Legacy phosphorus from biosolids application to land – MRes Scholarship

Legacy phosphorus from biosolids application to land

Location: Environment Centre Wales,  Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2E080
Annual Stipend: £11,937 p.a.
Application Deadline: 22 July 2022.

Applications are invited for this one-year fully-funded Masters by Research (MRes) at Bangor University looking at sustainable phosphorus cycling in agriculture. The research project is being undertaken jointly with Dŵr Cymru-Welsh Water. The aim of the project is to investigate the accumulation and movement of phosphorus when organic wastes are applied to land. This is a topic of international importance and supports the drive to make food systems more sustainable and to reduce our reliance on inorganic phosphorus (P) fertilisers. The project will involve a combination of fieldwork and laboratory work to investigate P dynamics during the production of biosolids alongside a study of P dynamics in the plant-soil-microbial system. We will use 33P and 18O isotopes to trace the movement of P and will focus primarily on grasslands. The projects outcomes are to better understand the benefits and risks associated with recycling organic wastes back to land.

This project presents an excellent opportunity for candidates interested in an applied research career in an industrially relevant field, within a one-year funded study programme. It also provides excellent training for undertaking future PhD studies. The project will provide training and experience in field sampling, setting up and running experiments, advanced chemical analysis techniques, working with isotopes, data analysis, report writing and liaison with industrial partners. The successful candidate will also join a vibrant and large research group which is led by the team of Prof Davey Jones, Dr Kara Marsden and Prof David Chadwick. The post will be located in Environment Centre Wales which was recently ranked #1 by the UK 2022 Research Excellence Framework for its research impact in environmental science. The successful candidate will have their own office space and full access to the research facilities available at the Environment Centre Wales, Bangor University.

The MRes is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships East (KESS 2 East) supported by European Social Fund (ESF) through the Welsh Government and is directly linked to Dŵr Cymru-Welsh Water. The department holds an Athena Swan Bronze award, highlighting its commitment to promoting gender and ethnic diversity in Science, Engineering and Technology.

For informal discussion or further on the position, interested candidates may contact Professor Davey Jones (d.jones@bangor.ac.uk) before submitting their application.

Entry Requirements

Prospective candidates will be assessed on how well they meet the following essential criteria:

  • A high 2:1 Bachelors-level honours degree in Environmental Science, Biology, Biosciences, Geography, Environmental Engineering or related subject
  • Experience in undertaking a research project.
  • Experience of statistical analysis.
  • Basic laboratory skills.
  • Strong evidence of understanding of current environmental issues.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

The following criteria are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience in the collection and analysis of environmental samples

To apply, send a CV and covering letter to Professor Davey Jones (d.jones@bangor.ac.uk) and cc to Penny Dowdney p.j.dowdney@bangor.ac.uk by 22nd July 2022.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2 East) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.