NERC funded

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) allocates studentships to the University in proportion to the grants awarded. These studentships are run through the Institute for Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine  , where most of the ecologically-related work is conducted. We typically advertise several studentships per year, but the projects selected for funding (two or three) will be based on which applicants are most competitive. Applicants may ask to be considered for more than one of the projects but it is only necessary to put in one application (interest in more than one project can be indicated on the cover letter). Some projects are CASE studentships, which means that the student would spend approximately 1/3 of their time with an industrial or NGO partner outside of the University (please see the NERC studentship handbook for details: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/studentships/).

These are 3-year PhD studentships and students should apply online here. In addition, please send a CV (including at least two referees) and a cover letter that includes a description of why you are interested in applying for the particular project you have selected, to Joyce Fyfe.  Applicants are also encouraged to send informal enquiries to the project supervisors, whose contact details can be found with the project details.

The candidate must have been ordinarily resident in the UK throughout the 3-year period preceding the date of application for an award, not wholly or mainly for the purposes of full time education. Applicants should have received a grade of 2:1 (B) or equivalent in their undergraduate degree; applicants who do not meet this threshold but have completed other postgraduate training programmes might be considered. Please see the NERC studentship handbook for specific guidelines. The financial package will include a three-year stipend, approved University fees, Research Training Support Grant and a Conference Allowance.

Recent projects:

  • How the salamander got his spots: the genetics of colour, shape, and local adaptation in European salamanders
    Kathryn Elmer & Barbara Mable, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow
    Kathryn.elmer@glasgow.ac.uk
    Project Details -  How the salamander got his spots
  • Breeding in a contaminated world: do environmental pollutants promote mistiming of reproduction and limit the breeding success of farmland birds?
    Barbara Helm, Michelle Bellingham, Maureen Bain, Neil Evans & Jane Robinson (Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow)
    Barbara.helm@glasgow.ac.uk
    Project Details -  Breeding in a contaminated world
  • Why are Seal and Seabird Colonies where they are?
    Jason Matthiopoulos (Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow), with external collaborating inputs from Sarah Wanless and Francis Daunt (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology); Bernie McConnell and Debbie Russell, (University of St Andrews); and Keith Hamer (University of Leeds)
    Jason.matthiopoulos@glasgow.ac.uk
    Project Details -  Why are Seal and Seabird Colonies where they are
  • Evolvability in the face of climate change: understanding developmental effects on bone and its ecological consequences
    Supervisors - Kevin Parsons, Neil Metcalfe, Pat Monaghan
    Project Details - Evolvability in the face of climate change
  • Applied evolution: an experimental approach to investigating how the interaction between parasite life history strategies and control measures affects rates of resistance evolution
    Supervisor - Dr Barbara Mable
    More information: http://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=36305&LID=559
  • Causes and Consequences of Individual Variation in Aerobic Scope and its Association with Immune Response 27th January 2012
    Supervisor – Dr Shaun Killen
    More information:   Killen - Immune Response
  • Do environmental conditions influence the viability of wild salmon through effects on oxidative stress and telomere dynamics? 27th January 2012
    Supervisor – Prof Neil Metcalfe
    More information:  Metcalfe - Salmon
  • Tracking the seasons: tissue-based memory for avian moult? 27th January 2012
    Supervisor – Dr Barbara Helm
    More information:  Helm - Tracking Seasons
  • Understanding diet choices in changing environments: optimisation modelling and experiments with free-living blue tits. 27th January 2012
    Supervisor – Dr Ross MacLeod
    More information:   MacLeod - Blue Tits  &  MacLeod - Blue Tits - Further Info

Lord Kelvin / Adam Smith Scholarship funded

The Kelvin Smith PhD Scholarship scheme offers the opportunity for outstanding research students both from home and abroad to participate in some of the most exciting areas of research taking place at Glasgow whilst developing their research skills.

More information on this prestigious scholarship scheme.


BBSRC funded

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) UK Research Council.

  • You are what you eat: Investigating the Interlinked Cycle of Relationships between Host Gut Microbiome, Immune System and Systemic Infection
    Supervisors: Dr Annette MacLeod / Prof Paul Garside / Dr Gill Douce
  • Predicting the ecological determinants of the emergence of zoonotic malaria
    Supervisor: Dr Heather Ferguson / Prof Rowland Kao
  • Effect of early stress on patterns of ageing and senescence in vertebrates
    Supervisor: Prof Neil Metcalfe
  • Emerging Zoonotic Disease Risk in Informal Urban Settlements in Tanzania
    Supervisors: Prof Sarah Cleaveland / Prof Joanne Sharp
  • Development of a novel, non-invasive tool to assess welfare in birds
    Supervisors: Dr Ruedi Nager / Dr Dorothy McKeegan / Dominic Macaffert

Scottish Government funded

European Union funded


Medical Research Council funded


Other funded

  • Dissecting out the mechanism that leads to longevity through eating less. Application deadline: 30th April 2013. Institute of biodiversity, animal health and comparative medicine & School of mathematics and statistics
    Supervisor - Prof. Colin Selman
    More information (Find a PhD)
  • Testing evolutionary potential, and genetic divergence in threatened populations of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) Application deadline: 31st July 2013
    Institute of biodiversity, animal health and comparative medicine & School of mathematics and statistics
    Supervisors: Dr Kevin Parsons & Prof. Colin Adams
    More information (Find a PhD)
  • Universal laws of mass migration: From cancer cells to wildebeest. Application deadline: Applications accepted all year round. Institute of biodiversity, animal health and comparative medicine & School of mathematics and statistics
    Supervisors: Prof Jason Matthiopoulos, Prof Dirk Husmeier, Prof Robert Insall, Dr Grant Hopcraft
    More information (Find a PhD)
  • How has gadoid biomass in the Clyde Sea been sustained. Application deadline:14th June 2013
    Institute of biodiversity, animal health and comparative medicine & School of mathematics and statistics
    Supervisor - Dr David Bailey
    More information (Find a PhD)