Deadline: Monday 21 January 2019.

An exciting opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD studentship in the Faculty of Environment and Technology at UWE Bristol, supported by a living stipend and tuition fees at Home/ EU rates. The studentship is a joint project between the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments at UWE Bristol, GreenBlue Urban and Forest Research in an area of increasing importance in the development of healthy cities that are adapted to the changing climate.

The importance of urban trees in delivering benefits to people is now well understood. Trees can reduce the impacts of the urban heat island and flooding, improve air quality, and contribute to the quality of the public realm. However, beyond a generic understanding that trees can deliver these benefits (or ecosystem services), there is a gap in our knowledge of the role of different species in terms of their effectiveness in providing these benefits and how tree health and vigour is affected by their location in hard landscapes. This hampers the ability of practitioners to maximise delivery of any one particular ecosystem service or optimise delivery of a suite of ecosystem service at a given location. Furthermore, beyond the acceptance that tree health is vital for ecosystem service delivery the significance of the role of the rooting environment is wholly inadequate for effective design, planning, and species selection.

This project builds on previous research by the team and aims to:

  • Examine species-specific performance in delivery of key ecosystem services under a range of planting situations and management regimes in urban areas.
  • Investigate the uplift in ecosystem service delivery provided through improved health and growth under favourable planting conditions.
  • Provide new knowledge to guide practitioners in urban tree species selection.

Located in the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments the researcher will work across the built environment professions, in close collaboration with GreenBlue Urban and Forest Research

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email

Funding details

The studentship is available from 1 April 2019 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress, and includes a tax-free stipend which is currently £14,777 per annum. In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years at Home / EU rates. Applicants who are required to pay international tuition fees will be required to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the international tuition fee rates in each year of study.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must have good honours degree (minimum of an upper second class honours degree) in a relevant discipline (e.g. environmental science, ecology, planning, landscape architecture) and ideally will have a Masters degree.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please complete and return the following forms:

Please consult the Graduate School studentship application guidance notes when completing the above forms.  The Guidance Notes also detail the supporting documentation that must be provided with the application form.

Your application form and supporting documentation should be submitted to the UWE Graduate School at by midnight on the closing date for applications.

Each of your referees must complete and return the following reference form to the Graduate School in support of your application:

Deadline: Monday 21 January 2019.

For more information, please visit the official website of the Ph.D. studentship at UWE Bristol.

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