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Prospective NERC students

student admiring the midnight sun

Student admiring the midnight sun in Greenland. Copyright Jon Hawkings.

Please note

NERC awards studentship funding directly to universities and other research organisations, rather than to individual students. If you are interested in applying for a NERC-funded PhD, please contact the institution where you wish to study directly, as they will manage the entire application process.

NERC no longer award funding for Master's Degrees.

Types of NERC PhD and training for NERC PhD studentships

NERC award PhD funding to around 350 students per year in institutions throughout the UK to undertake research from across the whole breadth of the NERC science remit. This funding is awarded under two distinct schemes: responsive and focused. Responsive funding is awarded with no restrictions on the subject area that may be researched beyond needing to be within the NERC science remit. Focused funding, however, is provided to address key technical and academic challenges identified by NERC and our partners. All focused research must therefore be targeted at addressing the issues identified within the remit of the relevant funding opportunity.

Over three quarters of all NERC studentships are supported via responsive funding and the vast 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. Responsive mode studentships are also funded attached to large grants as associated studentships.

In addition to responsive training, NERC provide funding for focused training to support research and skills training to address key technical and academic challenges. This funding is awarded under a number of different schemes including:

View the list of institutions that have been awarded NERC PhD funding for the academic year 2014-15.

If you are interested in applying for any NERC studentship, please contact the institution hosting the studentship for further information.

Undergraduate research experience placements (REPs)

Research experience placements (REPs) aim to address the shortage of individuals with quantitative skills coming into environmental science by offering funding for summer placements to encourage undergraduates studying quantitative subjects to consider a career in environmental science.

REPs are currently supported only in institutions involved in NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training. Please contact these institutions for information on individual REPs and how to apply.

REP awards to support placements in Summer 2016 will be made in early 2016 and advertised by hosting organisations shortly after.

Further information regarding the scheme can be found on the undergraduate research experience placements page