PhD: Toxic plastic additives and their impact on Antarctic aquatic foodchains

Lancaster University

Lancaster, UK 🇬🇧

Lead supervisor

Dr Andy Sweetman

Project Description

This is an exciting and unique opportunity to carry out research at Lancaster University and the British Antarctic Survey on persistent chemicals. These substances are transported to remote environments far from their manufacture and use. UV-328 is an UV filter used in plastic products and personal care products and has recently been proposed for listing under the Stockholm Convention. It is toxic and can be transported long distances by marine plastic debris, which is a novel mechanism not yet studied. The research programme will focus on the sources, transport and bioaccumulation of UV-328 in remote environments. Critically there are no data on the release quantities of UV-328 from plastic into the environment which will be the first phase of the project. The project will also investigate mechanisms of long-range transport of UV-328 via marine plastic debris and biomagnification of UV-328 in the Antarctic environment.

General eligibility criteria

Enthusiasm, independence, self-motivation, curiosity and the ability to communicate to a range of audiences are all distinctly advantageous qualities for a PhD. Applicants would normally be expected to hold a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in a relevant degree course. However, applicants who have gained experience in relevant fields through non-traditional routes are strongly encouraged to apply. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, candidates who are in the first generation of their family to go to university, candidates who have been in care or who have been a young carer, and candidates from a low-income background.

English language requirements for overseas students can be found here.

Studentship funding

Full studentships (UK tuition fees and stipend (£16,062 2022/23 [tax free])) for UK students for 3.5 years or full studentships (International tuition fees and stipend (£16,062 2022/23 [tax free])) for International students for 3 years.

Selection information

Candidates should note that there are a total of six studentships available for this call, which means that not every project will be assigned a student. Applications will first be shortlisted by the project supervisor with a final interview and shortlisting conducted by a departmental panel.

One studentship is specifically reserved for a candidate from a global south country. If this applies to you, please make this clear on your application form.


Deadline for applications: 20th May 2022

Provisional Interview Date: to be confirmed

Start Date: October 2022

Application process

  1. Download the LEC Funded PhD Application Form and LEC Funded PhD Reference Form‌.
  2. Complete the Application Form, renaming the document with your ‘Name and Application Form’ e.g., Joe Bloggs Application Form.
  3. Submit the completed Application Form and a CV to [email protected]
  4. Please note only Word or pdf files are accepted.
  5. Rename the referee form with your ‘Name and Reference’, e.g., Joe Bloggs Reference. Send the renamed reference form to two referees and request them to forward the referee document to [email protected]
  6. Please note only Word or pdf files are accepted. It is important that you ensure references are submitted by the closing date or as soon as possible.
  7. You will receive a generic acknowledgement in receipt of successfully sending the application documents.
  8. Please note that only applications submitted as per these instructions will be considered.
  9. Please note that, if English is not your first language, you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. This evidence is only required if you are offered a funded PhD and is not required as part of this application process.
  10. Please note that, if you do not hear from us within four weeks of the closing date then you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. If you would like feedback on your application, please contact the supervisors of the project.

Submit all applications and references to this email address: [email protected]

1 days remaining

Apply by 20 May, 2022