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Natural Environment Research Council DTP

The London Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) DTP partners are University College LondonBirkbeck University of LondonKing’s College LondonQueen Mary University of LondonRoyal Holloway University of LondonBrunel University London, the Institute of Zoology, the Natural History Museum. We also have ongoing collaborations with a number of non-academic Associate Partners. The aim of the partnership is to attain new standards of excellence in environmental science research training, and deliver a transformative inter-disciplinary experience for PhD students in the heart of London.

Our PhD programme is focussed on seven key research themes: biodiversity, ecology and conservation, earth, amosphere and ocean processes, environmental hazards and pollution, environmental physics and mathematical modelling, evolution and adaptation, past life and environments and solid earth dynamics.

Students are trained at world-leading research centres, which cover a the breadth of environmental science research, from those driven by contemporary environmental challenges to those exploring complex questions about the evolution of planet Earth.  

Applications are open from October to January for the following October intake.  

Fully-funded studentships

Our funded studentships become available at different times of the year. Please keep checking our page regularly to see the latest funded opportunities. We also advertise all our funded studentships as soon as they become available on the @BrunelResearch twitter account.

View all studentships

What is the structure of London NERC DTP?

The London NERC DTP is a multidisciplinary 4 year training programme to ensure that NERC funded doctoral students develop the core science skills needed to make optimal progress. All students will undertake an intensive programme of interdisciplinary core research and professional development training in the autumn and spring terms.

At the end of term 1, all students will submit a choice of two equally attractive project titles of which they will be allocated one. At the end of term 2, students will present their PhD project plans to the rest of their cohort before joining their primary research institution to begin their project. 

Who can apply for a Doctoral Training Partnership?

  • Studentships supported by the United Kingdom Research and Innovation are open to Home, EU and International students.
  • Students must reside in the UK during their studies to receive United Kingdom Research and Innovation funding
  • The studentships are highly competitive with two stages of selection: first selection at Brunel and then the second stage at the Doctoral Training Partnership level
  • Applicants are normally expected to hold a Masters degree and a minimum IELTS 7 for international students
  • Applications to the London NERC DTP programme are not for a specific project, but for a research theme. The projects listed on the site are to provide you with details on what is potentially on offer if you were to be accepted to the DTP. It is expected that students will meet with potential supervisors to discuss and develop their project ideas during the first six months of their PhD training. 

What will you receive if you’re successful?


Full fees at the current home rate for the length of the studentship, irrespective of your fee status. Brunel University London has waived the difference between Home and International fee level so that International students will not be charged the difference.


 A stipend including London Weighting. Please see here for the current stipend amount. 

How to apply?

  1. Contact designated Brunel academics to match your research project and our expertise
  2. Prepare the paperwork:
    • complete the word version of the application form and Equal opportunities form.;
    • two written references, they should have a good knowledge of your academic record and your plans for the research project
    • CV;
    • your degree certificates in the relevant areas and transcript(s); Applicants should normally have a masters degree. 
    • A4 page, single-spaced personal statement setting out why you are interested in undertaking this project;
    • evidence of your English language capability to IELTS 7.0 or equivalent, 
  3. Submit application to Brunel by the internal deadline - a panel will review your application and decide whether it can go forward to be submitted to the DTP
  4. If you are shortlisted we will contact you for a qualifying interview
  5. Get feedback from the panel and refine your applications prior to the external DTP deadline
  6. Apply to Brunel as a Doctoral candidate if your scholarship application is sent to the DTP


Please see further information here.