Coastal Processes PhD studentship at Plymouth University

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship with the
Coastal Processes Research Group at Plymouth University on the topic of
“Modelling sediment exchange between beach and inner shelf”.

Start Date: 1 October 2016

Director of Studies: Dr Daniel Conley

2nd Supervisor: Professor Gerd Masselink

Project description: The School of Marine Science and Engineering is
seeking to recruit a fully funded PhD student to use numerical modelling
techniques to study cross-shelf sediment exchange processes in
energetic, macro-tidal coastal environments.

Results from a wide range of observational studies suggest that
significant cross-shelf sediment exchange between the surf zone and
shelf occurs on a relatively frequent basis. Further data mining and
observational campaigns are under way to document this process and we
now seek to expand this work by modelling the conditions which may drive
these events. It is proposed to setup a 3D model including both hydro
and sediment dynamics at one or more of our study sites on the coast of
Cornwall which will be forced by winds, waves and tides. The researcher
involved will have access to a wide suite of observational data with
which to calibrate and validate the models. The research will seek to
investigate; the frequency and magnitudes of such exchanges; the role of
biology in mediating the exchanges; and how to include them into coastal
sedimentary budgets.

Candidates should have a first or upper-second-class honours degree in
ocean science, geography or coastal engineering area. Applicants with a
relevant MSc level qualification would be particularly welcome.
Candidates will need to develop a strong competency in numerical
modelling but will also be expected to take part in coastal field data
collection and data analysis. Familiarity with Delft3D or expertise with
similar numerical modelling packages is particularly sought but relevant
experience in any or all of the previously mentioned areas is desirable.
Candidates are expected to fully participate in other coastal and
nearshore field research projects. A driver’s license, valid in the UK,
would be beneficial.

The studentship will be based in the Coastal Processes Research Group
(CPRG; which provides a vibrant
research environment with seven internationally recognised coastal
research staff, several post-doctoral researchers, 5-10 PhD students and
an equipment pool totalling over £1.5M. The successful applicant will
work alongside other members of the CPRG as a participant in the new UK
wide NERC funded BLUE-coast consortium which represents a
multi-disciplinary holistic effort researching coastal sediment budgets
and their role in coastal recovery.

Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours
degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full Home/EU
tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,296 per annum. The studentship will
only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with
relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas
fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the
overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £12,800 per annum).

If you wish to informally discuss this project further, please contact
Daniel Conley ( or Gerd Masselink
( However, applications must be made in
accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at Plymouth
University is available at:

You can apply via the online application form which can be found at:

Select ‘Apply’ to begin your application.

Please mark it FAO Francesca Niedzielski and clearly state that you are
applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Marine Science and

For more information on the admissions process contact Francesca
Niedzielski. (

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 27 June 2016.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview the week of 18-22
July 2016. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all
applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by
Friday 8 July 2016 should consider that their application has been
unsuccessful on this occasion.