PhD ACCE: Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment

General information

ACCE is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool and York, and the NERC’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) providing doctoral training in the biological components of the natural environment and related disciplines. The ACCE partnership will see 22 new PhD students beginning training every year for five years, including additional PhDs funded by the three partner universities. 

Among the Doctoral Training Partnerships funded by the NERC, ACCE is the only DTP with a clear emphasis on the biological component of environmental research. This biological core, combined with the international standing of the partners in the biological and related fields, makes ACCE a natural choice if you wish to undertake a PhD in biological research and related disciplines.

By including related disciplines beyond the biological sciences, ACCE is also able to provide a multidisciplinary environment to the benefit of our students, bringing together biologists, mathematicians, engineers, geoscientists, analytical chemists, archaeologists and policy experts. Our PhD students will not only graduate as excellent scientists, but also graduate with skills much sought after in today’s job market.

ACCEs' collective research strengths and PhD projects are grouped into the following four research themes:

In addition, each institute welcomes applications from students with their own project proposals. Applicants intending to take this route should speak to a suitable supervisor within the ACCE partnership first. The PhD projects described in these applications should clearly be the idea and vision of the applicant, and not of the supervisor.

PhD Training
Some of the highlights of our training approach include:

  • Whole-cohort training activities where ACCE students from all institutes come together.
  • Cross-institutional postgraduate activities and committees, peer-to-peer training, and online resources that foster a strong postgraduate community.
  • Training within a coherent multi-disciplinary environment.  Our PhD students are exposed to disciplines in the environmental and biology subject areas with relevant and related fields in mathematics, engineering, geosciences, analytical chemistry, archeology and policy.
  • Opportunities for engagement with industry partners – such as The Environment Agency, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Natural England and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – in training and placements.
  • Bespoke and flexible training combined with compulsory activities to ensure each student has the most appropriate training according to their individual needs.
  • Enhanced training opportunities in qualitative skills,  ‘omics and field methods as well as enhanced professional skills such as entrepreneurship, policy, careers, and science media.

Informal enquiries: Dr. Venelina Koleva (ACCE DTP manager)


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0588 - Scientific modelling


Venue: The University of Sheffield (Contact University)
Sheffield, United Kingdom

Dept of Animal and Plant Sciences
Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN


Open from
19 Aug 2016 to 12 Sep 2016

Application Procedure:

Applications should be made through each institute’s own application system.

Deadline. Deadline for project proposals submission is 5pm, 12th Sept 2016 (Note: 13th September for Univeristy of York ONLY) . Selection of projects for advertising is a competitive process based on agreed criteria. Furthermore, an excess of projects over the number of available studentships will be advertised to promote competition based on student quality. Once the projects are chosen, we will request advert text from supervisors and ACCE will then advertise the projects.


Academic level: PhD
Occupations (not validated):
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