NERC CASE Studentships

What CASE studentships offer

CASE studentships used to be called Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering.

CASE studentships provide doctoral students with research training experience as part of a research collaboration between academic and non-academic partner organisations.

These can include organisations from:

  • industry
  • business
  • the public sector
  • the ‘third’ or civil sector.

You spend between 3 and 18 months with your CASE partner in their workplace.

CASE studentships give students access to training, facilities and expertise not available in an academic setting.

CASE partners must give students thorough training in research methods, as well as providing a stimulating environment.

What CASE studentships involve

CASE partners benefit from motivated, highly capable PhD students doing innovative research for their organisation. This helps the CASE student and the CASE partner to build business and research collaborations.

The research requirements come from the CASE partner. Both the research organisation and the CASE partner nominate supervisors to oversee the student’s training.

CASE studentships should show the potential for societal or economic impact through their collaboration with the CASE partner.

How we provide CASE studentships

In general, institutions awarded funding for NERC studentships can use that money to fund a number of CASE studentships.

These organisations funding NERC studentships also offer CASE studentships:

Each of these funding schemes includes information about the number of
studentships that can be CASE studentships.

Full details of eligibility and how to apply are given on the funding finder when each funding opportunity opens.

These funding opportunities are added to the funding finder throughout the year.

How to become a CASE Partner

If you are interested in becoming a CASE partner, you can contact institutions that have already been awarded NERC studentship funding, including relevant Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).

The CASE partner can come from the public, private or third sector. However, organisations eligible to receive NERC research funding are not allowed to be a CASE partner. This includes research institutes and independent research organisations (IROs) as described in this definition.

As an exception to the above, public sector research establishments (PSREs) are eligible to be CASE partners for NERC studentships.

For training grants awarded in 2023 and earlier, CASE partners must supplement the studentship by:

  • paying at least £1,000 per year to the lead research organisation to supplement the Research & Training Support Grant (RTSG) for the duration of the studentship
  • paying any expenses (such as travel and subsistence) incurred by the student when visiting and working at the CASE partner establishment
  • paying for, or contributing towards, necessary materials while the student is based with the CASE partner

For funding opportunities from 2024 onwards, CASE partners are encouraged to make a financial contribution to the project including:

  • any costs incurred by the student when visiting and working within their establishment
  • the costs of necessary materials
  • facilities not possessed by the research organisation that are integral to the CASE studentship

For all training grants, the CASE partner must:

  • host the student for between three and eighteen months during their PhD
  • provide co-supervision

You can find out about specific eligibility criteria information in the individual funding opportunity on the funding finder.

For further information, contact

Last updated: 1 March 2024

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.