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.

Application for ACCE PhD projects have now closed

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 2020
  • Funding stage‘ on the form will be ‘project studentship‘.


The studentships are available to UK and EU nationals who meet the UK residency requirements.  Further information about eligibility you can find in RCUK Training Grant Guide.

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.


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 £15,009 per annum (subject to indexing), (ii) research costs RTSG, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Studentship(s) are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.
Selection process: Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the closing date, and successful applicants will be notified promptly. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview the w/c 10 Febuary 2020.

 PhD projects for the ACCE2 studentships starting in October 2020.

ACCE PhD Projects

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Incest and insects: How plant sex affects herbivores and pollinators

Lead supervisor: Dr Stuart Campbell
Co-Supervisors: Prof Michael Siva-Jothy

Ecological drivers of the evolution of symbiosis

Lead supervisor: Prof Michael Brockhurst
Co-Supervisors: Dr Andrew Beckerman, Prof Duncan Cameron

Impact of tropical selective logging on avian feeding interactions

Lead supervisor: Prof David Edwards
Co-Supervisors:  Prof Terry Burke, Jenny Hodgson

Adventures in carbon neutral farming: mitigating potent greenhouse gas emissions from soils with rock dust

Lead supervisor: Prof David Beerling
Co-Supervisors: Prof Ute Skiba, Dr Maria ValMartin, Dr Dimitar Epihov

The Nonesuch lagerstätten: an insight into the origins of terrestrial biodiversity and the second carbon-cycle

Lead supervisor: Dr Charles Wellman
Co-Supervisors: Prof Paul Strother, Dr Paul Kenrick

Parasite communities in the wild: passengers or drivers?

Lead supervisor: Dr Dylan Childs
Co-Supervisors: Prof Andy Fenton, Dr Amy Pedersen

Are we stealing food from the birds? Developing the evidence base to develop targets for ecologically sustainable fisheries

Lead supervisor: Dr Tom Webb
Co-Supervisors: Dr Francis Daunt, Dr Chris Lynam

Plant-microbial interactions: legume-rhizobial cover crops under drought and climate change

Lead supervisor: Prof Duncan Cameron
Co-Supervisors: Dr Ellie Harrison, Prof Julie E Gray, Dr Caspar Chater

Understanding urban trees: form, function and vulnerability

Lead supervisor: Dr Jill Edmondson
Co-Supervisors: Dr Holly Croft, Prof Colin Osborne, Dr Nicola McHugh

The evolution and genetics of sexual dimorphism

Lead supervisor: Dr Alison Wright
Co-Supervisors: Prof Jon Slate, Prof Steve Paterson

Ecological drivers and consequences of lateral gene transfers in plants

Lead supervisor: Dr Pascal-Antoine Christin
Co-Supervisors: Prof Julie Scholes

The stability, diversity and complexity of food web networks under climate change

Lead supervisor: Dr Andrew Beckerman
Co-Supervisors: Dr Tom Webb, Dr Julia Blanchard

The Genomic Basis of Life History in a Natural Population

Lead supervisor: Prof Terry Burke
Co-Supervisors: Prof Jon Slate

The genomics of natural selection

Lead supervisor: Dr Kia Zeng
Co-Supervisors: Prof Jon Slate, Dr Daniel Jeffares

The global ecology of livestock domestication

Lead supervisor: Prof Colin Osborne
Co-Supervisors: Dr Gavin Thomas

Declining insects – climate change impacts and community consequences

Lead supervisor: Dr Karl Evans
Co-Supervisors: Prof Kate Parr

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Coevolution of host resistance with multiple parasites: experiment & theory

Lead supervisor: Dr Alex Best
Co-Supervisors: Dr Helen Leggett

Detecting the effect of climate change on animals: how mathematics can help optimise data-gathering efforts

Lead supervisor: Dr Jonathan Potts
Co-Supervisors: Dr Samantha Patrick

Department of Archaeology

Future fens: using palaeoecology to inform restoration and conservation of the Lincolnshire Fenlands

Lead supervisor: Dr Bob Johnston
Co-Supervisors: Dr Katherine Selby, Mr Dave Bromwich