Current PHD opportunities

There are currently no open vacancies. Please check regularly for new openings.

Lyell Centre appointments for research leaders and research fellows

HWU and the BGS have joined forces to create a new research centre for earth and marine science and technology.

Based at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus, The Lyell Centre will be one of Europe's leading centres for research and expertise in the earth and marine sciences.

Jointly funded by UK and Scottish funders (NERC, SFC and HWU) The Lyell Centre will promote innovative research at the core of geoscience, marine and terrestrial ecology, computing, mathematics and engineering.

The Lyell Centre building project was completed in February 2016. HWU is now recruiting senior academics to build research teams that will realise the centre's vision and research strategy.

Together with our colleagues at the BGS, we aim to create a world-leading research cluster bringing together science and technology to tackle major issues of natural resource and energy supply in a responsible and sustainable way.

The new fusion of pure and applied expertise between HWU and the BGS provides an opportunity to develop and use innovative methods and new technologies to create real-world solutions to address global challenges.

The Lyell Centre's research themes are clustered in two main areas: applied geoscience and ecosystems science. Within these areas, there are more specific themes for appointments that we intend to make. Details will be released as they become available. Informal enquiries prior to application are welcome.

PhD opportunities

We welcome applications for PhD projects. If you have a project idea then please contact the relevant member of staff. To be eligible, applicants should have a first-class honours degree or a 2.1 honours degree and ideally a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Relevant experience will also be taken in consideration. Applicants must be highly motivated with an interest aligned with the research of The Lyell Centre.

A limited number of scholarships are available from HWU. Scholarships will be awarded by competitive merit, taking into account the academic ability of the applicant.

We will announce opportunities as they become available.


HWU is committed to equality of opportunity. Applications are particularly welcomed from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts at HWU.

The Lyell Centre application process

HWU uses an online recruitment process called iRecruit for all academic and professional services vacancies.

The process for applicants involves registering on iRecruit and using the system to upload your CV, covering letter, and publications list. You should also include with your application a one-page statement of research interests that summarises how your current work will align with The Lyell Centre.

Your CV should include full details of your academic qualifications, your employment history, and your research grant income.

Once you have registered on iRecruit, our system will automatically generate an acknowledgement and you'll receive a short, system-generated email message. You'll be contacted if we need further information to assess your application.

All applications undergo an initial assessment by Human Resources to ensure that the candidate meets the essential (or minimum) criteria for the post applied for. The next step involves shortlisting by an interview panel. If you are shortlisted for interview you will receive a formal invitation to interview with all relevant details regarding interview presentation, campus tour, and any other arrangements or requirements. If you are not shortlisted, you will be contacted with an explanation of why your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Hannah Hendry, Recruitment Consultant.

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