Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs)
Clarification on the DTP competition
Additional FAQs (April 2013)
Following a number of enquiries, we have updated the DTP frequently asked questions document. The new FAQs relate to the DTP Partner forms and DTP financial profiling.
Alternative to the DTP Partner Support Form (March 2013)
Following feedback from the community, in particular from potential DTP CASE partners, NERC have introduced an auxiliary DTP Partner Support Form.
This auxiliary form, available on the Announcement of Opportunity page, is available for organisations where it is impractical to sign up to the original Support Form because of the wording within the form. For example, it is more appropriate to ask the local head of research who will be working with the DTP to sign the agreement, as opposed to the Chief Executive of a multinational (which the current wording would require).
It is expected that the majority of partners would still use the original DTP Partner Support Form.
All partners are required to fill in a Support Form and be named on the DTP Partner Details Form. Alternative letters of support will not be accepted.
Je-S announcement (Feb 2013)
The Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) scheme is now open in Je-S. To create your proposal you should select the following:
- Document Type - Studentship Proposal
- Scheme - Doctoral Training Partnership
- Call - Doctoral Training Partnership
The closing date for applications is 16:00 on Wednesday 1 May 2013. Please ensure that you leave sufficient time for your application to pass through your organisation's Je-S submission route before the deadline.
Studentship numbers (Feb 2013)
We are receiving a high number of queries regarding the number of studentships that a proposal may request. As set out in the Announcement of Opportunity, we expect to award between 12-24 notional students per annum per DTP. The minimum award is 12, but where the proposal justifies it, eg on the basis of the research concentration resulting from partnerships, applications for more than 24 students per annum are permitted, and will be considered on their merits.
The key point in the above statement is the association with research excellence. We appreciate that the majority of research organisations have the capacity to host significantly higher numbers of studentships than our expected normal award of 12-24 students per DTP per annum. It is important to NERC that there is a critical mass of researchers/teams/projects to allow all NERC students to be supported effectively and sufficiently exposed to excellent research and researchers.
Justification of the numbers of students requested, particularly if requesting more than 24 studentships, should be fully explained in the case for support.
Remit (Feb 2013)
NERC would like to encourage all potential applicants who have not already spoken to the office about the way in which they are intending to organise/shape their proposed DTP, to contact Kirsty Grainger.
Whilst the DTP competition is a responsive scheme (ie NERC is not specifying the areas that DTPs should focus on), each DTP must be able to offer training across a range of subject areas within NERC remit, and may include training at the interface between environmental sciences and other disciplines, where many major research challenges exist. There is no expectation that a single DTP will cover the whole of the NERC remit.
We are particularly keen to avoid proposals having to be rejected for being too narrowly themed and unable to offer training across a range of subject areas within NERC's remit.
Partner definitions (Jan 2013)
We understand there is a certain amount of confusion around the term 'host'. To reduce the confusion, and to allow flexibility over the award, we will now classify DTP partners as one of two types:
- Administrative Lead Partner (which must be an organisation eligible for NERC funding),
- A DTP Partner.
To clarify the role of each DTP partner there will be an additional attachment required for each proposal 'DTP Partner Details', now available in the revised Announcement of Opportunity. Within this attachment Partners should provide a brief description of the likely contribution(s) they will make within the DTP. Partners may contribute to a DTP in a variety of ways including (not an exhaustive list): providing a principal base for students, acting as CASE partners, providing specialist training or facilities, and student supervision.
CASE partners (Jan 2013)
To increase flexibility, we have changed the rules for CASE partners. Any and all partners within a DTP may now act as CASE partners within that DTP provided they meet CASE eligibility requirements, namely:
"Any non-academic organisation within the public, private or third sector that has research interests in NERC's remit is eligible to act as a CASE partner within a DTP. This includes private industry, the research organisations of the nationalised industries, public bodies such as regional water companies, county planning offices and public sector research establishments (PSREs), and similar overseas bodies."
NERC does expect to see diversity of CASE partners (as appropriate to individual student needs) and this will be closely monitored through the annual reporting system.
NERC DTP funding cannot be used to meet the CASE partner financial contribution.
DTP partner support form (Jan 2013)
In order to ensure that DTP partners are committed to the DTP, and fully aware of that commitment, we have changed the requirements for supporting information. Each DTP partner (including the Administrative Lead Partner) will need to complete a 'DTP Partner: Support Form' now available in the revised Announcement of Opportunity. The form should be signed by the Vice Chancellor or equivalent (eg Director/CE) for each organisation named as a Partner on a DTP proposal.