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PhD Studentship in School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences

Unit :  Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Salary :  Annual stipend of £15,285
Location :  Milton Keynes
Please quote reference :  PhD Studentship EEES
3.25 Years
Closing Date :  1 March, 2021 - 12:00

Full-time PhD Studentships available at The Open University (Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) based in Milton Keynes.

The School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences invites applications for the following full or part-time PhD studentships open to all nationalities:

OU15 - The influence of sulfur cycling on community diversity in saline environments (microbiology; extremophiles; sulfur; biogeochemistry)

OU16 - Detecting potential biosignatures in cryovolcanic plumes at Enceladus and other ocean worlds (Astrobiology; Enceladus; biosignatures; icy moons)

OU17 - Written in stone: the natural and cultural heritage of the Carboniferous (Carboniferous geology, natural capital, heritage, public engagement, National Trust, Natural England)

OU18 - Deep ocean circulation dynamics during warm greenhouse climates (paleoclimate, climate modelling)

OU19 - The evolution of the climate-carbon cycle through the Last Interglacial paleoclimate, climate modelling)

OU20 - Predicting the resilience of coastal habitats to climate change (Eco-hydrology, biodiversity, vegetation, coastal habitats, climate-change, water-regime, nature conservation)

OU21 - Indian Summer Monsoon variability in response to Pliocene climate (paleoclimate, climate modelling, monsoon, carbon cycle)

OU22 - Nature and origin of new runoff tracers in planktic foraminifera (paleoclimate, micropaleontology, geochemical proxies, carbon cycle)

OU23 - Reconstructing vegetation and fire history in response to past changes in the Indian Monsoon (paleoclimate, palynology, geochemical proxies)

OU24 - After the dust has settled: The post-impact hydrothermal system at Rochechouart impact crater and implications for Early Earth (Impact crater, hydrothermal alteration, habitability)

ESR5 - How mobile are fluids and melts in the lower continental crust?  (metamorphic geology, geochemistry, petrology, Ar/Ar geochronology, noble gas)

ESR6 - How and how quickly do critical metals mobilise in the mid-lower continental crust? (metamorphic geology, geochemistry, petrology, critical metals)

Further details can be found at: and, for the ESR projects,

Funding information

OU projects: Successful candidates will receive:

  • An annual stipend of £15,285 paid directly to the student in monthly increments for 3.25 years
  • Full university fees
  • A research training support grant (RTSG) of £3,000

ESR projects: Successful candidates will receive a generous package of support including allowances for living costs, mobility, family (where applicable) and research support.

Eligibility and Requirements

OU projects:  Applicants must hold a Batchelor’s or equivalent degree in a relevant subject with a grade at least equivalent to a 2:1 OR must demonstrate at least a pass at MSc level.

There is no residency or nationality limit on these studentships.

ESR projects:  Applicants may not have lived for more than 12 months out of the prior 36 months in the United Kingdom.  On their starting date, applicants must be within four years (full-time equivalent) years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.  The time is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the first degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate. On the starting date that applicant must hold a Batchelor’s or equivalent degree in a relevant subject with a grade at least equivalent to a 2:1 OR must demonstrate at least a pass at MSc level.

How to apply

For your application you will need to submit:

  • A covering letter that includes:
    • Your motivation to study for a PhD in general
    • Your interest in this project in particular
    • The project-specific skills, aptitude and experience you bring to the project
  • An academic CV containing contact details of three references, one of whom should be able to comment on your academic abilities.
  • ​Either a completed Home OU application form (if you are a UK citizen) or an Overseas OU application form (if you are an international applicant, regardless of whether you are resident in the UK).

Applications should be sent to by 12 noon on the 1st March 2021.

We promote diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sections of the community

Equal Opportunity is University policy

These roles are covered by various terms and conditions and will be made available to successful candidates

Posting Date :  26 January, 2021 - 12:00

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions about the recruitment process, or regarding your application, please contact:

If you have any feedback regarding the recruitment process, please contact the Senior Resourcing Account Manager who will look into the matter.

Senior Resourcing Account Manager,
Resourcing Hub,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes,