Is the Southern Ocean a source or a sink for atmospheric CO2? -- new instruments and analyses [Oceanography)] – MPhil/PhD (Funded) Ref: 2973

About the award

The student will be based in Earth Systems Science in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter

Academic Supervisors:
Pofessor Andrew Watson
Dr Ute Schuster

Project Description:
The ocean absorbs more than a quarter of the CO2 that we emit by fossil fuel burning, significantly slowing the rate of climate change. Calculating the ocean uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere requires measurements at the sea surface, but the wintertime Southern Ocean is almost unvisited by ships, so there are too few observations for accurate estimates to be made. This studentship will tackle this problem both by analysing the existing data, using models of the carbon cycle to reconstruct wintertime conditions there, and by joining with a new project in which we are developing an instrument for deployment on robot unmanned surface vessels: these offer a possible solution to observe the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and previously inaccessible regions and seasons if the ocean. The studentship will work with a small team developing the instrumentation and testing it in UK waters, working towards first trials in the Southern Ocean.
This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £14,553 per year tax-free stipend.  Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. 
The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in January 2018.   

Entry requirements:
Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology.
If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.  Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”. 
• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Names of two referees familiar with your academic work. You are not required to obtain references yourself. We will request references directly from your referees if you are shortlisted.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English
The closing date for applications is midnight on November 29th.  Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Streatham campus the following week.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.


Application deadline:29th November 2017
Number of awards:1
Value:£14,553 for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Postgraduate Research Office