Centres for Doctoral Training in renewable energy - NERC

Please note all enquiries relating to student recruitment should be directed to the CDT.

Studentship funding awarded: NERC contribution of £2.2 million will be invested with Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funds over five cohort intakes, split across two Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).


Two CDTs in renewable energy were awarded, in collaboration with EPSRC, to the EPSRC CDT in offshore wind energy and the environment, and the EPSRC Industrial CDT in offshore renewable energy.

Renewable energy will become increasingly necessary to help meet the UK, and world, demand for energy crucial to supporting the world’s growing population while simultaneously reducing impact on the natural environment. Generation of energy from clean, inexhaustible sources is growing at unprecedented rates, but maintaining momentum requires fresh insights and new breakthroughs. Both of these CDTs will provide training to create a highly skilled workforce, at the interface of environmental science and engineering, with expertise that can be used across the renewable energy sector and beyond. This will help equip the UK with the skills needed to reduce the environmental impact of energy production and achieve its statutory target for an 80% cut in UK carbon emissions by 2050.

NERC has invested about £2.2 million to support these CDTs alongside EPSRC. Academic and industry partners have committed to support additional training opportunities. The CDTs will provide training between 2019 and 2028. These CDTs will support students funded by NERC and EPSRC over five student intakes between 2019 and 2023.

EPSRC CDT in offshore wind energy and the environment (Aura CDT)

Academic partners: the universities of Hull (academic lead partner), Sheffield, Durham, Newcastle, and Plymouth.

Current industry partners: National Oceanography Centre, The Hartree Centre, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, HR Wallingford Ltd, Humber Chemical Focus Ltd, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Engie (UK), JDR Cable Systems (Holdings) Ltd, Orsted, Siemens AG (International), Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Associated British Ports, JBA Consulting and Advanced Industrial Sci & Tech.

The Aura CDT will offer training in:

  • off-shore wind
  • ethics and integrity
  • public engagement
  • data analysis and visualisation
  • environment interaction
  • marine data.

EPSRC Industrial CDT in offshore renewable energy (IDCORE)

Academic partners: the universities of Edinburgh (academic lead partner), Exeter and Strathclyde, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).

Current industry partners: EDF Energy, Sustainable Marine Energy, Wood Group, Floating Wind Turbines Ltd and JBA Consulting.

The IDCORE CDT will offer training in:

  • marine biology
  • maritime ecology
  • societal impact
  • economics
  • project management
  • entrepreneurship
  • energy policy
  • electrical, mechanical and maritime engineering.

Research areas and training

Both these CDTs will offer high quality training in the area of renewable energy.

In addition to undertaking scientifically challenging research, students will gain specialist skills in priority areas of the renewable energy sector. Students will be regularly brought together as a cohort to share ideas and skills, and develop broader transferrable skills that can be applied across the environmental sciences, engineering and in their future careers.

These CDTs aim to support areas of training needs within renewable energy, as well as developing industry capacity in the use of new and novel tools and technologies. They aim to create a highly skilled community of researchers and the next generation of sector leaders with the transferable skills and ability to integrate environmental science and engineering to address future research and technical needs. These CDTs will provide focused postgraduate training to develop individuals with specialist skills in key areas.

Further information

Further information about these CDTs can be found on the IDCORE website, Aura CDT website, or by contacting the NERC Talent and Skills Team at researchcareers@nerc.ukri.org.

All enquiries relating to student recruitment should be directed to the CDTs directly.

Last updated: 15 November 2021

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