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University of Bath

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership

Find out details about PhD funding opportunities offered by the NERC GW4+ DTP

About the Partnership

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) trains tomorrow’s leaders in earth and environmental science.

The Partnership builds on the GW4 alliance of four universities in the South West and Wales: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. Each of these universities has significant research capability in the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) sciences.

This NERC Doctoral Training Partnership offers studentships across three themes: Solid Earth, Living World and Changing Planet. At the University of Bath, NERC research is undertaken across the faculties of Science and Engineering & Design in the following subject areas:

  • Atmosphere, Oceans and Ice
  • Climate change, Impact and Sustainability
  • Evolution and Biodiversity
  • Water


Studentships are for 3.5 years and are open to UK and EU applicants who have been resident in the UK since September 2017. A limited number of studentships may be available for EU applicants not meeting the residency requirement.

A full studentship covers UK/EU tuition fees, maintenance at the UKRI standard doctoral stipend rate (£15,009 per annum, 2019/20 rate), an allowance of £11,000 for research expenses and a budget of £4,000 for training.

You will be registered at Bath, but the training programme includes opportunities for collaborations between the institutions and research organisation partners. The research organisation partners are:

  • British Antarctic Survey
  • British Geological Survey
  • Centre of Ecology and Hydrology
  • Natural History Museum
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory

The NERC GW4+ DTP also brings together a consortium of over 30 Collaborative Partners from industry, policy and third-sector research organisations. Collaborative Partners provide opportunities for workplace secondments, CASE support for relevant projects and student training opportunities.

How to apply

Identify a project

Applications for September 2020 entry are now open. You can identify a project or projects that you are interested in by browsing the list of available projects.

You will notice that some projects are led by University of Bath while others are led by the Natural History Museum. A student undertaking a Natural History Museum-led project will be registered on a PhD programme at University of Bath.

Application guidance

For projects led by University of Bath

Select the online application form for the relevant department and PhD programme. Clearly identify your application as being for the NERC GW4+ DTP call in the finance section of the online application. More information on the application process may be found at the How To Apply page.

You can apply for more than one project, although supervisors may take in to account your interest and commitment to their particular project. If you apply for multiple projects, please indicate the titles and lead supervisors of all projects for which you wish to be considered in the 'Your research interests' section of the online application form and supply a separate personal statement for each one. Each application for an individual project will be considered separately by the project supervisors.

For projects led by the Natural History Museum

Send a full CV and covering letter, together with the names and addresses of two referees, to


Applications for September 2020 entry are now open and close at 16:00 GMT on Monday 6 January 2020.