KESS 2 Scholarships

 

1. KESS 2 Research Masters Scholarship: Modelling Arctic charr population dynamics to assess the outcome of management interventions

 

Bangor University, Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory

Project ID: BUK2150

Annual Stipend: £11,541

Application Deadline: 4th. December 2017

Project Description:

The studentship is an exciting opportunity to apply existing scientific knowledge to management practices, including interacting directly with resource managers while developing analytical skills with a wide range of applications.

Proper management of natural resources is vital for promoting long-term health in our ecosystems and maintaining cultural identity. Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) is an economically and culturally important arctic fish species with established native populations in three Welsh lakes, including Llyn Padarn. By virtue of its native charr population, Llyn Padarn is listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and has been routinely monitored since 2002. Formerly, Llyn Padarn was also an important local charr fishery, that was a unique cultural and recreational feature of the area, however, the current charr population in Llyn Padarn is lower than the lake is expected to support. While the population dynamics of the Llyn Padarn charr are not well known, the current low population level is expected to be a result of large population declines in the 1980s and changes to the spawning habitat due to anthropogenic influences, including major engineering works for the Llanberis Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Scheme. Additionally, climate change and water quality changes in Llyn Padarn appear to have caused ecosystem shifts, further limiting the charr population size. Several actions are in hand or proposed to improve charr populations at Llyn Padarn. In order to advise managers of the benefits of alternative actions we need to develop a model utilizing the existing data, to predict the effects of spatial habitat and environmental factors on the Llyn Padarn population to ensure its long-term survival and optimise management choices.

This one-year KESS 2 MRes studentship will develop a spatially explicit life history-based population model of Arctic Charr in Llyn Padarn, North Wales, to evaluate the effect of various management interventions on long-term population abundance, genetic and demographic structure, resilience and stability.

With expected outcomes including:

1) A conceptual model of the population status and trends in ecological process influencing charr populations

2) A numerical model to predict the outcome of alternative management interventions

The successful candidate will be hosted by the Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory (http://mefgl.bangor.ac.uk/), which boast a supportive and diverse group of lecturers, fellows, post-docs, PhD and masters students, and supervised by Dr. Mat Seymour, Prof. Gary Carvalho and Dr. Nigel Milner. Additionally, the project benefits from direct collaboration with three local industrial partners; Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW), Natural resources Wales (NRW), and the Clwyd Conwy and Gwynedd River Trust (CC&GRT).

Qualifications and experience:

An undergraduate with an analytical interest in disciplines such as Ecology, Computer, Environment or Natural Sciences with at least a 2:1 qualification, or equivalent

Application Process:

To apply, please e-mail a CV and covering letter, in the first instance, to Dr. Mat Seymour: m.seymour@bangor.ac.uk. Please cc to Dr Penny Dowdney : p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk

For any queries on eligibility, please contact the KESS 2 Team at Bangor on 01248382266 / kess2@bangor.ac.uk

Closing date for applications: Midnight 4th of December 2017 with interviews expected to occur on the 15th of December.

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 Research Masters Scholarship: Exploring the use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in gathering data on the fine scale movements of fish

College of Physical and Applied Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2129
Annual Stipend: £11,358
Application Deadline: 1st December 2017

To view full details of this project please visit: http://kess2.ac.uk/buk2129/

Automated Underwater Vehicles (AUV’s) are now being routinely used to collect a range of data within the marine environment. In order to address knowledge gaps in fish movement ecology, Tidal Lagoon Power and Bangor University are exploring the use of AUV’s in gathering data on the fine scale movements of migratory and coastal marine fish species.

This one year KESS 2 MRes studentship will focus on the development and integration of the acoustic and navigation system of the AUV, and will be based in the College of Physical and Applied Sciences at Bangor University, working within a multi-disciplinary team of electronic engineers, computer scientists and fish biologists together with the commercial partner, Tidal Lagoon Power.

The KESS 2 student will work to produce the following:
Agent-based software models for simulating the behaviour of coastal water fish species and for simulating the operation of the AUV for tracking tagged fish.

Software for the operation of the AUV. This will involve the development of algorithms needed to direct the AUV and maintain it at a set distance as it follows the target individual. The software will use the MOOS-IvP software package developed at MIT which is a set of open source C++ modules for providing autonomy on robotic platforms, in particular autonomous marine vehicles.

Experimental results from field trials for testing the operation of the AUV.

The integration of the software developed in point 2 with the hardware platform upon which the system is to be built. This will involve specifying, assembling and testing the AUV itself, the additional sensors required for acoustic tracking, and building the electronic interface between the acoustic tracking equipment and the AUV platform.

This is a fully funded one year, full time MRes studentship which will cover tuition fees with around £3k budget for equipment, travel and training opportunities.

This studentship is an exciting opportunity to work at the cutting edge of autonomous systems and work within a multi-disciplinary team developing technology that will be used to answer questions that have been bugging ecologists for years.

Eligibility of Student:

To be eligible for a KESS 2 studentship, you must:
- Have a home address in the Convergence Area (details below)* when you register for the PhD and throughout the PhD period.
- Have the right to take up paid work in the Convergence Area* on completion of the scholarship.
- Be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
- Satisfy Bangor University’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process.

*The Convergence Area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities: Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.

Qualifications and experience:

An undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Oceanography or related discipline with a recommended 2:1 qualification, or equivalent experience of programming.

Application Process:

To apply, please e-mail a CV and covering letter, in the first instance, to Jenny Whitmore : j.whitmore@bangor.ac.uk and Dr Bill Teahan : w.j.teahan@bangor.ac.uk . Please cc to Dr Penny Dowdney : p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk

Project reference : BUK2129.

For any queries on eligibility, please contact the KESS 2 Team at Bangor on 01248382266 / kess2@bangor.ac.uk


Closing date for applications: midnight 1st. December 2017.

Read more about the background of the project on this news article: http://kess2.ac.uk/understanding-our-oceans/

Funding Notes

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 Research Masters Scholarship: Building on our online training programme for parents and school support staff: further development and evaluation of a programme targeting parents and support staff

Bangor University Schools of Psychology

Project ID: BUK2135

Annual Stipend: £11,470

Application Deadline: Monday October 16th.

 

We are seeking a well-qualified psychology graduate with a 1st or good 2.1 to take up a KESS 2 funded Masters by Research studentship as soon as possible.

The Project

The successful applicant will adapt two existing on-line programmes, one for parents and one for classroom support staff in the light of feedback from a parenting RCT and a pilot school-based programme for classroom support staff. The new version of the programme would then be tested with parents and school-based staff who are supporting the same child and the results, if outcomes are positive, will inform a power calculation for a bid for funding for a larger RCT trial.

 Up to 20 parents of children with additional learning needs and their school-based support staff will be recruited. The study will be a pre-post intervention evaluation of programme impact on parent, child and school support staff.

The project has the support of the Welsh Government funded North Wales Regional Effectiveness Service (GWE). Dr Richard Watkins of GWE will be part of the project steering group and will take the lead on informing and recruiting school-based staff. The collaboration between the University and GWE is an important factor in ensuring that our project addresses an identified need for which at the present time there are few resources. Dr Watkins will facilitate the recruitment of schools to the project.

Project Supervisors

The project is supported by the Children’s Early Intervention Trust charity and the charity supervisor will be Dr Nia Griffith (Trustee).

School of Psychology supervision will be provided by Professor Judy Hutchings, and Dr Margiad Williams, Centre for Evidence Based Early intervention.

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. 

Details of KESS 2 can be found here :  www.kess2.ac.uk

How to apply :

Send a covering letter and CV to Prof. Judy Hutchings  (j.hutchings@bangor.ac.uk ) and Dr Margiad Williams (margiad.williams@bangor.ac.uk), cc to Dr. Penny Dowdney (p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk) by 5pm, Monday 16th.  October.

4. KESS 2 PhD Scholarship:Improving the efficiency of sheep production through environmental management

Project ID: BUK2136
Annual Stipend: £14,300 p.a.
Application Deadline: 5p.m. November 17th, 2017

Applications are invited for a three-year research PhD studentship in the area of land management and sustainable intensification of livestock systems at the School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography, Bangor University, UK. 

The studentship is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) (http://kess2.ac.uk) in collaboration with our industry partner, Innovis. It will cover tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend at the standard RCUK rate (around £14,300 per year), as well as a travel budget for workshop and conference attendance. The studentship is available from January 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Applicants should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in environmental science or management, agriculture, veterinary or animal science, or a related degree. Please submit a CV (max 2 pages) together with a covering letter to Dr Prysor Williams at prysor.williams@bangor.ac.uk  and cc to Dr Penny Dowdney at p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk by 17:00 on 17th November 2017.

Detailed project outline

The livestock sector is under increasing pressure to improve the efficiencies of production, both from economic and environmental aspects. Reducing losses (thereby increasing output for the same input) is central to this. Upland sheep systems face particular challenges with inclement weather: it is well known that hypothermia accounts for a significant proportion of losses of new-born lambs (30%, Barlow et al. 1987), whilst sheep also expend much energy to maintain body temperature, which makes them more susceptible to other disease challenges, and increases production costs. Increasing the provision of shelter through the planting of hedges and trees may therefore improve the survival and performance of upland sheep flocks. In parallel, the uplands are regarded as key areas for afforestation programmes needed to reduce the impacts of climate change (e.g. flooding) and provide improved habitat for biodiversity. Strategic planting of trees and hedges therefore present economic and environmental “win–wins” to both increase and improve the economic viability of upland sheep systems and deliver multiple environmental benefits. The specific research question being addressed in this project is

How does the provision of on-farm shelter impact livestock production efficiency? 

This project will answer that question through gathering evidence from sheep behaviour, animal performance, and health and mortality data.

The project will bring together a range of partners across many disciplines (the environmental, veterinary, and agricultural sciences, as well as economics) to address the above research question. The project will work with Innovis - a company that is at the forefront of sheep breeding in the UK (www.innovis.org.uk). Innovis operate a highly monitored system, and the project will capitalise on years of data held by Innovis on their sheep production system. Their upland lambing enterprise will provide an excellent base to determine the impacts of the environment on such a system. The findings will then be extrapolated to other upland systems, including Bangor University’s own farm (Henfaes Research Centre), to model the broader value of increasing shelter on upland livestock farms. The student will also benefit from input by experts at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham.

Background to the school

The School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography at Bangor University is internationally renowned for its cross-disciplinary research on sustainable land use, and has a broad expertise in the fields of environmental sciences, ecology, and agriculture. The project will build on a number of relevant existing and forthcoming projects at Bangor on sustainable intensification of livestock production systems.  We have a wealth of staff and state-of-the-art facilities for lab-based and fieldbased experiments. The project directly addresses some of the major policy and land-use questions of our time – how a viable agriculture industry can deliver greatest environmental benefits, as well as production of food. The student will benefit from a strong link to policy-makers and industry, and of being part of a bigger team working on related projects.   

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. 

5. KESS 2 Research Masters Scholarship: Exploring the use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in gathering data on the fine scale movements of fish

 

To view full details of this project please visit: http://kess2.ac.uk/buk2129/

Project reference : BUK2129

Application Deadline: midnight 1st. December 2017.

Automated Underwater Vehicles (AUV’s) are now being routinely used to collect a range of data within the marine environment. In order to address knowledge gaps in fish movement ecology, Tidal Lagoon Power and Bangor University are exploring the use of AUV’s in gathering data on the fine scale movements of migratory and coastal marine fish species.

This one year KESS 2 MRes studentship will focus on the development and integration of the acoustic and navigation system of the AUV, and will be based in the College of Physical and Applied Sciences at Bangor University, working within a multi-disciplinary team of electronic engineers, computer scientists and fish biologists together with the commercial partner, Tidal Lagoon Power.

The KESS 2 student will work to produce the following:

Agent-based software models for simulating the behaviour of coastal water fish species and for simulating the operation of the AUV for tracking tagged fish.

Software for the operation of the AUV. This will involve the development of algorithms needed to direct the AUV and maintain it at a set distance as it follows the target individual. The software will use the MOOS-IvP software package developed at MIT which is a set of open source C++ modules for providing autonomy on robotic platforms, in particular autonomous marine vehicles.

Experimental results from field trials for testing the operation of the AUV.

The integration of the software developed in point 2 with the hardware platform upon which the system is to be built. This will involve specifying, assembling and testing the AUV itself, the additional sensors required for acoustic tracking, and building the electronic interface between the acoustic tracking equipment and the AUV platform.

This is a fully funded one year, full time MRes studentship which will cover tuition fees with around £3k budget for equipment, travel and training opportunities.

This studentship is an exciting opportunity to work at the cutting edge of autonomous systems and work within a multi-disciplinary team developing technology that will be used to answer questions that have been bugging ecologists for years.

Eligibility of Student:

To be eligible for a KESS 2 studentship, you must:
- Have a home address in the Convergence Area (details below)* when you register for the PhD and throughout the PhD period.
- Have the right to take up paid work in the Convergence Area* on completion of the scholarship.
- Be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
- Satisfy Bangor University’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process.

*The Convergence Area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities: Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.

Qualifications and experience:

An undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Oceanography or related discipline with a recommended 2:1 qualification, or equivalent experience of programming.

Application Process:

To apply, please e-mail a CV and covering letter, in the first instance, to Jenny Whitmore : j.whitmore@bangor.ac.uk and Dr Bill Teahan : w.j.teahan@bangor.ac.uk . Please cc to Dr Penny Dowdney : p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk

For any queries on eligibility, please contact the KESS 2 Team at Bangor on 01248382266 / kess2@bangor.ac.uk


Closing date for applications: midnight 1st. December 2017.

Read more about the background of the project on this news article here

Funding Notes

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.

For further details of KESS 2 see here: www.kess2.ac.uk

Contact KESS 2 Team

KESS 2 Scholarship vacancies