Funding for NERC studentships


Types of NERC PhD and training for NERC PhD students

NERC awards PhD funding to around 350 students a year to undertake research from across the whole of the NERC science remit.

This funding is awarded under two distinct schemes:

  • responsive
  • directed

Responsive PhD training

We award responsive funding with no restrictions on the subject area you research as long as it is within the NERC science remit.

Over three quarters of all NERC studentships are supported via responsive funding and the majority of these studentships are held by NERC doctoral training partnerships (DTPs).

DTPs are training partnerships consisting of research organisations and partner organisations from a wide range of backgrounds offering training from across a range of subject areas within the NERC science remit.

These studentships are also funded attached to large grants as large grant associated studentships.

Directed PhD training

We provide directed funding to address key technical and academic challenges identified by NERC and our partners. All directed research must be targeted at addressing these issues.

This funding is awarded under a number of different schemes including:

Universal studentship acceptance date for NERC DTP and CDT studentships

All NERC DTPs and CDTs have an annual acceptance date for PhD studentship offers.

The annual date for NERC PhD studentship offers is the third Wednesday of March each year (at midday)

Any offer made by a NERC DTP or CDT should include details of the date for that year.

We have this annual date to make sure that PhD applicants who have applied for multiple studentship opportunities, and may receive multiple offers, do not have to make a decision on the studentship they wish to accept before knowing the outcome of all of their applications.

Applicants who receive a PhD studentship offer from a NERC DTP or CDT for the forthcoming academic year do not have to accept an offer before this date unless they wish to do so.

Last updated: 6 February 2024

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