receiver masts as an alternative to drone tracking to monitor bird movements in urban and peri-urban locations.

  • Tracking devices in a variety of designs will be fitted in a number of positions on captive birds with appropriate body morphology and weight ranges to identify the optimal configuration for signal generation. Devices will be tested in free-flight experiments utilising Bangor University's homing pigeon research facility and on a range of smaller bird species fitted with the device in controlled environments such as large aviaries.

This project is focused on ensuring a sustainable farmland environment for future generations by providing an evidence base for the optimal habitat structural heterogeneity.

Schools background:

The School of Electronic Engineering achieved the UK’s fourth highest score in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, acknowledging world leading activities in the areas of photonics, organic/green electronics and microwave medical devices. The School of Natural Science is internationally renowned for its cross-disciplinary research on sustainable land use, and has a broad expertise in agriculture and environmental sciences. We have state-of-the art facilities for field-based training and experiments (e.g. habitat mapping data and measurement resources). Additionally, we sponsor research exchanges with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) in concurrent and related programmes. BTO harnesses the skills and passion of birdwatchers to advance our understanding of ornithology and produce impartial science, communicated so that it can be of benefit to everyone.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the East of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

2. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

Going beyond the gut: enhancing fish health with precision aquaculture nutrition

Bangor University School of Natural Sciences

Project ID: BUK2E007

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 30th January 2020

Two of the greatest barriers to intensification of aquaculture in the Wales, and indeed globally, is infectious disease outbreaks and sustainable, efficient fish nutrition. Currently, disease is a substantial economic burden, costing the aquaculture industry US$6 billion a year and is a growing concern for farmed fish welfare. Furthermore, efficient use of feeds is increasingly important as traditional reliance upon fish-derived proteins and oils, supplied from capture fisheries, is ever more unsustainable. Therefore, it is critical innovative fish feeds and diet supplements are developed that not only promote efficient fish growth, but also provide benefits to health and welfare.

Enhancing fish mucosal immunity is increasingly recognised for its value in alternative aquaculture disease mitigation strategies. Fishes’ skin, gill and gut mucosa, and their associated commensal microorganisms (microbiomes) are the first line of defence against invading pathogens and parasites. However, in aquaculture, there are increasing incidences and intensities of mucosal pathologies including skin/gill parasitic infections and gut dysbioses due to sub-optimal nutrition.

In this project, partnering Bangor and Cardiff Universities with Pontus Research Ltd, the student will investigate the potential of innovative prebiotic and functional diet supplements to not only enhance aquaculture productivity, but also promote fish health and disease resistance. The student will use a combination of feeding trials, microbiome profiling (using next-generation sequencing), mucus activity assays, and pathogen challenges to reveal the wider health benefits of precision aquaculture diet supplementation.

The project offers a wealth of opportunities for the student to gain knowledge of, and experience in, animal husbandry; aquaculture nutrition; microbiology; molecular biology; bioinformatics and science communication. The studentship will be based both in the Bangor Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory, a world leader in the analyses of molecular data from aquatic biota, and Pontus Research Ltd (South Wales), an internationally renowned aquaculture R&D company. There will be further opportunities for the student to work and train in Cardiff University, with experts in aquatic parasitology.

Supervisors: Dr Amy Ellison, Bangor University (a.ellison@bangor.ac.uk), Prof Si Creer (Bangor University), Prof Jo Cable (Cardiff University), Dr Cedric Berger (Cardiff University), and Dr Jack James (Pontus Research).

Essential skills are a minimum 2:1 BSc (or equivalent) in Life Sciences, with good numerate skills and enthusiasm for aquaculture and fish health. Desirable skills are molecular laboratory, animal experimental, and/or aquaculture industry experience. The studentship requires significant time spent in both North and South Wales (the primary base of the studentship will be at Pontus Research, Aberdare), therefore the student must have the willingness and flexibility for travel.

The project is expected to begin in early March 2020. Queries regarding this studentship, including eligibility, should be directed to a.ellison@bangor.ac.uk. To apply for this fully funded position please email a current CV and covering letter (2 A4 pages maximum) stating your relevant interests and experience to a.ellison@bangor.ac.uk and Penny Dowdney p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk by 30th January 2020.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

3. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship:

Utilising Earth Observational (EO) techniques and data sets to detect and monitor insect pest disturbance events, impacts on tree health and rates of tree mortality within forest ecosystems.

Bangor University, with Forest Research

Project ID: BUK2E011

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 30th. January 2020

Insect disturbance events within forest ecosystems are becoming increasingly more common, mainly in response to changing climate patterns, or through the accidental introduction of invasive pests into new areas.  This project will contribute to the development of novel techniques to predict insect outbreaks, monitor existing pest populations and the resulting defoliation or tree mortality that they may cause, as well as having the potential to improve the response and management approaches through the early detection of symptoms induced by new and emerging pests.

Current ground-based assessments of tree growth, canopy condition, rates of defoliation and assessing population densities of specific insect pests are notoriously labour intensive, time consuming and often need to be conducted over multiple years.

Earth Observational (EO) techniques and the resulting data sets that these methodologies generate now make it feasible for the early detection of major disturbance events, particularly those caused by forest insect pests.  There have been numerous studies that have demonstrated how EO techniques can be used to map and monitor insect outbreaks and the resulting damage incurred.  Hence in light of the current threats that are facing UK forests from both invasive wood boring insects (e.g. Asian longhorn beetle, Ips typographus, emerald ash borer, bronze birch borer), as well as concern over defoliating insects in both deciduous and coniferous forests (e.g. oak lace bug, spruce budworm moths etc) there is now a real need to further develop and utilise these novel EO techniques to monitor forest health more effectively.

The successful applicant will initially use FR existing data sets to calibrate historical EO information with previous ground-based assessments.  They will then develop the project to:

  • Identify whether EO techniques can be used as early detection systems that can highlight imminent pest outbreak hotspots e.g. can they detect individual or small clusters of tree mortality caused by, for example, the bark beetle Dendroctonus micans.

  • Assess the feasibility of using EO techniques to monitor existing insect pest issues, such as the green spruce aphid (Elatobium abietinum), by identifying areas/regions that are becoming more susceptible under changing climatic conditions.

  • Examine the potential for EO data to help quantify tree growth losses caused by significant defoliation events linked to high insect pest ‘outbreak’ episodes.

  • Determine whether it is possible to remotely identify forest areas that are susceptible to specific environmental conditions (e.g. drought) that may predispose forest stands to insect (and disease) issues.

This is an opportunity to join a growing and vibrant team of postgraduates and staff at Bangor studying various aspects of forestry, agriculture, and land use, and to work with scientists at Forest Research, Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree related research (www.forestresearch.gov.uk).

Supervisors: Dr Rubén Valbuena, Bangor University (r.valbuena@bangor.ac.uk), Dr David Williams (Forest Research), and Dr Andy Smith (Bangor University).

The project is expected to begin in February 2020 and to continue for three years. To apply for this fully funded post please email a current CV and covering letter (2 A4 pages maximum) to r.valbuena@bangor.ac.uk, cc’d to Penny Dowdney p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk by 30th January 2020.   

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales. 

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

4. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship:

The magnetic sense of bees: mechanism, function and vulnerability to electromagnetic noise

Bangor University, School of Natural Sciences

Project ID: BUKE038

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: February 1st 2020

Applications are invited for a three year PhD research studentship investigating the magnetic sense in bees and the impact of electromagnetic noise on their behaviour. The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) (www.kess2.ac.uk) in collaboration with the National Grid. It will cover tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend, as well as a travel budget for workshop and conference attendance.

Insect pollinators face serious threats from anthropogenic pollutants. Recent evidence highlights that anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation is at levels never before experienced in human history, and several recent reviews have highlighted the need to understand the effects of this on biological systems (Bandara and Carpenter 2018) and particularly in pollinators such as bees (Vanbergen et al. 2019).

One line of evidence suggests that at least some frequencies of electromagnetic radiation may be disrupting the magnetic sense in other animals such as birds. There is a suggestion that fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field may be a factor in certain types of colony collapse disorder, such as desertion syndrome (Ferarri 2014). However, while there is evidence that bees possess a magnetic sense and can be trained to discriminate magnetic signatures, its function in their foraging and navigation remains to be determined.

In light of this, the PhD project aims to address this gap in our knowledge of bee behaviour by investigating the role of the magnetic sense in bee navigation. The successful student will carry out experiments to test hypotheses of the function and mechanism of magnetic sense use in bees. They will have access to state of the art tracking technology to test the behavioural response of the insects to magnetic field manipulations, through an initiative at Bangor University, which is developing drone based tracking technology to follow the foraging flights of bees in the wild.

The project is a collaboration between Bangor University (Primary Supervisor Dr Richard Holland r.holland@bangor.ac.uk, co-supervisor Dr. Paul Cross paul.cross@bangor.ac.uk), Queen Mary University of London (co-supervisor Professor Lars Chittka l.chittka@qmul.ac.uk) and the National Grid (co-supervisor Hayley Tripp Hayley.Tripp@nationalgrid.com). The successful student will spend 30 days per year on placement with the National Grid as part of the project.

Applicants should hold a First or upper second class degree or Masters qualification, ideally in a biological or environmental subject, but students in the physical sciences should not be discouraged due to the multidisciplinary nature of this research.

To apply: Please send a CV and covering letter to Richard Holland (r.holland@bangor.ac.uk) and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk). The closing date for applications is February 1st 2020. The start date of the project is at the latest 31st March 2020. For informal inquiries, please contact Richard Holland.

Key references

Bandara, P. and Carpenter D.O. (2018). Planetary electromagnetic pollution: it is time to assess its impact. The Lancet: Planetary Health 2, e509-547.

Vanbergen A. et al. (2019) Risk to pollinators from anthropogenic electro-magnetic radiation (EMR): Evidence and knowledge gaps. Science of the Total Environment.

Ferrari, T.(2014) Magnets, magnetic field fluctuations and geomagnetic disturbances impair the homing ability of honey bees (Apis mellifera), Journal of Apicultural Research, 53:4, 452-465.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

5. KESS 2 MRes Scholarship:

Understanding the effect novel collaboration of public sector factors has on approaches to tackling poverty and health inequality in North Wales and model future growth potential, and the impact on wider public services of this approach.

Bangor University : Business School : in collaboration with ClwydAlyn

Project ID: BUK2203

Annual Stipend: £11, 586

Application Deadline: January 30th. 2020

The 2025 Movement (www.2025movement.org) is a place based partnership formed in 2015 in North Wales with a mission to end avoidable health inequalities in the region by 2025. We are made up of senior leaders and practitioners from the public and third sector in North Wales.

In The 2025 Movement we are leading public sector innovation in North Wales and pushing the boundaries of how we can work together through voluntary partnerships.

This project will be an exploration of this innovative form of collaborative working and public sector partnership, you will be generating an understanding of the movement’s impact on health inequality and poverty in the region, and modelling how this type of collaboration can be expanded for the future.

You will be helping the 2025 Movement engage with, and explore, these working relationships by helping us ask the right questions and find the best answers through close partnerships with a host of public sector leaders across North Wales as well as world class academics here at Bangor University.

This will be a highly visible role that will require a dynamic, engaging, and confident individual who can remain open minded as they work with our team to ask challenging questions and explore complex avenues of research.
This Research Masters will give you the opportunity to gain experience across a number of public services in North Wales, and address problems at the forefront of public sector research.  

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to Prof. Kostas Nikolopoulos (k.nikolopoulos@bangor.ac.uk) and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk).

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

6. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship:

Investigating the potential of forested lands for natural flood management in Wales

Bangor University, School of Natural Sciences

Project ID: BUK2E014

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 27th January 2020

Natural Flood Management (NFM) utilises natural processes within the landscape to reduce flood risk and is increasingly being viewed as a sustainable, cost effective, and complementary addition to flood defence infrastructure. One NFM measure is to increase the proportion of forested lands within river catchments draining to communities at risk. Tree cover has good potential to reduce flood risk through increased canopy evaporation, enhanced below-ground water storage and slowing the flow of water towards streams. However, the extent to which these mechanisms are superior for forestry, compared to other land uses, remains poorly understood. A major gap in our understanding is related to how forest age, structure and species composition affects the potential role of forested lands in reducing flood risk. This is a key limitation in assessing the utility of forest lands for NFM in Wales, which this project will address.

This project will employ a combination of field work and computer-based modelling. The fieldwork element will be conducted in the Afon Pennal catchment, a tributary of Afon Dyfi in mid Wales, to compare the rainfall interception rates and soil hydraulic properties, including soil water storage capacity and soil moisture deficit, between different types of grassland and forest cover. Fieldwork measurements will be used to develop and validate a canopy interception model, which will then be coupled with a spatially distributed hydrological model to simulate streamflow over the entire catchment for a range of flood return intervals. The coupled model will further be used to provide multi-scenario assessments of the impact of forest land use on flood peak reduction.

The research in this project will help to better quantify and value the flood regulation services of existing forest cover in Wales to inform natural capital accounts and wider assessments of ecosystem services. Results will inform ongoing discussions about the cost-effectiveness of NFM measures and the future development of more targeted and appropriate payments for ecosystem services.

The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a good 2:1 in a relevant degree and be available to take up the studentship by April 2020. Previous experience in hydrological modelling or field based hydrological research is highly desirable. A requirement of the studentship is a 30-day placement per year with the partner company (Forest Research), during the period of the project.

Expected start date: 01/03/2020

Bangor Supervisors: Dr Sopan Patil, Dr Andy Smith, and Prof Morag McDonald

External Supervisors: Dr Tom Nisbet and Mr Huw Thomas (Forest Research).

Interested applicants who wish to discuss the role further can contact Dr Sopan Patil via email (s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk).

To apply for this fully funded post, please email a current CV and covering letter (2 A4 pages maximum) to Dr Sopan Patil (s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk) and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk) by 27th January 2020.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

7. KESS 2 MRes Scholarship:

A hydrological modelling toolkit to enhance flood management and infrastructure decisions in Gwynedd County, Wales

Bangor University, School of Natural Sciences 

Project ID: BUK2188

Annual Stipend: £11,586

Application Deadline: 1st February 2020 

Flood risk mitigation is a major societal challenge and will be increasingly important in the future due to climate change threats. Flooding often causes significant economic damage to the affected communities. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) estimated that, between 2011 and 2014, flooding in Wales cost about £71 million. Flood risk is clearly a national concern and protecting and improving the water environment is the principal aim of the European Union Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD) and Welsh Assembly Government’s (WAG) National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in Wales. Managing the risks of flooding locally is crucial to creating safer and more resilient communities, and this is where Local Authorities play a very important role. 

Gwynedd County Council (GCC) is the Local Flood Lead Authority in Gwynedd County and its statutory role in this capacity is fulfilled by Ymgynghoriaeth Gwynedd Consultancy (YGC). Typical solutions implemented by YGC for flood risk alleviation have been to increase river or culvert capacity, upgrade surface water systems or implement property level resilience (PLR) measures. However, the long-term effectiveness of these solutions is unclear as they have been implemented without considering the river catchment’s hydrological behaviour. Moving forward, YGC seeks to develop a new approach to developing flood alleviation schemes on a river catchment basis, as opposed to focusing on small and isolated communities. A major knowledge gap in this regard is the relatively poor understanding of the hydrological behaviour of small catchments within Gwynedd. 

This project will employ a computer-based modelling approach to develop a hydrological toolkit for enhanced decision making. Specifically, this toolkit will enable YGC to: (1) perform multi-scenario assessment of catchment conditions, including climate and land use change, for flood management and infrastructure decisions, and (2) quantify the impact of climate change uncertainty over the next 80 to 100 years on catchment flood response in Gwynedd. The work to be carried out in this project directly addresses YGC’s priority of developing a streamlined hydrological modelling workflow that can eventually be integrated with external models, e.g., flood inundation mapping tools, to form an effective decision support system. 

The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a good 2:1 in a relevant degree and be available to take up the studentship by April 2020. Previous experience in using hydrological modelling and GIS software is highly desirable. A requirement of the studentship is a 30-day placement with the partner company (YGC), during the period of the project. 

Expected start date: 01/04/2020 

Supervisors: Dr Sopan Patil, Bangor University (s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk), Mr Robert Williams (Ymgynghoriaeth Gwynedd Consultancy), and Dr Prysor Williams (Bangor University). 

Interested applicants who wish to discuss the role further can contact Dr Sopan Patil via email (s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk).

 To apply for this fully funded post, please email a current CV and covering letter (2 A4 pages maximum) to s.d.patil@bangor.ac.uk and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk) by 1st February 2020.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

8.KESS2 Masters by Research Scholarship :

Developing a theory of change for a complex programme; a systematic framework for ensuring delivery of outcomes in a new Wellbeing Hub for the Nantlle Valley.

School of Health Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2200

Annual Stipend: £11,586

Application Deadline : 01/02/2020.

This is a research opportunity that may be attractive to a range of students as it covers a wide field of interests. Health and social care students with an interest in strategic change are an obvious set but so would business studies students interested in public and voluntary sector development, similarly ‘place based’ community development researchers or any students/researchers with a passion for how the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act may be delivered in practice.

Grwp Cynefin have been the lead organisation building a wider vision for Penygroes as a Centre for Well-being for the Nantlle Valley and wider local region.  Partners including Gwynedd Council, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, and a range of voluntary and  community organisations have produced a business case to create a new and innovative Wellbeing Hub to modernise and extend the reach of existing health and care services, embed prevention and community wellbeing into a new sustainable model for the future, and act as a crucible for change and regeneration of the wider area.

There is no evidence based “Theory of Change” available able to frame the broad outcomes of a change programme as ambition as this. It encompasses all the Wellbeing of Future Generation Goals and ways of working, as other major service redesign programmes have, but not on this scale in a new build facility across this range of services and sectors.

The ambitious wellbeing outcomes map across health and care, regeneration, economic environment, education opportunity, social inclusion, arts and culture development etc. The drivers and interventions are therefore both wide ranging and complex.

This proposal is therefore a unique opportunity for an Masters by Research student to work across all stakeholders to develop an understanding and map the expected outcomes; define the interventions required; establish the evidence and return on investment assumptions behind interventions; and then to set out an outcomes framework to guide the whole programme and enable it to be robustly evaluated.

Its value to stakeholders is its promise to provide assurance that their own and collective goals for the programme will be monitored and met. 

To build this theory of change requires a student to use a mixed methodology including scoping review; assessment of evidence-based practice; stakeholder engagement; workshop facilitation; and synthesis of complex data across sectors and systems.

It is a unique opportunity to produce research with national significance.

Start date: 01/04/2020

Project Supervisors:

The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr Mary Lynch and Dr Ned Hartfiel at the School of Health Sciences and Mrs Mair Edwards, community initiatives manager for Grŵp Cynefin as the Company supervisor.

Interested applicants who wish to discuss the role further can contact Dr Mary Lynch via email (m.lynch@bangor.ac.uk).

Applications should include a CV with two named referees and a covering letter via email to Dr Lynch (m.lynch@bangor.ac.uk) and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk) by 17:00 on 10/02/20.

We welcome applications in either English or Welsh.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

9. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

Understanding the influence of wood species on resin modification and property enhancement in resin-modified wood

The BioComposites Centre, Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2E028

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 3rd January 2020

This project will investigate chemical and physical parameters affecting the treatment of timber with a resin system to enhance performance and durability.

Wood modification is an emerging field, offering an alternative to chemical preservative treatments, and creating a new generation of timber products for advanced applications. Lignia Wood Company have developed a process to create timbers that behave like hardwoods, using a fast-growing, renewable sustainable softwood.

This project will investigate options for expanding the range of timbers used in this process, understanding chemical effects of the wood on curing reactions, effect of resin characteristics on impregnation and reactivity, and investigate the effect of temperature and other parameters on processing rate. It would suit a candidate with a keen interest in chemistry, materials science or physics. A degree in chemistry or wood science is preferred, but any relevant science degree will be considered, and training to cover knowledge gaps can be made available.

PhD supervisors in Bangor University (Dr Morwenna Spear, Dr Graham Ormondroyd) and at Lignia (Dr Andrew Pitman) are all experienced in supervising PhD candidates in the field of wood science and bio-based materials. Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Spear (m.j.spear@bangor.ac.uk) or Dr Ormondroyd (g.ormondroyd@bangor.ac.uk) to discuss the project.

The expected start date is January 2020, or sooner.

Project outline

It is expected that three main phases of work are required for this project. The first considers the chemical characteristics of the wood – buffer capacity, extractives, as well as the physical (microscopic) aspects such as cell structure, flow pathways. A selection of timbers will be considered, including Welsh grown species, to assess potential for use with the existing resin systems. The second phase of the project will address changes in resin chemistry and properties (including molecular weight, pH, catalysis, stability, water tolerance, viscosity) which may enhance performance when used in treating the selected new timber species. Physical and chemical methods will be used to evaluate resin cure, and the effect of timber on cure rate in the conditions used in the industrial process. Effects of cure rate and reaction condition on other properties will be studied, these include location within the wood cell wall, mechanical properties of the cured resin, e.g. toughness or brittleness, resulting properties of the treated wood. Phase three of the project will involve working with Lignia to produce larger samples of timber suitable for full range of mechanical and physical properties determination.

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to Dr Spear (m.j.spear@bangor.ac.uk) and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk).

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

10. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

Determining the potential for precision grazing to improve the resilience of livestock production systems

School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2E017

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: January 20th. 2020.

Applications are invited for a three-year research PhD studentship in improving the economic and environmental performance of pasture-based livestock production systems through better utilisation of grass. The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) (www.kess2.ac.uk ) in collaboration with Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC). It will cover tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend, as well as a travel budget for workshop and conference attendance. The studentship is available from February 2020.

Grass has been shown to be the cheapest feed to provide ruminant systems and has the least environmental impacts. However, there remains huge variability in the quantity, quality and utilisation of grass grown on farms, much of which is down to management. This ‘lost’ feed has to be replaced with imported soya or grain, which increases the economic and environmental burden of production systems. Indeed, studies estimate that 50% of grass grown on UK farms is wasted, which has implications for nutrient use and greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts of different grazing systems on the efficiency of pasture production, however, is profound. Some systems (e.g. rotational grazing) have been shown to utilise 60-70% of grass grown, whilst the newer ‘cell grazing’ systems purportedly utilise 90% of grass grown. Such difference would have hugely significant implications for both the environmental footprint and cost of meat production. Furthermore, it would allow production of an equal (or greater) quantity per hectare of land, meaning that poorer quality land could be used to ‘offset’ emissions, e.g. through the planting of trees (i.e. the principle of sustainable intensification). 

Using a cluster of study sites, this project will determine the economic (e.g. feed purchased) and environmental (e.g. fertiliser application rates) cost-benefits of different grazing systems for lamb and beef production systems. The findings will be used at different levels to generate novel outputs:

  • The economic and environmental ramifications of improved grassland utilisation for livestock systems will be estimated at the farm scale;

  • The results will then be scaled up to the national level, evaluating the net effect on Welsh GHG emissions and the resilience and economic performance of livestock farms;

  • Lastly, the potential of such grazing management to attract further funds in terms of payment for ecosystem services will be assessed using a model upland and lowland farm.

HCC (https://hccmpw.org.uk/en) is the red meat levy board in Wales, within its remit is the funding of research that will reduce the environmental footprint of red meat production; which it views as both a major challenge and opportunity for the sector in Wales. Key to this is the efficient utilisation of home-grown forage; which will also bring significant economic benefit to the sector.

This is one of four PhD studentships we are currently advertising as a partnership with HCC; the others being:

  • Strategies to reach zero carbon sheep and beef production on Welsh farms

  • Strategies for meeting targets for ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching reduction for Welsh beef and sheep farms

  • Integrated guidance for meeting environmental targets while maintaining profitability for the sheep and beef sectors in Wales 

Applicants should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in agriculture, economics, environmental science or a related degree. Experience of modelling or programming is desirable.

Bangor Supervisors: Prysor Williams (prysor.williams@bangor.ac.uk) & James Gibbons (j.gibbons@bangor.ac.uk)

External supervisor: Dr Jordana Rivero Viera (Rothamsted Research)  

For informal enquiries, please contact Prysor Williams or James Gibbons

Closing Date: January 20th. 2020. 

To apply : Please send a CV and covering letter to : Prysor Williams (prysor.williams@bangor.ac.uk) & James Gibbons (j.gibbons@bangor.ac.uk) , and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk). 

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales. 

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

11. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

Strategies for meeting targets for ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching reduction for Welsh beef and sheep farms

School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUKE031

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: January 20th. 2020.

Applications are invited for a three-year research PhD studentship that focuses on strategies for reducing ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching for Welsh beef and sheep farms. The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) (www.kess2.ac.uk) in collaboration with Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC). It will cover tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend, as well as a travel budget for workshop and conference attendance. The studentship is available from February 2020.

The red meat sector is under considerable pressure from consumers and legislators to reduce its environmental impacts. In the UK, livestock systems represent the biggest source (>85%) of ammonia (NH3) emissions; the figure is likely to be at least as high in Wales, given the preponderance of such systems. Livestock-associated emissions of ammonia emanate from manure management (storage and spreading), livestock housing, urine/dung deposition by grazing livestock, and application of urea-based fertilisers. Given the linkage between ammonia concentrations and poor air quality (with subsequent impacts on human health, such as respiratory diseases), there is mounting pressure on the livestock sector to reduce such emissions, especially since the recent announcement of the UK Clean Air Strategy. In parallel, there will be a pan-Wales implementation of regulations focussed on reducing nutrient pollution in 2020, where it is expected that restrictions will be placed on the amount of livestock-derived resources that are high in readily-available nitrogen (e.g. slurries) that can be applied to land, and of stocking rates, similar to the current requirements within areas designated as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones. 

Running in parallel with “zero carbon emissions” studentship, the project will use data from the same study farms, focussing specifically on the use of fertilisers and livestock resources. It will take into account the influence of potential NH3 emission and nitrate leaching mitigation strategies, including covering of slurry stores, use of different spreading methods (e.g. splash-plate v low-trajectory application of slurries), application rates and timing, fertiliser types and livestock stocking rates. Importantly, the project will assess potential co-benefits and unintended consequences of mitigation strategies for both NH3 emissions and nitrate leaching. For example, where strategic planting of buffer strips is implemented as a measure to reduce nitrate transport to watercourses, the impacts of this on greenhouse gas emissions, microbial transport, and biodiversity will be estimated. The project will also assess impacts on productivity and the exporting of production to countries where nitrogen pollution is a bigger issue. The wider implications of these mitigation strategies will be assessed via the development of a specific nutrient footprinting tool for beef and sheep farming systems, based on consequential lifecycle assessment methodology. Adopting such an approach for NH3 emissions, as opposed to greenhouse gases, will bring significant value and novelty to the studentship.

HCC is the red meat levy board in Wales (https://hccmpw.org.uk/en), within its remit is the funding of research that will reduce the environmental footprint of red meat production; which it views as both a major challenge and opportunity for the sector in Wales.

This is one of four PhD studentships we are currently advertising as a partnership with HCC; the others being:

  • Strategies to reach zero carbon sheep and beef production on Welsh farms

  • Integrated guidance for meeting environmental targets while maintaining profitability for the sheep and beef sectors in Wales

  • Determining the potential for precision grazing to improve the resilience of livestock production systems

Applicants should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in agriculture, economics, environmental science or a related degree. Experience of modelling or programming is desirable.

Bangor Supervisors: Dave Chadwick (d.chadwick@bangor.ac.uk) & Prysor Williams (prysor.williams@bangor.ac.uk)

External supervisor: Professor Tom Misselbrook (Rothamsted Research)

For informal enquiries, please contact Dave Chadwick or Prysor Williams

Closing Date: January 20th. 2020. 

To apply : Please send a CV and covering letter to : Dave Chadwick (d.chadwick@bangor.ac.uk) & Prysor Williams (prysor.williams@bangor.ac.uk), and cc Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk). 

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales. 

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.  

12. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

Meeting environmental targets while maintaining profitability for the sheep and beef sectors in Wales

School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2E032

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: January 20th. 2020.

Applications are invited for a three-year research PhD studentship in developing integrated environmental and economic guidance for livestock farmers. The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2 East) ( www.kess2.ac.uk ) in collaboration with Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC). It will cover tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend, as well as a travel budget for workshop and conference attendance. The studentship is available from February 2020.

The UK livestock sector is challenged by enhanced environmental targets that will inevitably influence farm management options in the future. Given the increasing consumer demand for red meat produced in an environmentally sustainable way, there is also likely to be considerable pressure for producers to demonstrate that such issues are at the heart of their businesses (e.g. as an obligation of contracts with processors). However, this is likely to provide a challenge for many in the sector, and there is likely to be a need for a system or tool to facilitate this transition. This studentship will develop an integrated and Welsh specific tool for assessing how on-farm management options influences the environmental and economic performance of businesses, addressing the following objectives:

  • Integration of detailed economic and environmental data at the farm level

  • Modelling the environmental and economic effect of farm management practices and policies

  • Scaling up the results from farm to national level

  • Through collaboration with farmers and HCC, provide the results in a way that can be understood and used by farmers

HCC (https://hccmpw.org.uk/en) is the red meat levy board in Wales, within its remit is the funding of research that will reduce the environmental footprint of red meat production; which it views as both a major challenge and opportunity for the sector in Wales.

The project will develop an integrated model to allow assessment of the complex environmental and financial impacts of interacting management decisions and allow the identification of reliable measures of successful outcomes. The student will work with farmers and HCC to assess the barriers and opportunities from using such a tool, to optimise the user-friendliness of e-tools, and to develop an appropriate user guide. The tool will help farmers optimise their management strategies to achieve reductions in greenhouse gases, ammonia and water use, in a way that does not compromise profitability. An annual assessment will indicate the extent those farm businesses are improving their economic and environmental performance.

This is one of four PhD studentships we are currently advertising as a partnership with HCC; the others being:

  • Strategies to reach zero carbon sheep and beef production on Welsh farms

  • Strategies for meeting targets for ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching reduction for Welsh beef and sheep farms

  • Determining the potential for precision grazing to improve the resilience of livestock production systems

Applicants should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in agriculture, economics, environmental science or a related degree. Experience of modelling or programming is desirable.

Bangor Supervisors: James Gibbons (j.gibbons@bangor.ac.uk) & Prysor Williams (prysor.williams@bangor.ac.uk)

External supervisor: Professor Mike Lee (Rothamsted Research)

For informal enquiries, please contact James Gibbons or Prysor Williams

Closing Date: January 20th. 2020

To apply : please send a CV and covering letter to James Gibbons (j.gibbons@bangor.ac.uk) & Prysor Williams (prysor.williams@bangor.ac.uk) , cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk).

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

13. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

Strategies to reach zero carbon sheep and beef production on Welsh farms

School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUKE030

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: January 20th. 2020.

Applications are invited for a three-year research PhD studentship that focuses on strategies to reach zero carbon beef and sheep production in Wales. The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) (www.kess2.ac.uk) in collaboration with Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC). It will cover tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend, as well as a travel budget for workshop and conference attendance. The studentship is available from February 2020.

The red meat sector is under considerable pressure from consumers and legislators to reduce its environmental impacts. For instance, the Welsh Government has committed to a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (based on 1990 levels) by 2050, and the agricultural sector has been allocated interim targets that have to be met within the carbon budget. Indeed, as the UK has pledged to be net carbon neutral by 2050, there has been much discussion about the potential for zero carbon beef and sheep production.

As the red meat sector is challenged to move towards carbon neutrality, there is an urgent need to better quantify the opportunities for GHG abatement via off-setting or sequestration, as well as determine the wider environmental cost-benefits. This project will use a consequential Life Cycle Assessment (cLCA) approach that integrates best available data to calculate: (i) environmental footprints of Welsh livestock production; (ii) the environmental balance of different pathways of sustainable intensification, considering possible displacement of emissions outside of Wales depending on production changes and the international demand for livestock products under socio-economic scenarios defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

HCC is the red meat levy board in Wales (https://hccmpw.org.uk/en), within its remit is the funding of research that will reduce the environmental footprint of red meat production; which it views as both a major challenge and opportunity for the sector in Wales.

Through close collaboration with HCC, the project will involve annual gathering of data via a combination of face-to-face meetings and self-reported information on representative farms across Wales.  Farms will be chosen that are typical of the lamb and beef production systems that Wales (and indeed much of Western Europe) has (e.g. upland/ lowland, large/ small, in different climatic regions). This will allow us to extrapolate the results to the national scale and ‘map’ the findings onto the new HCC Environmental Roadmap.

The project will evaluate the effects of mitigation strategies on productivity, expressing results via the conventional GHG/unit product and per ha, but also via new metrics and in relation to alternative functional units, e.g. to consider GHG emissions per unit protein, or per nutrient density unit. This will allow us to model pathways of sustainable intensification towards net-zero-carbon pasture-based systems.

Finally, recent studies have proposed the use of alternative metrics to the conventional GWP100 metric for aggregation of GHGs in order to represent “climate neutrality”. In particular, the GWP* method represents the short residence time of CH4 in the atmosphere differently from the long-lived GHGs CO2 and N2O, with important implications for the “climate neutral” emissions balance. The project will explore application of the GWP* metric alongside the GWP100 metric for defining climate-neutral pathways of Welsh livestock production.    

This is one of four PhD studentships we are currently advertising as a partnership with HCC; the others being:

  • Strategies for meeting targets for ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching reduction for Welsh beef and sheep farms

  • Integrated guidance for meeting environmental targets while maintaining profitability for the sheep and beef sectors in Wales

  • Determining the potential for precision grazing to improve the resilience of livestock production systems

Applicants should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in agriculture, economics, environmental science or a related degree. Experience of modelling or programming is desirable.

Bangor Supervisors: Dave Chadwick (d.chadwick@bangor.ac.uk) & Dave Styles (d.styles@bangor.ac.uk)

External supervisor: Professor Bob Rees (SRUC)

For informal enquiries, please contact Dave Chadwick or Dave Styles

Closing Date: January 20th. 2020.

To apply : Please send a CV and covering letter to Dave Chadwick (d.chadwick@bangor.ac.uk) & Dave Styles (d.styles@bangor.ac.uk) and cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk).

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

14. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship:

Adaptive strategies for the management of invertebrate pests in Wales

Bangor University, with Forest Research

Project ID: BUK2E009

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 30th January 2020

Invertebrate pests present distinct challenges to sustainable forest management. Recent issues have been caused in the UK by the arrival of species such as Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) and European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus), with other significant threats such as Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) on the horizon. Achieving an effective management response to these, and other forest pests and diseases, is a high priority for the many land-management stakeholders involved: policy makers, practitioners and others. Recent social research has investigated tree health governance issues, outbreak policy and stakeholdership, however, little detail is known about the specific adaptive strategies adopted by land-managers in the UK in response to forest pests on their land.

Wales has a long legacy of dealing with invertebrate pests such as great spruce bark beetle (Dendroctonus micans) and green spruce aphid (Elatobium abietinum). It therefore provides an excellent opportunity to examine this adaptive management in detail over time, and generate a better understanding of how land-managers respond in practice to the perceived threats and the concrete impacts of tree pests.

This project will utilise in-depth interview, spatial analysis, literature and other documentary review (e.g. forest management plans; imagery), biological survey data, and practitioner workshops to record adaptive management actions taken in response to insect pests over time and in relation to the spatial heterogeneity of pest disturbance in the landscape. It will produce a framework of adaptive management strategies, that will inform future policy and support for affected land managers.

This is an opportunity for someone with an active interest in land management to join a growing and vibrant team of postgraduates and staff at Bangor studying various aspects of forestry, agriculture, and land use, and in particular to contribute to the development of the Sir William Roberts Centre for Sustainable Land Use http://swrc.bangor.ac.uk/.

Supervisors: Dr Norman Dandy, Bangor University (n.dandy@bangor.ac.uk), Dr Mariella Marzano (Forest Research), and Dr James Walmsley (Bangor University).

The project is expected to begin in early 2020, and continue for three years. Queries regarding this studentship, including eligibility, should be directed to n.dandy@bangor.ac.uk

To apply for this fully funded position please email a current CV and covering letter (2 A4 pages maximum) stating your relevant interests and experience to n.dandy@bangor.ac.uk and Penny Dowdney p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk by 30th January 2020. 

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.

15. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

Digital Health Solutions for medication adherence support

Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation, School of Health Sciences and Aparito Ltd.

Project ID: BUKE027

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 9am on the 2nd December, 2019

Project Description:

Medication non-adherence is highly prevalent, especially in older patients who often have multi-morbidity. Over a half of patients discontinue their chronic medication on their own initiative within the first year after treatment initiation. Patients who do not adhere fully to their prescribed medication are at higher risk of experiencing a poor clinical outcome, while good adherence to medications is associated with lower mortality. The high prevalence of non-adherence and its detrimental impact on outcome points towards an urgent need for effective interventions. However, the quality of the evidence to support interventions to improve medication adherences is variable. A Cochrane review identified 36 out of 81 randomised controlled trials conducted in a range of chronic illnesses were able to show an effect on adherence, while only 25 were also able to improve health outcomes, leading the authors to conclude that methods of improving adherence for chronic diseases are not very effective.

The problem of non-adherence is often multifactorial. The World Health Organisation identified five dimensions that contribute to non-adherence; namely, socioeconomic factors, health care team and system-related factors, and factors related to the condition(s), treatment(s), and patient. Evidence suggests that educating patients about their disease and treatment alone will not necessarily result in good adherence. However, one potential approach, for which there is some evidence of benefit in terms of knowledge, social support, and behavioural outcomes, as well as a small impact on clinical outcomes, is the use of mobile health (mHealth) technologies. mHealth is defined as the interaction of a person with (or through) an electronic device or communication technology,  to access or transmit health information and to receive guidance (or support) on a health issue. mHealth technology is used increasingly as a modern way to support patients, however, reviews of existing evidence conclude that mHealth-based self-management interventions require more rigorous evaluation. This studentship aims to develop and test an mHealth intervention aimed to improve older patients’ adherence to direct-acting oral anti-coagulants (e.g., apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban and rivaroxaban).

The successful candidate will be supervised at Bangor University by Professor Dyfrig Hughes and Dr Emily Holmes; and at Aparito by Dr Elin Haf Davies. Further details of the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation are available from: https://cheme.bangor.ac.uk and of Aparito from: https://www.aparito.com

Applicants are invited to submit their curriculum vitae together with a cover letter, and an outline (of no more than 500 words) on “Harnessing mHealth technology to improve medication adherence”, to Dyfrig Hughes (E-mail: d.a.hughes@bangor.ac.uk), cc’d to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk),  no later than 9am on the 2nd December, 2019.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

16.KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics of higher delta-plain carboniferous swamps

School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2E026

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 20th December 2019

This a unique opportunity to conduct evolutionary and paleoecological research on one of the UK's most well-preserved fossil forests at Brymbo, Wrexham. Studying a diverse array of micro- and macrofossils at the site will allow us to investigate ecological and evolutionary change in a carboniferous swamp over 40,000 years of geologic history. The successful applicant will develop a thesis investigating how the ecological and biological evolution of higher delta-plain carboniferous swamps differ from other contemporaneous and current analogous environments and what are the implications for global environmental patterns during the late carboniferous? While the evolution of lower-delta and alluvial coal-swamps are well studied, higher-delta ecosystems of similar ages are less well preserved and studied. The flora, fauna and sediments preserved within the Brymbo Fossil Forest present an excellent opportunity for us to expand our knowledge of local and global ecosystem dynamics during this important period in the evolution of the planetary biosphere. Understanding how organisms respond to local and global shifts in environmental conditions, both gradual and rapid, will help us understand how the modern biosphere may react to the contemporary, anthropogenically-induced climate crisis. The combination of types of preservation at the site captures both gradual changes in community composition over tens of thousands of years (coal seams and associated strata) and exceptional preservation of a community at a single point in time. Furthermore, preservation of coalified bark on lycopod trunks and exceptional preservation of tissues allows us to address fundamental questions about the types of photosynthetic pathways exploited by extinct lycopods - a controversial topic with significant implications for our understanding of coal sequestration. The successful applicant will acquire skills in contemporary analytical techniques, sedimentology, palynology, palaeobotany, palaeoecology and palaeobiology as well as science communication, fieldwork, project management and integrative techniques. 

The project will be supervised by Dr Alex Papadopulos (Bangor University; http://labadopulos.co.uk; evolution, speciation and adaptation in plants), Dr Tim Astrop (Brymbo Heritage Trust; palaeobiology & evolution) and Prof. Si Creer (Bangor University; Pollen/molecular ecology). The student will be hosted in the vibrant Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory in Bangor (http://mefgl.bangor.ac.uk/index.php.en) and will spend substantial portions of their time working with Dr Astrop's team on site with the unique and exciting Brymbo Fossil Forest Project (http://bff.news.blog).

Expected start date is 20th January 2020.

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to Dr Alex Papadopulos  (a.papadopulos@bangor.ac.uk), cc to Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk).

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification. 

17. KESS 2 East PhD Scholarship:

The effect of managed honeybees on wild pollinator networks

School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Wales

Project ID: BUK2E024

Annual Stipend: £14,483

Application Deadline: 30 November 2019

Increasing interest in beekeeping using the western honeybee Apis mellifera has led to concerns that managed bees may negatively affect wild pollinators (including other wild bees, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles and hemipterans). This could occur through competition for floral and nesting resources, changes in plant communities, including the spread of exotic plants and decline of native plants, and/or cross-species transmission of pathogens. Few studies have examined direct effects on fitness, abundance and diversity of wild pollinators and native plants, instead reporting potential for impact. Even fewer studies have compared pollinator networks in the absence vs. presence of honeybees due to the difficulty of ensuring that no honeybees are present, as they can forage over long distances from the hive. This project benefits from the involvement of Bodorgan Estate, the largest estate on the Isle of Anglesey, flanked by two large SSSI’s (Aberffraw Dunes and Malltraeth Estuary/Newborough Dunes) to north and south and the sea to the west.

Using a combination of novel techniques (eDNA metabarcoding and automated drone-tracking) this study will address a number of critical pollination questions. Does competition with honeybees for floral resources (nectar and pollen) induce changes in wild bee floral use and niche breadth (e.g., time spent foraging, species visited, pollen vs. nectar collection, distance travelled from nest)? Do honeybees enhance seed set of crop and native wildflower plants through complementarity, or detrimentally affect it through exclusion of other pollinators? What is the evidence that floral resources are limiting (ie. what proportion of pollen and nectar resources are consumed in the absence of honeybees and does this change in their presence)? Do managed bees transmit infectious agents (particularly ssRNA viruses, which are known to infect a variety of arthropods) to wild hymenopteran and non-hymenopteran pollinators via contaminated pollen, faeces, or contact on shared foraging resources?

Honeybee introduction may represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. This study will provide an increased understanding of the extent to which pollinator diversity functions synergistically in the presence or absence of honeybees, and will have far-reaching implications for land management decisions for agriculture and wildlife conservation.

To express an interest, please contact a.malhotra@bangor.ac.uk or paul.cross@bangor.ac.uk in the first instance by the end of November. To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to a.malhotra@bangor.ac.uk cc to p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk.

Interviews are likely to be held in mid-December. In order to maximise the available field seasons (roughly March/April to September/October), we wish to start this PhD scholarship by the end of January 2020.

Please note that due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

KESS 2 Scholarship vacancies