Research

Partially-funded Research Projects

Details of partially-funded research topics can be found below.

Any fully-funded projects are listed here.

  • The topics below are advertised with partial-funding, which covers PhD tuition fees for up to four years of full time study.
  • Applications are welcome from strong Home, EU and International students.
  • Specific details about each opportunity and how to apply can be found by clicking on the project title.
  • Contact information and more details about the research interests of each Director of Studies can be found by clicking on their name.
  • The closing date for applications is at 23:59 on the date specified.
  • We would expect most students to start their studies on 2nd October 2017 but other dates may be available.
  • For academic enquiries, please contact the relevant Director of Studies in the first instance. For administrative queries, please contact Research and Innovation Services: pgradmissions@tees.ac.uk.
  • 21 available projects
    Title Key Info Director of study

    Practice-based PhD in Fine Art focusing on Critical Theory and Alternative Practices
    (FO-SCMA-1)

    Applications are invited for a PhD in Fine Art with an emphasis on practice. Research might take a critical view towards current practices or the architecture and systems of contemporary art and critical theory. Applications are also encouraged which might focus on entropy, failure, non-production, non-use, spatiality, and formlessness with a foundation in continental philosophy. This may include research, which is trans/inter-disciplinary, involves areas of radical pedagogy, or new strategies of critique and alternative paradigms of both the production and role of art. Proposals, which seek to challenge traditional assumptions about art practice and/or utilise emerging technologies, are especially welcome. Fine Art programmes at Teesside University aim to offer new and radical approaches to pedagogy and practice. Researchers are invited to take unique and experimental approaches to study with support from supervisors who are themselves active researchers with doctoral qualifications and practising artists

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Michael Lent

    Alternative exhibitions and hybrid approaches in
    (FO-SCMA-2)

    Applications are invited for a PhD in Fine Art that approach alternative modes of distribution and exhibition to consider contemporary practices and future directions in art and their impact on the world we inhabit. Similarly, this might include a focus on artist writings as a form, new-genres, installation, video, intermedia, site-specific work, and communal experiments as art. This might also develop into projects that impact a community of learners as well as artist originated projects, but similarly there might be an emphasis on projects that are ambitious and exciting in scope. Other areas of interest might include undoing, disappearance, emerging technologies, hybrid approaches, collectives, solvency, manifestos, video chain letters and rethinking shared space through art.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Jared Pappas-Kelley

    Disability Art – An investigation into its history, significance and practice in relation to Contemporary Art ('the mainstream and its ideas of 'radical and alternative art').
    (FO-SCMA-2)

    47 years after The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons’ Act (1970) And 22 years after the Disability Discrimination Act (1995), Disability Arts in the UK is a vibrant sector rooted in 20 years of public funding from the likes of the Arts Council of England. Disability Arts seeks to challenge normative societal assumptions and argues for an inclusive diversity through 'art practice and art philosophy (often anti-art therapy). This research will analyse Disability Arts fundamental 'manifesto / ideology (does it have one?) through its history and individual practitioners who have remained outside the conventional systems and structure of contemporary art and others who have moved, in some sense, in to the mainstream of current art practice and ideas. Equally, the research will place Disability Arts development and current degree of validity to disabled people themselves and conventional contemporary art activity, ideas and individuals.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Simon McKeown

    Invalid Carriages (place within disability and mainstream culture (motor history and cultural studies of design and 'inclusive' ideas of motoring participation in a 'motor car / vehicle culture and society).
    (FO-SCMA-4)

    It is approximately 40 years after the UK government ended its support for the manufacture and distribution of disability vehicles. This research will explore the many of the issues connected with the vehicles, including their development, identity and safety issues (deaths as a result of design flaws and social/political indifference). This research will also consider their significance in Motor History (mainstream) and as 'transport for handicapped people'. In addition, in order to understand its significance to disabled people themselves, the research will include personal testimonies, design data and historical data, as well as the role it played in 'normalising impairment' and defining the disability identity as a vehicle (of cultural and political significance) of 'difference' and as an object of 2nd class status for second class people'.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Simon McKeown

    Digital Media and Communication focusing on converged methodologies and practice and creative communication of big data/quantitative analyses
    (FO-SCMA-5)

    Applications are invited for a PhD in Digital Media and Communication with an emphasis on using broad paradigms of methodologies to better understand and offer creative ways of communicating quantitative data relating to digital performance. Research would focus particularly related to the performance of online identity and how it is reshaping communication practices. Applications which focus on political communication and campaigning and/or how journalistic communications are being reshaped are encouraged. This may include research which is trans/inter-disciplinary, involving analysis of other media industries and particularly the development of methodologies and display of web spheres and their intercommunications both in terms of statistics and discourse.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Bethany Usher

    Sensory discrimination training for people with chronic ankle instability
    (FO-SOHSC-1)

    Chronic ankle instability (CAI) can be defined as repeated giving way of the ankle and it can occur in 10-40% of acute ankle sprain patients. The sensorimotor performance of the ankle may be impaired in CAI contributing to the maintenance of the condition. As such interventions to improve sensorimotor performance may be beneficial I the management of CAI. The aim of this work will be to explore sensorimotor performance of the ankle in people with CAI and explore the effectiveness of sensory discrimination training as a therapeutic intervention for CAI. Essential criteria: The successful applicant would need to have a good degree in a health related field and be a fully qualified and registered health care practitioner such as a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, podiatrist or sports therapist.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Cormac Ryan

    DOES A COMMUNITY TREATMENT APPROACH FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL USERS RESULT IN BETTER OUTCOMES FOR SERVICE USERS
    (FO-SOHSC-2)

    The aim of this project is to ‘assess whether a community outreach treatment approach results in better outcomes for individuals’ compared to the traditional treatment approach”. This will be a mixed methods study that seeks to address the following objectives.

  • To assess the treatment outcomes of interest to service users and commissioners.
  • To assess differences between two groups of service users (community versus traditional treatment) (in a non-randomised study).
  • To assess the barriers and facilitators in both groups (of service users) in the recovery process
  • To assess the barriers and facilitators in both groups (of staff) in the recovery process
  • To make recommendations for the future development of the service.

  • It would be desirable if the applicant has had experience of carrying out research around alcohol or drug misuse

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch

    DOES A COMMUNITY TREATMENT APPROACH FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL USERS RESULT IN BETTER OUTCOMES FOR SERVICE USERS?
    (FO-SOHSC-3)

    The aim of this project is to ‘assess whether a community outreach treatment approach results in better outcomes for individuals’ compared to the traditional treatment approach”. This will be a mixed methods study that seeks to address the following objectives.

  • To assess the treatment outcomes of interest to service users and commissioners.
  • To assess differences between two groups of service users (community versus traditional treatment) (in a non-randomised study).
  • To assess the barriers and facilitators in both groups (of service users) in the recovery process
  • To assess the barriers and facilitators in both groups (of staff) in the recovery process
  • To make recommendations for the future development of the service.

  • It would be desirable if the applicant has had experience of carrying out research around alcohol or drug misuse

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch

    Children and Young People: Attitudes towards Alcohol Consumption and links to Dietary and Wider Health Behaviours
    (FO-SOHSC-4)

    The aim of the project is to explore whether children and young people consume alcohol, exploring the reasons for and against alcohol intake. The project will involve:

    1. a qualitative systematic review to investigate why children and young people aged 10-16 years consume alcohol and acceptable methods for reducing intake;
    2. a survey of children and young people to understand alcohol prevalence levels and reasons for and against consumption linked to dietary and wider health behaviours;
    3. a qualitative analysis of social media posts around alcohol behaviours and reasons for and against consumption in a sample of children and young people; and
    4. exploration of whether calories in alcohol decrease the desire for children and young people to consume alcohol.

    The candidate will have a good honours degree (2.1 or above) or MSc in public health or a related subject. It would be desirable if the applicant has an interest in working with children and young people, in the field of alcohol and public health. Some experience of qualitative and/or quantitative methods is desirable, as well as awareness of the ethics process.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Fundamental motor skills in pre-school: a mixed methods study reviewing and utilizing ‘good practice’ in early years professional development
    (FO-SOHSC-5)

    Higher levels of physical activity in preschool children are inversely associated with body fat percentage, and show a positive association with improved cardiovascular risk factors, bone health, motor skills and psychosocial health. Similarly, development of motor competence through a physical activity programme can also improve cognitive function, which could positively influence school readiness. It is remarkable, however, that the training provision for early years professionals on physical activity and fundamental motor skills is largely underspecified. This issue will be addressed in the present PhD proposal via three research strands. Research strand 1 will involve systematically reviewing quantitative and qualitative evidence for best practice in FMS training for young children. Strand 2 will involve qualitatively investigating perceptions, knowledge and provision of movement training programmes in key stakeholders in early years provision, in relation to current policy. Based on the outcomes for strands 1 and 2, the purpose of strand 3 is to develop, implement and evaluate an innovative pilot intervention for training early years practitioners on how to deliver best practice in motor skill acquisition in young children.

    One of the key features of this proposal is its interdisciplinary nature, fusing the Schools of Health and Social Care (SOHSC) and Social Sciences, Business and Law (SSSBL).

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Liane Azevedo

    DEVELOPMENT AND FEASIBILITY TESTING OF A COMMUNITY BASED DUAL PARENT CHILD WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
    (FO-SOHSC-6)

    The aim of this project is to develop and assess the feasibility of a dual weight management programme on improving weight status and health related behaviour changes in parents and children with excess weight. This will be a mixed methods study that seeks to address the following objectives.

    1. To evaluate current child parent dual provision within a local setting.
    2. To review the current evidence relating to dual parent child interventions.
    3. To assess the barriers and facilitators to effective weight management in families with excess weight.
    4. To develop and feasibility test a new community based dual weight management programme.
    5. To make recommendations for the future development and evaluation of the programme.

    Applicants should have at least a 2(i) in a health related discipline. It would be desirable if the applicant has had experience of carrying out research in weight management and or working with families.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Louisa Ells

    Iodine and fluorine: is there any interaction?
    (FO-SOHSC-7)

    Iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) is still a major public health issue, affecting two billion people globally. IDD can lead to maternal and foetal hypothyroidism and impair neurological development of the foetus. Fluoride, which has been included in toothpastes and mouthwashes to reduce dental decay, might be an iodide antagonist that competes with iodide absorption and utilisation.

    The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of fluoride exposure on thyroid function in pregnant women. The PhD student will undertake systematic reviews and collect clinical and demographical data from pregnant women living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas during the first and last trimesters.

    Applicants should have a degree in health sciences, nursing, midwifery, or any other relevant area of health sciences (such as Human Nutrition).

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Professor Vida Zohoori

    Vegetarianism and fluoride metabolism
    (FO-SOHSC-8)

    It has been well established that topical fluoride has an important role in the prevention of dental caries. However, excessive systemic ingestion of fluoride during enamel development prior to tooth eruption can increase the risk of development of dental fluorosis. Vegetarianism has been reported to be inversely associated with the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis. In the UK, the number of vegetarians has risen very sharply in the past decade and currently the UK has the third highest rate of vegetarianism in Europe.

    The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of vegetarianism on fluoride metabolism. The PhD student will undertake systematic reviews, analyse existing datasets and collect new dataset to compare the type of diet with the rate of fluoride retention.

    Applicants should have a degree in biological/biomedical/environmental sciences or any relevant area of health sciences (such as Food and Human Nutrition, Public Health, Oral Health Sciences).

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Professor Vida Zohoori

    Lifecycle asset analysis and engineering performance underpinned by BIM (application to infrastructure and buildings)
    (FO-SSED-1)

    Abstract: Building Information Modelling (BIM) is becoming ever more recognised and adopted in construction practice. UK construction strategy already saved the government 1.4 billion pounds on its construction projects over an initial 3-year period of its implementation (BTG, 2014). Apart from reducing the initial construction costs, additional benefits are expected by 2025: 33% reduction of the whole life cycle costs, 50% faster delivery, 50% lower emissions, 50% improvement in exports (HMG, 2013). Are we on track to achieve these benefits given the current processes and working practices within the construction sector? Is the government doing enough to facilitate transformation of the construction industry required for BIM adoption? How to increase the use of BIM throughout construction lifecycle stages for different types of built assets? What are the implications of BIM developments on future cities and national infrastructure management? These are only some of the questions to be addressed by the prospective doctoral candidate. With a strong background in project management, the work will generate new knowledge and recommendations for supporting processes and organisational policies to ensure the timely, on budget and high quality construction using BIM.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Faik Hamad

    Big data and IOT (internet of thing) application for sustainable infrastructure, industrial and energy performance
    (FO-SSED-2)

    The industrial and infrastructure sector accounts for over a half of the total energy use in the European Union. In order to meet carbon reduction targets, sustainability and high efficiency is needed across the entire energy supply chain - from the point of generation through to the point of end use in industry. Modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and big data management techniques have the potential to make significant contributions to sustainable manufacturing systems. Applications are invited for fundamental or applied research projects investigating the use of industrial informatics and big data in smart grid/smart factory applications. Projects should principally focus upon ICT aspects of sustainable manufacturing and infrastructure and should include one or more of the following areas: communication and control infrastructures; situation awareness and visualisation; predictive analytics; distributed energy control and optimization; energy-aware manufacturing and demand response.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Biochar-based bioenergy systems
    (FO-SSED-3)

    Biochar technologies have a critical role to play in sustainable technology development, climate change mitigation and the circular economy. Building on our recent work in the Pyrochar project (www.pyrochar.eu) this project will develop the role that biochar systems have to play in resource recovery and energy generation. The project will focus on engineering solutions for biochar systems including the activation of biochar to be used and tested as catalyst for hemicellulose hydrolysis and esterification of fatty acids for energy recovery and the production of value-added products. There is scope within the project to explore the role of biochar applications beyond agriculture, including contaminated land remediation, coupled bioremediation-bioenergy systems and other value-added carbon applications.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Chris Ennis

    Hydrogen as transport fuel of the
    (FO-SSED-4)

    The main aim of this research is to develop new and advanced high-capacity hydrogen storage materials and technologies in order to design an efficient portable hydrogen storage device. The major objectives are: (i) synthesis of new functionalised mesoporous materials using MCM-41 and SBA-15 as templates; (ii) methodical characterisation to establish their structure-H2 adsorption capacity relationship and to choose the most promising candidate; (iii) design the portable H2 storage device based on microreactor technology, (iv) engine modifications to use H2 as fuel. Two series of materials will be developed: (a) by metal oxide impregnation on MCM-41; (b) by using SBA-15 to prepare highly ordered porous carbon materials. The storage device will be designed and optimised for H2 adsorption capacity, by CFD module of COMSOL Multiphysics. A hydrogen internal combustion engine will be designed as a modified version of the traditional gasoline-powered internal combustion engine.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    David Hughes

    Remediation of Groundwater Resources using Nanotechnology - Experimental and Modelling Investigation
    (FO-SSED-5)

    Nanotechnology offers unique opportunities for effective environmental clean-up such as groundwater and contaminated land remediation. Application of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) in remediation of groundwater resources has become an emerging technology. Extensive research at laboratory, pilot, and more recently field scales have been conducted to understand how oil contaminants can be degraded in porous media in presence of nZVI particles. This project aims to perform direct 4D imaging (3D + time) using X-ray micro-tomography technique to understand how contaminants are distributed in porous media and how the degradation process can be optimised. A high-performance workstation dedicated to pore-scale imaging and modelling studies at School of Science and Engineering which enables us to perform high-resolution image analysis at pore-scale. The experiments will mainly take place at the newly established Petroleum Engineering laboratories at Teesside University.The findings of this research is of great importance for improving the existing models to design optimised remediation processes. On the modelling side the student will model the transport of nanoparticles in porous media using the MNMs modelling package developed at the Polytechnic University of Turin - Italy.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Tannaz Pak

    Nutrition profile, process and product properties of ancient grains and implications to improve health and biodiversity
    (FO-SSED-6)

    Ancient grains including Einkorn, Emmer and Spelt have gained interests among consumers, retailers and farmers thanks to various factors including biodiversity, potential implications and food diversity. Existing researches on ancient grains predominantly concentrated on dietary fibre and phytochemicals, however, limited data are available on the contents and compositions of other components in ancient wheats. Even less so regarding the process and product properties of the ancient grains. This PhD project will be focusing on analysis of contents, profiles, bioaccessibility and digestibility of protein, starch and lipid of ancient grains as well as their process properties and product quality. The project will utilise chemical, biochemical, physical, and bioimaging laboratory techniques to achieve proposal aims and objectives.

    Note: The project would potentially supported by and collaborated with Craggs & Co, a Teesside wheat grower, who has expressed interest in this area and currently have a consultancy project in forming.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Jibin He

    The application of hyper/multi-spectral imaging to monitor the quality and safety of raw potato tubes and processed potato products
    (FO-SSED-7)

    Acrylamide is a chemical compound classified as potential carcinogenic to human by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). It is a reaction product of Maillard reaction, which occur in high temperature food process such as baking and frying. As a product of Maillard reaction, the acrylamide content in fried potato product is directly associated with the reducing sugar content as well as asparagine content. Along with reducing sugars, other compounds such as ascorbic acid, chlorogenic acid isomer and amino acids (particularly glutamine and asparagine) are also identified to influence the acrylamide content of fried potato products.

    Researches shown that it is possible to analysis some of these factors using rapid spectra method, good correlation was obtained between the NIS/NIR reflectance spectra and reducing sugars content (fructose and glucose), total amino acid, dry matter and starch for raw potato tubes, which is promising to be used to model the possibility of the formation of acrylamide in processed potato products.

    I propose this project to develop a prototype hyperspectral imaging system in visible and near-infrared (VIS/NIR) wavelength range (400nm - 1700nm) for rapid and non-destructive quality evaluation of raw potatoes and its end product—crisps , and the system can be further developed into a low-cost multispectral online sorting system. The project will utilise physical chemistry, analytical chemistry and statistical methods to deliver the proposed objectives. This project proposal is co-developed with Dr Bo Li, NIAB (National Institute of Agricultural Botany). It will build on my pervious completed research project (INNOVATE UK found R&D project in collaboration with Sainsbury’s and its suppliers, 2013-2016) and Dr Li’s expertise on hyperspectral imaging.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Jibin He

    Innovative technique to alter and control wettability of hydrocarbon reservoir to favourable wettability using electrical potential (WALEP).
    (FO-SSED-8)

    There are several methods to alter wettability of rock surfaces from oil-wet to water-wet. Among all, water flooding in combination with additives such as cationic and anionic surfactants, low salinity water flooding, alkaline flooding, and thermal are the most common methods which have been applied by oil companies. Application of Electrical Potential in Wettability Alteration (WALEP) of reservoir rock is a novel technique which has not been studied as yet. Several factors may affect the selection of method such as rock type, reservoir temperature and pressure, oil composition, formation water composition, and last but not least field location. Dependency of the method of wettability alteration to those numerous factors may complicate the process hence lowering the performance up to 80% and in some cases even shown negative impact. Moreover all available methods are subjected to environmental impact, as well as long payback time (up to 3-4 years) which may affect the oil and gas company finance in long run. This project adopts a novel technique to alter and control the wettability of hydrocarbon reservoir rocks to favourable wettability where more hydrocarbons can be extracted effectively, eco-friendly, and economically. The project consists of several set of core flooding tests, and contact angle measurements on the selected rock samples. The experiments will mainly take place at the petroleum engineering laboratories at Teesside University.

    Please click here for further details of the application process, including the link to apply for this opportunity

    Funding route Fees only


    Deadline
    31/08/2017

    Dr Sina Rezaei-Gomari