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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, environmental and life 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: Dynamic 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

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 approximately 28 Collaborative Partners from industry, policy and third-sector research organisations. Collaborative Partners provide opportunities for workplace secondments and student training opportunities.


NERC GW4+ DTP studentships are tenable for 3.5 years and consist of tuition fees at the ‘Home’ level, maintenance at the UKRI standard doctoral stipend rate (£15,285 per annum for 2020/21, updated each year), an allowance of £11,000 for research expenses and a budget of £3,250 for training.
Read the eligibility criteria that apply.


Applicants must have obtained, or be expected to obtain, a First Class or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, in a discipline appropriate to the project.

If English is not your first language, you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 overall in Academic IELTS (with no less than 6.0 in any individual skill). See our Postgraduate English language requirements for more information.

How to apply

Identify a project

Applications for October 2021 entry are now open. You can identify a project or projects that you are interested in by browsing the list of available projects.

Application guidance

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.


Applications close at 23:59 GMT on Friday 8 January 2021.


If you have any questions, please contact us.