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Advanced Training Short Courses (ATSC)

Advanced Training Short Courses support postgraduate training aimed at providing individuals with particular, specialist skills and training within the NERC science remit.

Next funding call

Call status: Closed

2017-18 Advanced Training Short Courses call announced: September 2016 (TBC)


Advanced Training: Short Courses are made to support training initiatives seeking to address identified short term skills and training gaps within the environmental sciences. These gaps are identified following consultation with the academic community, industry and NERC partners.

All award proposals must address one or more of the identified priority training areas specific to that funding call. Information concerning the skills and training gaps that the training must address will be released within the announcement of opportunity specific to that call.

There are no mandated training delivery formats for these awards and previous initiatives have been delivered in a diverse range of formats including short courses, summer schools, workshops and webinars. These initiatives must prioritise NERC-funded PhD students or develop the skills of environmental science early career researchers, both in academia and other sectors.

Funding available

ATSCs and all training initiatives must fall within the NERC science remit as well as addressing at least one of the priority skills and training areas identified within the call Announcement of Opportunity document. The maximum total funding limit and maximum cost per student are defined in the relevant AO but it is expected that most training initiatives will require between £1,000-£3,000 per student and the maximum cost of the training initiative will be no more than £100k.


This opportunity is open to organisations eligible for NERC research grant funding; ie applicants based in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), NERC research centres, and Independent Research Organisations (IROs). Applicants may also include formal Project Partners, who will not receive funding directly from the award, but will have an integral role in the proposed training initiative.

2016-17 ATSC Award

2016-17 Advanced Training Short Courses: competition closed 12 November 2015

Recently Funded ATSC Awards

The ATSC awards can be found in the course lists below. For information on any of these courses, please contact the successful organisations. NERC will advertise each course nearer the course start date via the NERC Studentships and Training Awards Listserv - external link

2016-17 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 103KB)

2015-16 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 75KB)

2014-15 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 103KB)

2013-14 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 75KB)


For queries regarding the application process and administration, please contact:

Emma Johnston
01793 411650

Case study - Beth Brockett

Beth Brockett

Beth Brockett

Beth Brockett attended a NERC-funded short course during her 3rd year as an interdisciplinary NERC PhD postgraduate at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on mapping carbon and nitrogen storage on farms in Cumbria using field measurements alongside ethnographic data to understand the farm environment.

Beth attended two courses funded by NERC as part of the 2013-14 Advanced Training Short Courses competition and has since found the skills and training she received to be highly useful whilst continuing her PhD research. In addition to providing in-demand postgraduate skills training, Beth thought the courses were a great way to meet other researchers from both her subject areas as well those from different backgrounds.

Beth commented:

I highly recommend attending one of the NERC-funded short courses if at all possible. The course I attended in Statistics using R, in particular, was incredibly good. The course format, literature and resources along with lots of demonstrator support made it a great course - particularly the post course support available. I also found it really useful for networking and meeting other researchers.