Undertaking and activating transfer of non-technical skills safety training to workers in the offshore windfarm sector

Research projects

Project Description:

Recruitment is currently closed and applications are under review.  

This Research Project is part of the EPSRC CDT in Offshore Wind Energy Sustainability and Resilience’s Occupational safety and health for offshore windfarm workers (OSHOWW) Cluster.

Safety training is widely acknowledged as an effective way of improving safety at work. Whilst attention has been paid to the technical skills in safety training in the offshore windfarm sector (e.g., offshore wind service technicians, site manager and supervisors, project engineers), little attention has been paid to non-technical skills such as communication and decision-making skills which are equally important in maintaining the safety of technical workers. For example, good communication skills determine how effectively technical workers communicate about safety with their supervisors and peers, raise concerns about safety. Similarly, effectual decision-making can minimise accidents are that are typically caused by poor judgement of risk and unrealistic risk assessment and hazard analysis. Specifically, when technical safety training is delivered to technical workers, it is not clear how non-technical skills are also delivered and how these skills are transferred to the job by the trained worker.

Training transfer refers to the extent to which trained workers apply the skills and knowledge acquired during training once they return to the work setting. As around 40% of trained workers fail to transfer their learning to behaviours immediately after training, training transfer may be an important explanatory mechanism for changes in training outcomes.

This project will identify mechanisms of the transfer of two non-technical skills: communication and decision making and will then design and test the mechanisms of skills transfer to the technical workers’ job. The project will also examine how these skills are maintained over time.

Training & Skills

You will receive the following training as part of the PhD project: Intervention design, physiological measurement and health tool use and analyses training, questionnaire and interview design and analyses. The PhD could lead to careers in academia as well as in public or private sectors (in human resources or health and wellbeing teams), or in consultancy firms specialising in work, health and wellbeing.

You will benefit from a taught programme, giving you a broad understanding of the breadth and depth of current and emerging offshore wind sector needs. This begins with an intensive six-month programme at the University of Hull for the new student intake, drawing on the expertise and facilities of all four academic partners. It is supplemented by Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which is embedded throughout your 4-year research scholarship.

Further Queries

If you would like more information about this project, please let us know by emailing auracdt@hull.ac.uk.

Entry Requirements

If you have received a First-class Honours degree, or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters, or a Distinction at Masters level with any undergraduate degree (or the international equivalents) in psychology, we would like to hear from you.

If your first language is not English, or you require a Student Visa to study, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency level that meets the requirements of the Aura CDT’s academic partners. This course requires academic IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each skill. Please contact auracdt@hull.ac.uk for further guidance or questions.


The CDT is funded by the EPSRC, allowing us to provide scholarships that cover fees plus a stipend set at the UKRI nationally agreed rates, £19,237 per annum at 2024/25 rates (subject to progress).


Our funded Doctoral Scholarships are available to UK Students. In addition, we have a number of Scholarships that are open to International Students. Research council funding for postgraduate research has residence requirements. To be considered a Home student, and therefore eligible for a full award, a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the scholarship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education). For full eligibility information, please refer to the EPSRC website.


Interviews will be held during June and will be conducted by a panel of academics from Loughborough University.
For an informal discussion please contact auracdt@hull.ac.uk

For an informal discussion, call +44 (0) 1482 463331
or contact auracdt@hull.ac.uk