Frequently Asked Questions – Prospective Students


When can I apply to the London NERC DTP?

Applications open in November and close in January for studentships beginning the following September.


Am I eligible to apply to the London NERC DTP?

Applicants must meet our residency criteria and language requirements. Applicants are expected to have a 2:1 or higher in a relevant degree, or equivalent work experience. Please read our eligibility requirements carefully before applying.


Can I apply to the London NERC DTP if I am an EU citizen who has NOT resided in the UK for the last three years?

Yes, we have funding for a number of studentships open to EU citizens in each cohort. More information about eligibility requirements can be found here.


What is the nature of the funding?

The funding is provided by NERC, with contributions from our academic partner institutions. Each student receives a stipend, which is set in line with RCUK guidelines. For 2016/17 the stipend was £16,296 p.a.

Additionally, each student is allocated a research grant to cover any expenses associated with the project. These are set at a minimum of £6000, however the exact amount depends on the nature of the PhD project and is determined based on the project proposal budget, which students develop during their first 6 months of training. These are set at a maximum of £8000 and the exact amount is decided by the management board.


Are prospective students expected to contact potential supervisors prior to making an application, and then indicate an interest in that specific project in their application?

Prospective students are not expected to contact potential supervisors prior to making an application. While demonstrating an aptitude for research in a specific area may strengthen your application, the application is to the DTP in general.


What are the chances of getting a specific project once enrolled onto the DTP?

Our DTP students spend their first 3 months developing 2 project proposals with potential supervisors. The supervisor must sign off on the project before it is submitted at the end of December, and students are allocated one of two projects in January.


Can a supervisor take two students?

An academic can only be primary supervisor to one student in a cohort, and cannot be primary supervisor to students in two consecutive cohorts. So a supervisor may only sign one project proposal with one student.


Is it possible to work with Universities outside of the country as part of your project for sample collection, research equipment etc?

Yes, absolutely! We encourage our students to collaborate with relevant external Universities and organisations both within the UK and abroad. It is also possible to develop a CASE partnership with a particular non-academic organisation if this is relevant and beneficial to the PhD project. These partnerships are more formal and involve a financial contribution to the student’s research grant from the partner organisation.


I want to contact my referees prior to submitting my application. Is it OK if references are submitted before the application form?

Yes this is not a problem. References and applications can be submitted at any time before the deadline.


I’m currently studying for a Masters degree – should I put “other” for Degree Award?

If you have not yet received your degree award, please leave this question blank on the form. Please indicate the date you expect to be awarded your degree in the ‘Date Awarded / Expected’ question.


I already have a PhD – can I apply to study with the London NERC DTP?

If you meet the London NERC DTP eligibility criteria, then you may apply to study for a PhD at the London NERC DTP, even if you already have one.


If you have unanswered questions about applying to the London NERC DTP, please contact the DTP Admin team.

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