Funded projects.



The Department of Geography enjoys excellent rates of success in securing funding for high quality PhD students. The latest information about different funding opportunities can be found below.

Pattern and timing of the advance and retreat of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet across northern Europe

Supervisor 1: Professor Chris Clark
Supervisor 2: Dr Stephen Livingstone
Supervisor 3: Professor Ed Rhodes

Collaborators: Dr Anna Hughes (Manchester Univ.); Assoc Prof Christopher Lüthgens (BOKU, Vienna) and Prof Jan Piotrowski (Aarhus Univ.); Dr Jeremy Ely and Prof Mark Bateman (Sheffield Univ.); Dr Marek Ewetowski (Adam Mickiewicz University)

This PhD project will use high-resolution digital elevations models and satellite images to systemically map ice marginal landforms across northern Europe. A landform-based synthesis of the pattern of advance and retreat will be constructed and related to the known stratigraphy. The palaeoglaciological controls (climate, ice streaming, lobe interactions, hydrology) on ice extent and recession will be investigated. The timing of selected limits and events will be investigated using geochronological techniques, with samples for analysis obtained by collaboration and targeted fieldwork. As part of this, we will investigate some experimental Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) techniques that aim to gain information on advance ages from palimpsest palaeodose signals because of sediment recycling.

Funding Notes

Fully funded for of 3 years, studentship covers: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate (at least £14,777 per annum), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees

Funded by European Research Council Advanced grant PALGLAC to C. Clark.

Informal enquiries to any of the supervisors listed above.

Apply now


WRDTP Development Workshop for new Collaborative and Network Award proposals

Academic colleagues who are interested in developing a proposal for the Network and/or Collaborative Awards competitions are invited to attend the following workshop session:

  • 10.30am – 12.30 pm, 17 October 2018, Conference Room, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, 34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY.

If you wish to attend this workshop, please book your place here.

Further details on the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP) PhD Awards commencing 2019/20 is available at

Queries to or Charlotte Massarella, DTP Administration, Training and Scholarships Officer, x27132

WRDTP ESRC Pathway Awards (41 awards, 50% DTP funded)

The DTP is offering 41 ESRC studentship awards, with 2 of these been allocated as Interdisciplinary Research Awards. These are available in the themed pathways.

WRDTP ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) Awards (6 awards, 100% DTP funded)

Six fully funded AQM awards are available via open competition across all social sciences departments/schools and will be of specific interest to those schools/departments that have a strong track record of AQM or are looking to expand into this area. The WRDTP will give priority to those who will be working with large data sets (an ESRC priority).

Note: The DTP can only recruit up to 35% of students internationally for full awards in AQM, i.e. two of the six AQM studentships on offer. However, the DTP is only allowed to offer the standard RCUK fee rate of £4,260, thus the department/school would need to supplement the fee for any successful overseas/EU applicant.


Previously funded projects

Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment

This year, our NERC funded doctoral training partnership Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment is offering 5 Geography projects aligned with the grand challenges in environmental research.

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 deadline for applications has now passed.

Building Climate-Smart Soils

Lead supervisor: Dr Manoj Menon
Co-Supervisors: Dr Sylvia Toet, Dr Jill Edmondson

The objectives of this project are:

  • Monitor C and macronutrient (N and P) transformations, including GHG emissions (CO2 and N2O) in biochar-amended soils. This will involve wet laboratory analyses and novel imaging techniques at Diamond Light Source.
  • Quantify water retention and soil structural changes due to biochar amendments in parallel with changes in soil macrobiota (earthworms) and total microbial biomass
  • Assess the impacts of biochar amendments on plant growth and crop yield

The deadline for applications has now passed.

ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership

The White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership, accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council, is a collaboration across the social sciences at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, and Manchester Metropolitan.

The deadline for applications has now passed.

Neanderthal evolution in Pleistocene Gibraltar: reconstructing the environmental context

Lead supervisor: Prof Ed Rhodes
Co-Supervisors: Dr K Penkman

The aim of this project is to unlock records of high magnitude rapid environmental change in the Gibraltar region using coupled amino acid racemization and luminescence dating of sediment archives, in order to better understand the context in which Neanderthal occupation and evolution took place. These sedimentary archives indicate that past high magnitude environmental change was accompanied by widespread landscape modification in Gibraltar and the surrounding region. Understanding climatic drivers and environmental responses at the Gibraltar Neanderthal world heritage site can be achieved by strategically combining recent developments in optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and amino acid racemization (AAR) applied to key Pleistocene sedimentary archives.

The deadline for applications has now passed.

WroCAH AHRC Competition Studentships

White Rose College of Arts and Humanities is funded by the AHRC and involves the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.

Doctoral training with WRoCAH takes a collaborative approach to equip high-achieving researchers with the skills and experience to become leaders in their chosen fields. The college works closely with leading external organisations from sectors including museums, galleries, archives and libraries; arts and heritage organisations; creative industries; design, manufacturing and retail; publishing and performing arts; media; and charities and the public sector.

The deadline for applications has now passed.