KESS 2 Scholarships

 

1. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship: FISHeEST – Using fish environmental DNA to assess the biodiversity and ecological status of estuarine ecosystems.

 

Location – Bangor University, School of Biological Sciences, with Natural Resources Wales and the Universities of Salford and Hull

Project ID: BUK2147

Annual Stipend: £14, 340

Application Deadline: 20th August 2017

Project Description : Biodiversity is an essential component of aquatic ecosystems and is used to monitor ecosystem health, both from a regulatory perspective and for nature conservation. In Europe, legislative drivers exist that require member states to monitor all water body types, including socio-economically important estuaries. The Water Framework Directive and similar future legislation use a range of biological quality indicators, including fish as key indicator groups to measure ecological status. Nevertheless, fish communities are highly challenging to assess, whether the focus is regulatory biomonitoring, invasive non-native, or rare species. A variety of netting and other monitoring methods exist, but all suffer drawbacks including intensive personnel requirements, taxonomic or ecological bias, logistical challenges and in some cases, mortality of fish.

Macrobial environmental DNA (eDNA) is DNA isolated directly from an environmental sample (e.g. sediment, or water) and in recent years, a growing number of studies have shown that the analysis of fish eDNA provides assessment of fish communities that are as good as, or better than traditional approaches.

While substantial progress has been made in freshwater ecosystems, the aim of this studentship is the further development of an operational eDNA method for monitoring fish communities in ecologically critical estuarine habitats in relation to biomonitoring, non-native invasive and rare species.

Examples of specific objectives would include:

1. Identification and development of a suitable laboratory methods and testing effective field sampling techniques in time and space.

2. Compare eDNA data with results from conventionally collected surveys in order to identify strengths and weaknesses of the various techniques.

3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the tool for monitoring Habitats Directive and other species of biodiversity importance in estuaries.

Training will be provided in aquatic eDNA molecular ecology (e.g. metabarcoding), field sampling and monitoring, bioinformatics, population genetics, statistical modelling and scientific communication. Field work will take place around the Welsh coastline, in the first instance. The successful candidate will be hosted by the Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory (http://mefgl.bangor.ac.uk/; Profs. Simon Creer, Gary Carvalho and Dr. Mathew Seymour) and Natural Resources Wales (Dr. Tristan Hatton-Ellis), with co-supervision via Prof. Stefano Mariani (Salford) and Dr. Lori Handley (Hull).

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Biology, Ecology, Environmental or Natural Sciences. Eligibility is restricted to UK and EU nationals only and candidates with Masters qualifications and First Class Degrees are particularly welcome to apply. If you are interested in applying, we would strongly recommend contacting Prof. Simon Creer as early as possible (http://mefgl.bangor.ac.uk/staff/si.php; s.creer@bangor.ac.uk; Twitter @spideycreer) and he will be on hand to assist with any questions related to the project and life in the group.

Applications will be achieved via a Motivation Letter, CV (including reference contact details), sent to s.creer@bangor.ac.uk (cc to Dr Penny Dowdney: p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk) including ‘FISHeEST Application’ in the subject header. Closing date for applications: 20th August 2017 with interviews predicted to take place in the first week of September and the studentship to start 1st October.

 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. 

2. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship: Using Education Economics to evaluate the impact of strategic educational improvement programmes

Collaborative Institute of Education, Research Evidence and Impact (CIEREI);

Bangor University Schools of Psychology and Healthcare Sciences

Project ID: BUK2126

Annual Stipend: £14, 340

Application Deadline: September 1st. 2017

A new model of Collaborative working for North Wales: CIEREI, Bangor University and GwE

Bangor University Research Strategy Task Group has recently approved the establishment of the Collaborative Institute for Education Research, Evidence and Impact (CIEREI). The aims of CIEREI are to build a research institute in collaboration with GwE (The Regional School Effectiveness and Improvement Service for North Wales) and key education stakeholders to promote an active research-informed education network across North Wales. CIEREI aims to bring a more formal working relationship between a number of schools and centres in the University (e.g., Psychology, Education, Sports Science, Healthcare Science, Law), the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME), and the work GwE and collaborating external providers undertake across North Wales. This is an exciting relationship that aims to build an international education research profile, and improve outcomes for the children of Wales.

Education Economics: A novel approach:  In the UK, application of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness techniques to evaluate education interventions is limited. There are few attempts to migrate a fairly well established methodological approach in health and medicine into the world of educational interventions. Hummel-Rossi and Ashdown (2002) argue that lessons can be learnt from economic evaluations conducted in other domains such as human services, health and medicine where such methods are well established and more mature. The supervisory team brought together for this project have previous expertise in conducting research in school settings, and this experience will be used to assist the KESS student to evaluate the impact of large-scale school improvement programmes across North Wales.

Given the dearth of evidence surrounding economic evaluations of education programmes, particularly in the UK, this PhD provides an exciting opportunity for GwE, and partner schools, to develop a more sophisticated understanding of how education data can be used to understand the cost effectiveness of improvement programmes. The PhD will focus on the development of a new evaluation model for GwE to use on a wide range of improvement programmes (e.g., leadership, numeracy and literacy outcomes, school-to-school working).

The studentship is expected to start in October 2017.  Applicants will have a first class or upper-second-class undergraduate degree and, preferably, an MSc in Psychology, Health Economics, Education or another related topic. Previous knowledge of health economics and/or an interest in the topic is desirable.

Project supervisors :

Academic supervision would be provided by Dr Carl Hughes

Secondary supervision team: Dr Joanna Charles, Dr Richard Watkins (GwE),

Expert Advisory Team (Project Steering and Specific expert advice)

Prof Rhiannon Tudor Edwards, and Mr Ian Kelly (Teaching Teachers Ltd. Teaching Teachers [Wales] Ltd,

How to apply :

Send a covering letter and CV to Dr. Carl Hughes  (c.hughes@bangor.ac.uk ), with copy to Dr. Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk) by 5pm, Friday 1st. September.

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. 

3. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship: Evaluating the use of Active Support in school and college environments to enhance workplace social skills in adolescents with intellectual disabilities

Bangor University

Project ID: BUK258

Annual Stipend: approx. £14,300 per annum

Application Deadline: 1st. September 2017

Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship in evaluating the use of Active Support to develop social skills for the workplace among young persons with intellectual disabilities. The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) in collaboration with Antur Waunfawr, Hafod Lon and Pendalar. It will cover tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend at the standard RCUK rate (around £14k per year), as well as a travel budget for workshops and conference attendance. The studentship is available immediately.

Project outline:

Active Support originated in adult social care settings as a way of supporting engagement in activity by adults with severe intellectual disabilities. Over three decades of research has shown that introducing Active Support is systematically correlated with increased levels of engagement. There are multiple versions of Active Support. The most comprehensive system includes multi-level skills teaching in everyday contexts and a system of goal-based person-centred planning.  The main plank of Active Support, however, rests in the effectiveness of the moment-to-moment assistance provided by staff. Aligned with Active Support is a method for coaching high-level skills in staff and for supporting practice leadership among supervisors. The dual aims of this research are to a) translate the principles of Active Support into the working environment with the specific aim of supporting the development of workplace social skills, and b) to evaluate intervention effectiveness in relation to process and outcome.  

Antur Waunfawr is a leading social enterprise providing employment and training opportunities for people with learning disabilities in their own community. 30 years ago, a charitable company such as Antur Waunfawr, which offered people with learning difficulties proper work with a purpose to it was seen as pioneering. Antur Waunfawr has demonstrated that, by giving people the chance of working in the community they can be accepted as equal citizens. The company employs more than 80 staff and supports over 60 adults with learning disabilities.

How to Apply:

Applicants should hold an appropriate first degree (or equivalent) and a relevant MSc in a related discipline area. Please submit a CV (max 2 pages) together with a covering letter to Dr Sandy Toogood at s.toogood@bangor.ac.uk and cc to Dr Penny Dowdney p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk by 17:00 on 1st. September 2017.

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. 

 

4. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship: Exploiting DNA repair defects with topoisomerase poisons and nucleoside analogues

School of Medical Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: 88454

Annual Stipend: £14,553 per year

Application Deadline: 15 September 2017

Project Description:

A PhD studentship, jointly funded by a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS 2) and Tenovus, is available as part of a collaboration between Dr. Edgar Hartsuiker, (NWCR Institute, School of Medical Science, Bangor University) and Prof. Andrea Brancale (School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University). 
The aim of this project is to screen for and develop novel nuclease inhibitors and to explore synthetic lethal interactions between these inhibitors and mutations in, or inhibitors 
against other DNA repair pathways involved in cancer drug resistance. 

Applicants should have a first, upper second-class or MSc degree (or equivalent EU qualification) in pharmacology, chemistry, biology or a related life-science subject. The application should include a cover letter, CV and two reference letters. The application deadline is 15 September 2017. Successful candidates are expected to commence on or after October 2017. 

The PhD studentship will provide the successful candidate with a stipend (starting at £14,553 per year, tax free) and graduate school fees.

Completed applications should be submitted electronically, or by post, to: 

Dr. Edgar Hartsuiker 
NWCR Institute 
School of Medical Sciences 
Brambell Building 
Deiniol Road 
Bangor LL57 2UW 
United Kingdom 
e-mail: e.hartsuiker@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. 

www.kess2.ac.uk

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