Towards the Circular “plastics” Economy: Understanding the impacts of Bio-plastics to the environment, businesses and society

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Tuition fees plus stipend

Duration: Full-time – three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 5th May 2020

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020

For queries contact Professor Tjahjono


Concerns on the negative impacts of plastics to the environment have led to a shift in plastics production and consumption from petroleum-based to bio-based materials. Though the World Economic Forum has identified bio-plastics as an emerging technology enabling disruptive innovation, our knowledge of the long-term impacts of bio-plastics to the environment, businesses and society seems to be limited.

This project, therefore, aims to answer a seemingly simple, yet important research question: what are the impacts of bio-plastics to the environment, businesses and society? The answers are expected to transform the way in which plastics are consumed in daily life, provide a strong underpinning to the future development of sustainable bio-plastics and ultimately address both the upstream (sourcing) and downstream (consumption/end-of-life) supply chain uncertainties.


This is a fully funded PhD - tuition fee and bursary


Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

We require a high calibre candidate to be recruited for this fully funded high profile project (subject to meeting Coventry’s entry requirements, including language competencies).

To ensure the success of this ambitious but do-able target, the candidate will be developed and supported throughout the PhD lifecycle. The candidate will be directed to self-manage the project, adhering to the Ethics approval, Research Degree Development Agreement (RDDA) and Researcher Development Activity Plan (RDAP). The candidate will operate under the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

Formal bi-weekly meeting will be arranged with the candidate. The candidate will complete the mandatory research training programmes, and be encouraged to attend regular research seminars at CBIS and CAWR, academic writing sessions, as well as to present at the PGR seminar series and conferences.

Journal publication plan is embedded into the study plan with an expectation that the candidate produces at least two journal papers before the thesis hand-in. The candidate will also be offered an opportunity to deliver lectures and co-supervise theses. All of the above are aligned with the Concordat of the Career Development of Researchers.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary research
  • Social science or engineering background, with some knowledge of laboratory and chemistry-related experimental work
  • Some knowledge of statistics and data analysis
  • Ability to work independently and in a team
  • Effective time management and organisation skills

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Professor Tjahjono

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Apply to Coventry University