Skip to content

Measurement and modelling human dermal bioavailability of potentially harmful organic soil contaminants

This PhD studentship presents a unique opportunity in the fields of organic geochemistry and risk-based land management. The student will optimise in vitro methods to measure the dermal bioavailability of organic soil contaminants and use the data to derive predictive numerical models. These models will help identify which factors affect the release of organic compounds in soil and show how they might be applied to samples where dermal bioavailability remains unknown. The research is aimed at understanding the uncertainties in human health risk assessment of chronic exposure to soil contaminants and reduce the reliance on animal testing.

This project is part of a programme of industry led research into potential uptake of organic soil contaminants funded by National Grid Property Holdings. The student will be a at least 21 months with British Geological Survey, to undertake their laboratory based training and be part of a thriving interdisciplinary research environment. The student will also work at the University of Nottingham where they will gain first-hand industry leading knowledge of risk-based land management. The student will also complete an internship with the industrial advisors who form part of this project.

The successful applicant will take part in an extensive training programme. The following testimonial from a current PhD student summarises this perfectly: “Thanks to being based at BGS so part of BUFI, registered at a University, and part of the Envision DTP I have had access to a wide range of courses offered by all 3 organisations. As a NERC funded student you receive emails around once a month with details of courses available, usually fully funded and many field based or international. The training opportunities have been amazing. The opportunity to present at international conferences such as EGU (Vienna) and attend the short courses run there has also been great”.

The applicant will hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level in subjects such as Chemistry, Environmental Science or Natural Sciences. A post-graduate qualification is desirable as is some industrial experience. A strong foundation in chemistry would be advantageous.

For further details please contact Dr Christopher Vane ( or Dr Daren Beriro (