Training strategy

The four aims of the NERC Training Strategy are:

  • to recognise that postgraduate training is a crucial first step in the development of a research career, and that it is important that early-career researchers have the opportunity both to pursue their own lines of enquiry and to learn how to do so
  • to link training opportunities, particularly at doctoral level, to high-priority, high-quality research
  • to ensure that we identify skills priorities and gaps within our research base, both now and in the foreseeable future, and reflect this in the training we support
  • to ensure that the needs of employers for people with particular skills are taken into account in the training we support.


We have identified seven objectives to deliver the aims above, including:

  1. to fund doctoral training in research that is curiosity driven
  2. to deliver training opportunities that can be targeted on specific science priorities and skills gaps
  3. to help address the needs of policymakers, advisory bodies and regulators by providing opportunities for environmental researchers to acquire the skills or knowledge to work in this sector
  4. to help address the needs of employers, both by ensuring that individuals have the wider skills required by them and by encouraging collaborative projects with commercial and other organisations
  5. to promote training opportunities that enable individuals to acquire the skills to work effectively on the interdisciplinary research needed to deliver the NERC strategy
  6. to promote training opportunities that enable people to acquire strong quantitative skills, through the following two aspects:
    • to further encourage individuals from maths/physics/chemistry/engineering backgrounds to undertake environmental research
    • to improve the numerical skills of those already doing environmental research.
  7. to promote training opportunities that enable people to acquire both good field or laboratory skills, and good computing or statistical skills.

Read the full training strategy.

Last updated: 11 September 2023

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