Industrial doctorates


Industrial doctorates

Scotland needs highly–educated data experts, in research and business, that are capable of forging new ideas at the edge of what is currently achievable. 

We offer funding for Industrial Doctorate programmes to support the development of high level data science talent.

We co-fund industrial doctorates at Scottish Universities

We co-fund industrial doctorate programmes at Scottish Universities, in collaboration with Scottish industry or public sector organisations. These industrial doctorates are designed to support the development of data science talent at a PhD / EngD level, while facilitating collaboration between industry and academia through applied research projects.

We are unable to fund students directly.  Applications for funding must come from a Scottish University and be sponsored by an Industry or public sector Sponsor that has an operational base in Scotland.  If you require further information about this, contact

If you are a Scottish-based organisation or an academic institution and you are interested in developing a data-driven Industrial Doctorate project, have a look at our current Industrial Doctorates Call for Funding.

Open doctorate vacancies

A 21st century approach to address the risk from harmful algal blooms

About the Project

Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food web. Through their primary production they are crucial to carbon cycling. However, some species form “harmful algal blooms” (HABs) which have had a severe impact on the finfish and shellfish aquaculture industries in Scotland over the last decades. 

The aquaculture industry and associated policy makers require a rapid early warning of the development of HABs and a better understanding of their response to environmental forcing in a changing climate. This will help make informed management decisions such as deploying protective tarpaulins, reducing feeding, moving cages (fish farming), and early or delayed harvest or increased end product testing (shellfish farming) and could help protect human health (typically from HAB generated toxins vectored to humans by shellfish) and minimise mortalities of farmed fish as a consequence of other HAB genera.

A solution to the problem is the Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB)

A collaboration between SAMS, the Shetland-UHI, Marine Scotland Science and the University of Edinburgh with funding from Scottish Government and the Data Lab, this project will provide the capability to classify, display and analyse IFCB data. The studentship will address four challenges:

1)  Achieving the 1st routine UK IFCB operation

2)  IFCB image classification to discriminate and enumerate different phytoplankton species

3)  Development of our dashboard to produce new methods to display HAB data for easy interpretation by stakeholders

4)  Application of data analysis approaches to improve risk assessment and ecological understanding

Closing date for applications: Wednesday 12th January 2022

Interview date: Monday 31st January 2022

Studentship starts: Spring 2022

Please contact Professor Keith Davidson for further information ().


For further information, please contact the Skills Team.