Bioscience: Fully Funded KESS II MRes Scholarship at Swansea University: Novel formulations for deployment of biopesticides with fumigatory activity

  • Master
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 29 June 2018

\This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.\*
Conventional agricultural fumigants are used to sanitize soil before planting/sowing and to protect produce (e.g. fruit, potato tubers, grains) from post-harvest pests and diseases. Commonly used fumigants include: chloropicrin, phosphine, 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), dazomet, and metam sodium. However, growers are urgently seeking benign alternatives since several fumigants are banned (e.g. methyl bromide) or being phased out, while others are restricted in their use due to the risks they pose to human and animal health and pollution of the environment. Furthermore, there are increasing reports of pests developing resistance to phosphine, one of the most extensively used fumigants worldwide.  Currently, there is much interest in biological pesticides (=biopesticides) which are considered to offer an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional chemical pesticides. Indeed, plant materials (e.g. mustard, eucalyptus, lavender) and plant derived chemicals (e.g. isothiocyanates, terpenes) have been used for centuries to fumigate soil. An increasing number of botanicals are being investigated for use as plant protection products or for the control of pests of stored food products
The aim of this project is to develop novel formulations for delivery of promising natural (plant, microbial) fumigants. Since these products by their nature are low molecular weight, highly volatile compounds the challenge will be to formulate them so they: (1) are easy to handle, (2) allow for short-medium release to give longer term protection, and (3) can be deployed easily in agricultural systems (e.g. sanitation of soil or produce, protection of seedlings and stored food products).  The products and strategies developed within this project will help Lisk & Jones and their clients in accessing state-of-the-art technologies for use in the agri-forest and horticultural sectors. One of the client companies and potential stakeholders, Certis Europe BV, is offering support in the manufacture of the prototypes and evaluation of the products at their field trial sites, giving much added value to this project.
Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SME’s and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. 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 30 credit award.


Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Microbiology or a 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 –


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The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,587 p.a. dependent upon the applicant’s financial circumstances.
There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.


Please visit our website for more information.

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