Biosciences: Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea: Assessing river barrier impacts

Biosciences: Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea: Assessing river barrier impacts

  • Master
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 26 June 2020
Biosciences: Fully Funded KESS II MSc by Research Scholarship: Assessing river barrier impacts for more efficient restoration of Rivers in Wales

Our rivers have barriers – they are disconnected from the sea. Weirs, small hydropower structures, big dams, culverts and fords provide drinking water, irrigation, energy production, flood protection and help us cross rivers. But these barriers block rivers, fragment waterways, isolate habitats and weaken wildlife populations. Healthy rivers are flowing rivers, the aim of this project is to guide the restoration of river connectivity and help river managers make informed decisions.

What will you be doing?

In this project, you will make use of a recently developed citizen-science smartphone app (the barrier tracker) that allows users to map barriers, not just the large dams, but also the smaller weirs, culverts, ramps and fords that go typically unnoticed. You can download the app here.

You will use the recorded geolocated data to develop and test methods for prioritising barrier mitigation in rivers across Wales. You may also be involved in collecting data and doing fieldwork in Welsh rivers and interact with NRW and Rivers Trusts to inform the process.

Which techniques and skills will I use and develop?

You will use statistical and GIS software such as R and QGIS.

You will develop skills in statistical and geospatial programming, problem solving, designing decision support tools and stakeholder engagement.

What is novel about this project?

Wales lacks a national/regional barrier removal strategy. Pre-construction prioritisation assessments and analysis are common for dams and weirs, but we need a barrier removal strategy.

Are there any companies and other institutions involved in this project?

Yes, this KESS2 Scholarships is a collaborative award with external partners including SME’s and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. This specific project is a collaboration between the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research with Natural Resources Wales, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Andrew Scott Ltd, and the Afan Valley Angling Club.

Where will I be based?

The work will be based at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research, Swansea University, Wales. Most of the data has already been collected and you will be able to work remotely. We will encourage you to do field work and interact with other colleagues when possible.

How long does this scholarship last?

The scholarship provides 1-year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 40-credit award.

Eligibility

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in Bioscience or related subject. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit our website for more information.

Benefits

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and £1,000 bench fee, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,817 p.a. dependent upon the applicant’s financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

Please note that students receiving KESS II support are not eligible for Postgraduate Master’s Degree loan.

Application

Please visit our website for more information.

Apply Now
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