Information for students interested in applying for studentships or funding
Please note there is no route for prospective students to apply directly to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for a studentship. NERC provides UK universities with doctoral training grants to support NERC-funded studentships. The advertisement of opportunities and recruitment of studentships is managed by the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) or Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT). Any students interested in NERC-funded studentships should contact the research organisation or university at which they wish to study directly, including information on how to apply and eligibility.
Doctoral training partnerships (DTP) provide excellent postgraduate research opportunities within the NERC science remit as well as varied professional and technical skills and personal development training.
DTP postgraduate training is delivered in collaboration with partners from a wide range of backgrounds. These include industry, specialist research organisations, charities, non-governmental organisations, government bodies and many more. This is to ensure NERC DTP students are equipped with the skills and experiences to allow them to become world-leaders in their chosen careers.
NERC completed a mid-term evaluation of its first DTP investment. For more details on the objectives, framework and timescale of this evaluation, please visit the DTP evaluation page.
Current funding opportunities
DTPs are held by higher education institutions either alone or as a consortium with other eligible research organisations and partners. NERC doctoral training partnerships host NERC-funded, and potentially other, PhD students undertaking research in any area of the NERC science remit over a number of annual cohorts.
DTPs provide excellent postgraduate research opportunities as well as varied professional and technical skills and personal development training. Training delivered through DTPs can be drawn from any part of the NERC science remit and research topics are chosen by students and supervisors. This training plays a key part in maintaining the breadth and diversity of our research base and in ensuring that as a community we are responsive to new ideas.
The first phase of NERC DTPs, Doctoral Training Partnerships 1 (DTP1), invested in five annual student intakes between 2014 and 2018. A total of 15 DTPs were awarded. The second phase of NERC DTPs, Doctoral Training Partnerships 2 (DTP2), invested in five annual student intakes between 2019 and 2023. A total of 17 DTPs were awarded.
NERC doctoral training partnerships are discovery science (standard mode) schemes. Standard (sometimes known as ‘responsive’) funding opportunities are open to a wide range of research and approaches within NERC’s remit.
This competition is currently closed, and applications will not be accepted.
Current DTP allocations
Last updated: 3 February 2022