In the 2018/19 academic session, the CDT has eight industry sponsors (BP, Cairn Energy, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and Verus Petroleum) who support the CDT's Training Academy programme via a £40k annual subscription. This affords industry sponsors the following benefits:-
- Access to @130 PhD projects, of which around 25% are specific to the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and around 60% incorporate generic learnings for the UKCS. The comes at the price of the sponsorship of a single 3 year PhD studentship
- Opportunity to provide operational and fieldwork experience to ensure potential recruits have a rounded awareness of the practical conditions faced by companies operating in the sector
- Opportunity to influence the direction of research topics and encourage innovation to meet newly emerging challenges
- Extended access throughout the studentships to a pool of talent for recruitment purposes
- Oil & Gas Authority award of points in 29th and 30th Licensing Rounds
Dialogue with industry is constantly undertaken and contributions to the CDT training courses in whatever form (expertise, projects, data, venues and course funding) are welcomed.
The partnership is wedded to quality assurance, governance and holding a two-way dialogue with industry to ensure the NERC CDT meets all of its objectives. The Industry Advisory Board comprises members from each of the core industry sponsors and the Chair of that Board sits on the NERC CDT Management Board. Industry experts are also members of the PhD Awards Committee and the Training Academy Committee so that the CDT management team remains best informed and flexible to respond quickly to research trends, industry wishes and environmental needs.
Nautilus Training-RPS Group, a leading provider of training to the oil & gas sector worldwide, is an associate partner and provides access to a portfolio of optional courses for students to select in years two and three of their PhD studies. Another recognised global industry training provider, Tracs International, also runs some of its courses specifically for CDT cohorts.
In short, this CDT model provides an important, new opportunity for a once-in-a-generation game-change in academic training and research in Oil & Gas. Never before has NERC invested so heavily in this area. The partnership enjoys a fruitful dialogue with industry that places the student experience at its heart and serves the best interests of the UK as we face the energy and environmental challenges that are with us now and which will grow in the future.