Duration of Studentships

The NERC CDT studentships cover a four year study period in order to accommodate the 20 weeks' doctoral training provision while still allowing the student sufficient time to complete his or her PhD thesis. Studentships are offered on a full-time basis; any request for part-time study must be addressed to the NERC CDT Manager, Lorna Morrow, in the first instance, before any application is made. Contact details for Lorna are 0131 451 4725 or L.H.Morrow@hw.ac.uk.


NERC studentships covering the UK tuition fee, stipend (RCUK minimum, currently 14,296 for 2016/17 entry) and Research Training Support Grant (£5k p.a.) are available to UK citizens and to citizens of the EU who have been permanently in residence in the UK for a minimum of 3 years prior to taking up the studentship. Full details of eligibility for NERC studentships can be found in the Research Councils UK Training Grants Terms and Conditions document available at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/grantstcs/.

Applicants who do not meet the criteria for NERC studentships are advised to look at projects offered by the CDT core partner universities (Aberdeen, Durham, Heriot-Watt, Imperial, Manchester and Oxford) as these institutions match-fund the NERC studentship they receive. The university funding often has less stringent eligibility criteria e.g. EU citizens who do not meet the prior UK residency requirement, or international students, can be funded. Please contact the university concerned before making an application to ensure that the funding they have made available covers your citizenship status. 

Application process and deadlines

Each CDT partner university is responsible for its own recruitment so applicants must apply via the on-line application system of the university or universities offering the projects that they are interested in. The number of studentships available at each university is given next to their name.

Links to the on-line application systems are given underneath each university's project listing. You can apply to as many universities as you like, but will need to make a separate application to each institution using the relevant local system and procedures.

NERC has set a date of 15th March 2017 for partner universities to notify candidates of any offer and for the candidate to respond to that offer. This is to allow candidates who apply to more than one CDT partner university to know the outcome of all their applications before having to make their decision about which offer to accept. In order to accommodate this deadline, most universities will set a date of 31st January 2017 for applications and will hold interviews during February 2017.

The NERC CDT ethos is to appoint on merit and is committed to diversity and equality.

University of Birmingham (1 award)

Contact: Dr Tom Dunkley-Jones, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences,BIRMINGHAM, B15 2TT T.DunkleyJones@bham.ac.uk 00 44 (0)121 414 6751

Birmingham on-line application weblink


Cardiff University (1 award)

Contact: Dr Tiago Alves, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, CARDIFF, CF10 3AT alvest@cardiff.ac.uk 00 44 (0)2920 876754

Cardiff on-line application weblink

University of Dundee (1 award)

Contact: Dr Michael Brown, Division of Civil Engineering, DUNDEE, DD1 4HN m.j.z.brown@dundee.ac.uk 00 44 (0)1382 384354

Dundee on-line application weblink

University of Nottingham - University of Birmingham partnership (1 award)

Contact: Professor Joe Wood, School of Chemical Engineering, EDGBASTON, B15 2TT J.Wood@bham.ac.uk 00 44 (0)121 414 5324

Birmingham on-line application weblink