CDT in sustainable management of UK marine resources - NERC

All enquiries relating to student recruitment should be directed to the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT).

Number of studentships: 16 per year for three intakes.

Academic partners:

  • University of Plymouth (academic lead partner)
  • Bangor University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Exeter
  • the Marine Biological Association
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Other partners:

  • Institute of Zoology
  • Zoological Society of London
  • The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH)
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of the West of England.

Government partners:

  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Marine Scotland Science
  • Welsh Government.


The CDT in sustainable management of UK marine resources (SuMMeR) was awarded to the SuMMeR consortium.

The UK’s coasts and seas are key to economic development, food and energy security, and the health and wellbeing of those who live in or visit coastal areas.

Yet these coasts and seas and their coastal communities are challenged by:

  • climate change impacts
  • biodiversity loss
  • environmental degradation
  • socio-economic deprivation
  • increased use of marine space and resources
  • the needs for environmental improvement for mitigation, adaptation and conservation, especially to meet net zero targets.

This CDT has been designed to deliver the next generation of innovative transdisciplinary engaged researchers, solution providers and practitioners needed to support governmental and non-governmental sectors to ensure sustainable management of our marine resources.

NERC has invested approximately £2.2 million to support this CDT and academic and industry partners have committed to support additional training opportunities. The CDT will provide training between 2022 and 2028.

This CDT will support 48 PhD students funded by NERC and the CDT partners over three student intakes between 2022 and 2024.

Research areas and training

The CDT will offer training in sustainable management of UK marine resources. PhD studentships will include training in the following areas:

  • building resilient marine and coastal social-ecological systems
  • delivering net zero and energy security
  • integrating ocean and human health
  • enabling biodiversity gains
  • optimising the sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems, including habitat restoration
  • future-smart marine governance, policy and law
  • fostering a sustainable and just blue economy
  • marine technology and exploration.

The CDT aims to provide training in a transdisciplinary approach, in partnership with stakeholders, to enable students to understand current marine resource management issues from multiple perspectives.

The SuMMeR CDT will deliver cutting-edge transdisciplinary approaches that are robust, engaged, and based on the latest science, to better support the current and future development of more sustainable use of marine resources and environmental improvement.

Further information

Find out more about this CDT on the SuMMeR website, or by contacting the NERC Talent and Skills Team at

All enquiries relating to student recruitment should be directed to the CDT.

Last updated: 20 May 2022

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