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.

How to apply

Application for ACCE PhD projects is NOW CLOSED

Deadline for applications IS NOW CLOSED

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 Oct 2019;
  • 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 £14,777 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 to be held at the University of Sheffield the w/c 11 Feb 2019.

 PhD projects for the ACCE2 studentships starting in October 2019.

ACCE PhD Projects

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

The Complexity and Structure of Food Web Networks

Lead supervisor: Dr Andrew Beckerman
Co-Supervisors: Dr Michael Pocock

Temperature, food, and the distribution of marine biodiversity

Lead supervisor: Dr Tom Webb
Co-Supervisors: Prof Andrew Hirst, Dr Craig McClain

Cooperation, conflict and the coordination of care in a social bird

Lead supervisor: Prof Ben Hatchwell
Co-Supervisors: Dr Samantha Patrick, Dr Andrew Beckerman

Species and size-specific effects of urban trees on above- and below-ground ecosystem service provision

Lead supervisor: Dr Jill Edmondson
Co-Supervisors:  Prof. Jonathan Leake, Dr Virginia Stovin, Dr Kieron Doick

You are what you eat: diet, cooperation and fitness in a tropical island bird

Lead supervisor: Prof Terry Burke
Co-Supervisors: Dr Mirre Simons

Effects of chemicals on ecosystems: extrapolating from individuals to ecosystem function

Lead supervisor: Prof Lorraine Maltby
Co-Supervisors: Dr Dylan Childs, Dr Nika Galic

Understanding the diversity of life: trait correlations from micro- to macroevolutionary scales

Lead supervisor: Dr Gavin Thomas
Co-Supervisors: Gavin Thomas, Andrew Beckerman, Natalie Cooper

The evolution of symbiosis: understanding the ecological conditions that drive the emergence of stable symbiosis

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

Understanding temperature adaptation in tropical Andean butterflies

Lead supervisor: Dr Nicola Nadeau
Co-Supervisors: Prof Jane Hill

Exploring the ecological and evolutionary impacts of novel agricultural probiotics for naiive microbial communities

Lead supervisor: Dr Ellie Harrison
Co-Supervisors:  Dr Pete Iannetta, Dr Euan James, Prof Tim Daniell, Dr James Hall

Selection and evolution of coat colour in a wild mammal

Lead supervisor: Prof Jon Slate
Co-Supervisors: Dr Dylan Childs, Dr Steve Paterson

Arctic carbon under threat from climate extremes: how do extreme climatic events affect soil carbon and microbial communities?

Lead supervisor: Prof Gareth Phoenix
Co-Supervisors: Dr Thorunn Helgason, Dr Jarle Bjerke

Understanding patterns of gene flow and local adaptation in a hybrid zone

Lead supervisor: Dr Kai Zeng
Co-Supervisors: Prof Jon Slate

Accelerating robust population monitoring and evaluation with drones

Lead supervisor: Dr Dylan Childs
Co-Supervisors: Prof Jon Slate

Understanding the ecology and evolution of defence-pollination conflicts in plants

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

The genetic basis of female fertility in the zebra finch

Lead supervisor: Dr Nicola Hemmings 
Co-Supervisors: Prof Jon Slate

Landscape composition and carbon-biodiversity co-benefits in the Tropical Andes

Lead supervisor: David Edwards
Co-Supervisors: Prof Rob Freckleton

Why do we eat wheat? Co-evolution of people and plants in the Fertile Crescent

Lead supervisor: Prof Colin Osborne
Co-Supervisors: Prof Glynis Jones, Prof Mark Rees

Department of Geography

Building Climate-Smart Soils

Lead supervisor: Dr Manoj Menon
Co-Supervisors: Dr Sylvia Toet,  Dr Jill Edmondson

Neanderthal evolution in Pleistocene Gibraltar: reconstructing the environmental context

Lead supervisor: Prof Ed Rhodes 
Co-Supervisors: Dr K Penkman