NERC Centre for Doctoral Training – Open Funding Opportunity

Closing Date: 13/06/2023

Funding to deliver new NERC centres for doctoral training (CDTs) in priority areas of training need that are relevant to the NERC remit.

Through this Centre for Doctoral Training – Open Funding Opportunity, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is offering funding to deliver three new NERC centres for doctoral training (CDTs) to address priority or emerging training needs within the environmental sciences.

The CDTs will be challenge-led and the aim is to produce the next generation of internationally recognised doctoral researchers. Each CDT will support 24 notional PhD studentships over the course of three annual intakes, thereby creating a community aimed at addressing a specific research challenge and related skills gap. Training provided by the CDT should be:

  • Primarily within the NERC remit. Applications must be centred within NERC’s remit but interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary CDTs extending more widely across the breadth of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are welcome.
  • Relevant to the NERC delivery plan or UKRI priorities.

Training delivered by the CDTs may build on existing training infrastructure where applicable. Engagement with other relevant research council CDTs and Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and their end-user networks is encouraged.

Applications must outline a coherent training programme through which students will both undertake individual research projects and receive cohort-level training, in cross-cutting skills relevant to the CDT’s challenge area.

In addition to the NERC remit and delivery plan requirements, there are a number of transferable professional, technical and personal development training requirements that must be delivered by the CDTs funded through this opportunity:

  • Access for all CDT students to placements, internships or other relevant work experience opportunities (including UKRI policy internships). This does not mean that all students must complete a placement, but that these opportunities must be available to all. Training programmes should be designed with the flexibility to enable students to undertake such work experience opportunities if they wish to do so.
  • Explicit careers training and continuous professional development relevant to both academic and non-academic career trajectories. Careers training must take place suitably early in students’ training to enable it to inform their choice of training opportunities.
  • Strong end-user involvement with all levels of CDT training.
  • Dedicated professional skills, and innovation or translation training available to all CDT students.
  • Access for all students to appropriate data skills training.
  • Opportunities to network across DTP, CDT and research council cohorts and gain multidisciplinary perspectives.
  • Training need analysis or equivalent for all students at the outset of training, and the opportunity to discuss individual training requirements throughout their doctorate.
  • Discussion of training needs and available opportunities; these should take place in discussion with end-users as appropriate and be placed within the context of potential future careers.
  • Clear guidance and training on mental health awareness as part of the CDT induction process for staff and students outlining how to access support for mental health issues encountered during the PhD.

It is important to show how this will be implemented and managed by the CDT across hosting partner institutions.

Funding body Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Maximum value Discretionary
Reference ID S25052
Category Natural Environment
Fund or call Fund