PhD Opportunities At Sheffield


Our PhD program in Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE2) offers projects aligned with the grand challenges in environmental research.

APPLICATIONS FOR 2021 ENTRY ARE NOW OPEN. Closing date for applications is 15th January 2021

How to apply

To apply for any of the studentships hosted by The University of Sheffield,  please complete an online application form

Online application
  • Please select ‘Standard PhD’ and the Name of the Department from which the title of the ACCE studentship is announced;
  • Fill in the Title of your desired project and the name(s) of the supervisors. (You can apply for more than one project to increase your chances to be nominated for an interview, but you can be interviewed for only one);
  • As a ‘Study term,’ – point out full-time or part-time PhDs depending on your wish;
  • The starting date of PhD will be the start of the next academic year- 1 st Oct 2021
  • Funding stage‘ on the form will be ‘project studentship‘.

Creating a Personal Statement

The proforma here provides guidance for the Personal/Supporting Statement segment of the application.

Please see here for our guide to applying to the ACCE DTP

If you have any questions you can join us on the 9th December at 1pm GMT for a live Q&A online via google meet (


The studentships are open to UK and international/ EU applicants.

Please note that the UKRI funding only covers UK fees (£4406 2020/2021 rate). International and EU fee rate candidates would need to cover the remaining amount of tuition fees by securing additional funding. International and EU tuition fees for 2021 entry £23,750.

Within equal opportunities principles and regulations, applications will be assessed in the light of a candidate’s ability to meet the required criteria. Students will be evaluated by application and by interview performance.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview to take place in the w/c 22nd February 2021.


Fully funded for a minimum of 3.5 years, studentships cover: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate of at least £15,285 per annum (subject to indexing), (ii) research costs RTSG, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK rate.

Please note that the UKRI funding only covers UK fees (£4406 2020/2021 rate). International and EU fee rate candidates would need to cover the remaining amount of tuition fees by securing additional funding. International and EU tuition fees for 2021 entry £23,750.

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

Sheffield ACCE DTP Projects

Department of Animal and Plant Science

Nature’s miniature solar panels: the thermal properties of butterfly wing scales and their evolution

Lead Supervisor; Dr Nicola Nadeau Co-Supervisors; Dr Blanca Huertas, Dr Andrew Parnell, Dr Gavin Thomas

The role of mating signal evolution in avian speciation

Lead Supervisor; Dr Christopher Cooney Co-Supervisors; Dr Gavin Thomas , Prof. Ben Hatchwell

Green space quality – the link between biodiversity and the benefits obtained from spending time in nature

Lead Supervisor; Dr Karl Evans Co-Supervisors; Dr Beth Brockett, Prof. Laurence Jones, Dr Sarah Clement , Dr Katherine Burgess

Population genomics of pathogens

Lead Supervisor; Dr Kai Zeng Co-Supervisors; Prof. Jurriaan Ton, Dr Daniel Jeffares, Prof. Paul Sharp

Surviving the summer as the climate changes: investigating drivers and costs of aestivation in earthworms

Lead Supervisor; Dr Penelope Watt Co-Supervisors; Prof. Mark Hodson, Dr Pete Berry, Dr Despina Berdeni, A Gibson, Dr D Craven, B Lavelle

Don’t go out there! How do bacteria-phages interactions in the soil impact the rhizobia-legume symbiosis

Lead Supervisor; Dr Ellie Harrison Co-Supervisors; Dr Alex Best, Dr Ville Friman

Linking structure to function in plant-fungal symbioses

Lead Supervisor; Prof. Katie Field Co-Supervisors; Dr Silvia Pressel, Prof. Gareth Phoenix Prof. Jonathan Leake

Remotely sensing ecosystem function in restored tropical forests

Lead Supervisor; Dr. Holly Croft Co-Supervisors; Prof. David Edwards

Adaptive evolution of an invasive parrot population

Lead Supervisor; Prof. Ben Hatchwell Co-Supervisors; Prof. Terry Burke, Dr Juan Carlos Senar

Urban horticulture as a productive ecosystem service: exploring potential and understanding mechanisms to increase participation

Lead Supervisor; Dr Jill Edmondson Co-Supervisors; Prof. Paul Norman

A global analysis of the effectiveness of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas for conserving the world’s birds

Lead Supervisor; Dr Gavin Thomas Co-Supervisors; Prof. David Edwards, Dr Stuart Butchart, Olivia Crowe

Constraints in evolutionary biology: a test of the reproduction – lifespan trade-off

Lead Supervisor; Dr Mirre Simons Co-Supervisors; Prof. Jon Slate

Plant diversity and rapid insect adaptation: how do we predict the next threat to plant health?

Lead Supervisor; Dr Stuart Campbell Co-Supervisors; Dr Laura Kelly, Dr Nicola Nadeau

How does female-specific selection affect male fertility?

Lead Supervisor; Dr Nicola Hemmings Co-Supervisors; Dr Alison Wright Dr Barbara Tschirren

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Modelling seabird central place foraging under anthropogenic environmental change

Lead Supervisor; Prof. Paul Blackwell Co-Supervisors; Dr Adam Butler & Dr Esther Jones, BioSS Edinburgh, Dr Kate Searle & Dr Francis Daunt, CEH Edinburgh;
Dr Alison Poulston, University of Sheffield