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New PhD studentship opportunities announced

PhD student at work in a barley field
Throughout their studies PhD students receive support and mentoring from their Institute supervisors and our Postgraduate Student Liaison Team.

New opportunities for PhD projects at the James Hutton Institute are now being advertised on PhD projects are being offered by all five of our Science Groups covering many aspects of our work. All projects are funded jointly between the Institute and participating universities.

At the James Hutton Institute we value the important contribution students make to the development of our scientific excellence and the expertise, talent and knowledge graduates bring to our research community. The Institute provides a research environment where technical and intellectual competency can flourish.

Throughout their studies PhD students receive support and mentoring from their Institute supervisors and our Postgraduate Student Liaison Team to ensure students achieve a high degree of intellectual freedom, whilst equipping them with the comprehensive range of scientific and transferable skills demanded of today's scientists.

Cell and Molecular Sciences PhD Projects

  • The Role of Light Signalling in Plant Immunity – University of Glasgow
  • Characterisation of Escherichia Coli O157:H7 Metabolisim During Colonization of Plants – University of Reading
  • The Role of E3 Ligases on the Modulation of Recombination in Cereals – University of Dundee
  • Role of UV-B in Modulating Quality and Pest Resistance in Arabidopsis and Crop Plants – University of Glasgow
  • Host Cell Membrane Tethering During Plant Virus Infection – University of St Andrews
  • Cross-Kingdom Functional Characterisation of Salmonella Enterica Fimbriae – University of Glasgow
  • Unravelling Genetic Components of Potato Tuber Dormancy and Sprouting Sensitivity to Ethylene and Sugar Accumulation – University of Greenwich

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences PhD Projects

  • Developing Risk-Based Approaches to Modelling of Microbial Contamination in Scottish Rivers – University of Stirling
  • Utilising Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy for the Characterisation of Intertidal Sediments – University of St Andrews
  • Fate and Impact of Antimony in the Environment:  An Ecological Risk Assessment – University of Aberdeen
  • Development and Test of a Multi-Pollutant Water Quality Model – University of Reading
  • Novel Constructed Wetland (CWs) Treatment Options for Rural Works – Cranfield University

Ecological Sciences PhD Projects

  • Designing Crops for the Future Climate - Understanding the Macroecology and the Ideal Phenotype for Thermal Tolerance in Crops – University of Aberdeen
  • What are the Biophysical Limitations to Deep Rooting? – Heriot Watt University
  • Cascading Effects of Fisheries Policy Through Bird Communities and the Terrestrial Environment – University of St Andrews
  • Phytophagus Mite Control in Raspberry: Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches – Harper Adams University
  • The Carbon Dynamics of Woodland Colonization on Moorland: Above and Below Ground Interactions – University of St Andrews
  • Environmental Engineering Using Seed Mimics to Support Increased Crop Water Use Efficiency – University of Aberdeen
  • Determining the Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Water Distribution Systems – University of Strathclyde
  • Designer Grassland Pastures and Ley Rotations – Aberystwyth University
  • Assessing Scotland's Pollinator Strategy:  A 'Real World' Approach – University of Edinburgh
  • Biodiversity of Parasitoid Networks and the Impact on Aphid Biocontrol – University of Greenwich
  • Does Rhizosheath Development Affect Plant Drought Tolerance? – University of Lancaster
  • Impact of N-Fertilizer Sources on Ammonia Oxidizer Niche Differentiation, Evolution and N2O Production – University of Aberdeen
  • Novel Biological Methods for Control of Disease in Tree Nurseries – University of Aberdeen

Information and Computational Sciences PhD Project

  • Multi-Source Remote Sensing for Enhanced Flood Modelling – University of Newcastle
  • Interkingdom Communication Via Small RNAs:  Parasitic Nematodes and their Plant Hosts – University of Edinburgh
  • Social Justice and the Clean Energy Transition:  Modelling Diffusion of Social Innovation – University of Edinburgh
  • Resource Distribution Networks in Nature and Society – University of Lancaster
  • Bayesian Network Approaches for Vulnerability Assessment and Management of Diffuse Groundwater Pollution – University of Aberdeen

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences PhD Projects

  • Supporting Farmers in Managing the Soil Sustainability:  Examining the Effectiveness of Different Advisory Approaches – University of Gloucestershire
  • Novel Approaches to Engaging Land Managers in Monitoring the Impact of Agri-environment-Climate Schemes – University of Aberdeen

Full details of the projects offered can be viewed on FindaPhD.comClosing date for applications is 5th January 2018.

Please apply using our PhD application form (Word file 103 KB). Completed applications and enquiries should be sent to

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.