This CASE studentship will address key challenges relating to microplastic contamination outlined by the government and its Environmental Regulators (DEFRA and the Environment Agency (EA) and water companies. The studentship opportunity offers a unique, timely collaboration focused on cutting edge research to address specific aspects of a global challenge. It will deliver multidisciplinary postgraduate training through collaborations between academic researchers and end-users at (UKWIR), water companies, as well as the EA and DEFRA. It will also offer a great insight into wastewater treatment (WWT) processes and the challenges faced by the water industry from microplastic pollution.
The core aims of the PhD is to:
- Develop and validate standard methods for MP quantification in wastewater and treated sewage sludge/ biosolids.
- Quantify types and quantities of MPs arriving at WWT and determine their likely source.
- Quantify types and quantities of MPs leaving WWT, via water and treated sewage sludge/biosolids.
- Examine the bacteria associated with MPs released to the environment.
The student will be based at the International Marine Litter Research Unit, within the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The applicant must be highly motivated, and possess a degree in an appropriately-related subject. An MSc is preferable, alongside practical research experience. The studentship is supported for four years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,777 per annum. The position is open to UK citizens and EU citizens with appropriate qualifications who have been resident or studied in the UK for three years.