We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience


PhD Studentships Available

(28 March 2014)

Four new fully-funded PhD studentships at Durham University on monitoring and modelling coastal processes.

We are seeking to recruit 4 fully-funded PhD students to work on the Coastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity (COBRA) project, from September 2014. The outputs of the four PhD projects will be used to develop a new understanding of rocky coast processes and will feed into local and regional shoreline management.

The 4 new PhDs are a new addition to COBRA, an ongoing collaborative research project between Durham University and Cleveland Potash Ltd (CPL). The overall aim of the project is to understand the past, present and future controls on coastal erosion within the North York Moors National Park. This stretch of coastline varies dramatically, with some of the UK’s highest near-vertical rock cliffs, softer glacial tills, extensive rocky foreshores and sandy beaches. CPL operates the Boulby Mine – the UK’s most important non-hydrocarbon mineral operation. The coastline presents a fascinating natural laboratory to address key research questions into: i) rockfall and erosion, ii) nearshore sediment dynamics, iii) coastal rock weathering, and iv) post-glacial coastal evolution.

Currently available funded PhD projects:

1. High-resolution monitoring of rocky coast landscape dynamics

2. Monitoring & modelling: Sea-bed deformation, waves & sediments

3. Upscaling weathering & rock mass strength degradation to coastal cliff erosion

4. Nature or nurture? Controls on long-term evolution of rocky coasts

More details on each project are available on the COBRA website.

 Studentship information: These projects are each supported by full fees at EU rates*, and an RCUK equivalent tax-free stipend**, with an anticipated start date of September 2014. Current stipend rates are available here. PhD funding is available for a period of 3.5 years. Projects will be supported by supervision by the COBRA research group, in addition to input from other academics at Durham University. The projects will benefit from access to our dedicated laboratories, plus our excellent IT and field-data capture facilities.

We seek to recruit highly-motivated doctoral researchers to join our research group, and to benefit from working in the vibrant academic community at Durham University. We currently have a range of researchers working on both blue-skies and industry-linked projects, supported by a number of doctoral and masters students working on various aspects of landslide mechanisms, and hazard and risk, both in the UK and beyond. Our work in the Department of Geography and the Institute for Hazard Risk and Resilience at Durham University is highly interdisciplinary, and so we are particularly interested in candidates from a range of academic disciplines and backgrounds.

We seek PhD researchers to lead the intellectual development of these four projects. We are particularly interested in developing these fields to have future wider ranging outputs and impact, both within and beyond our study area.

 How to apply: Details of the application process are given here: The research proposal should be formulated by the candidate based upon the project outline provided. The application should clearly specify the project being applied for (Project 1, 2, 3 or 4), as detailed above. Additional information can be obtained from the website or from Dr Nick Rosser (

 Application deadline: 1700 (GMT), April 27th, 2014