Ty Crawshay - Treforest - Pontypridd Campus

Funded PhDs and Research Degrees

KESS 2 Research Scholarships

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys, and the Welsh Government's ESF programme for East Wales.

The KESS programme has specific scholarships available where the participant must live in West Wales and the Valleys or East Wales. Please see 'Information Pack' for an East vs West Wales Valleys residence map.

The participant information for scholarships can be accessed on the following:

East v West Wales Valleys residence map

EAST WALES KESS 2 Studentship Application Form

WEST WALES KESS 2 Studentship Application Form

KESS 2 Monitoring Form

KESS 2 Reference Form East-West

Please obtain the references and provide them with your form by the deadline. If your referees prefer to provide the reference directly to USW, please ask them to email the completed form directly to [email protected] by the advertised deadline (they should include the 5-digit scholarship reference number/scholarship title in the email).

Please do not use the Director of Studies for the scholarship you are applying for as your academic reference.

For an informal discussion about KESS2 please contact:

Clare Naylor
KESS II Programme Manager
(01443) 482567

Alison Evans
KESS 2 Programme Co-ordinator

(01443) 482578

The Education (Postgraduate Doctoral Degree Loans) (Wales) Regulations 2018 makes it clear that a KESS student is not eligible for a Postgraduate Doctoral Degree loan, because they will be in receipt of KESS 2 support.

For reference, please refer to the hyperlink above, specifically clause (3) (m): “A person (“A”) is not an eligible student if — there has been bestowed on or paid to A, in relation to the course, any allowance, bursary or award made under the KESS 2 Scheme.”

It is the responsibility of KESS applicants (and appointed KESS students) to ensure they comply with these regulations.

It is a condition of eligibility for KESS2 funding that you have not applied for, nor are intending to apply for, a Doctoral or research Masters Loan.


Current Funded PhDs 

USW Royal Academy PhD studentship

A coveted opportunity to work with Professor Richard Dinsdale, a Royal Academy of Engineering’s Chair in Emerging Technologies, and member of the Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC).

Manufacturing non-fossil fuel derived platform chemicals is a pressing need to meet both the UKs and the global ambition to achieve nett zero. Bio-electrochemical systems (electrically driven microbial technology) have recently been shown to be able to convert CO2 to platform chemicals such as acetate. However significant challenges remain in understanding the fundamental principles which drive this microbial process. This project will analyse a range of bio-electrochemical reactor designs using a range of electro-chemical, chemical analysis (HPLC), (stable isotope analysis) and biological “ohmic” techniques to inform the scale up and industrial exploitation of these processes. 

There are a number of bursaries, scholarships and funding options available to postgraduate research students.