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ENV East Doctoral Training Partnership


Applications to the EnvEast Doctoral Training Partnership are now closed.

Below you can browse some of the PhD projects we have previously funded; if you would like to be informed when applications open, or if you have any questions about EnvEast and our application process, please email us.

Projects previously funded by EnvEast


Quantifying Ice Age temperature changes using clumped isotopes (CHAPMAN-M_UENV15EE)

Project description

The problem

One of the most significant events in recent Earth history has been the transition into an "Ice Age world" and the development of glacial-interglacial variability over the last 3 million years. The marked expansion of ice volume at ~2.5 Ma also signifies a major change in the scale of Earth's climate variability. Numerous explanations have been put forward to account for this change and much is known about variations in ice sheet size but comparatively little is known in detail about surface and deep ocean temperature changes as the methods widely used to reconstruct SST variability in the late Quaternary cannot always be easily applied.

The research

The aim of this project is to perform analyses of deep-sea sediment cores in order to better characterise the nature and extent of ocean cooling in terms of glacial-interglacial climatic variability and millennial-scale events. There is considerable evidence to suggest highly variable temperature and salinity conditions but further work is required to better constrain the extent of cooling using a suite of samples from across the North Atlantic region. Work will focus on the onset of major glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere and compare this to recent records from the last climatic cycle. The proposed research will fill a gap in our knowledge by producing better constrained geochemical-based SST records (stable isotope, Mg/Ca and "clumped isotope" techniques) and will provide an important means of quantifying uncertainty in palaeoclimate reconstructions. This project will provide an exciting opportunity for a student interested in exploring and applying a combination of geochemical and palaeoecological proxies.

Requirements, training and opportunities

We seek an enthusiastic, self-motivated scientist with a BSc or Masters degree in Earth Science or Environmental Science, a strong interest/experience in geochemistry, and good numerical ability. The student will join an active climate science community at UEA and be able to attend courses on the variability of ocean and climate system and Quaternary palaeoclimatology. It is envisaged that the student will have the opportunity to gain seagoing experience and collect sediment core material that could be used during the studentship.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview day on either Thursday 12 or Friday 13 February 2015.


This project has been shortlisted for funding from the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. Successful candidates who meet RCUK's eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a full award. The stipend for 2014/15 was £13,863 p.a.


We recommend you read our 'How to Apply' page before starting your application.


Mr Paul Dennis, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

  • Start date October 2015
  • Programme PhD
  • Mode of Study Full-time
  • Studentship Length 3.5 years