Welcome to Cohort 5

By Claire Asher

A warm welcome to the fifth cohort of the London NERC DTP, who started their PhD’s today! I’m your Impact and Innovation Officer – which means over the next few months I’ll be helping you to develop collaborations with industry, NGOs and other non-academic partners; I’ll be helping teach you academic and popular writing, and running the Natural Environment Blog (which you’ll all be contributing to!); as well as running the website and working on the occasional public engagement project.

Cohort 3 enjoying Innovation Week in 2017.
Image by Claire Asher

Student Resources

This website should be your first point of call for all DTP information. Here you can find out about the training programme for your first two terms, and the student calendar will give you a day-to-day breakdown of lectures, field courses etc during the DTP core training.

I’m working on improving the website and you can expect a lot of new features and updates over the next year. I’m always keen to hear suggestions for how to improve the website, so if there’s something missing that you’d like to see, let me know, or pass your ideas onto your student reps.

As you think about potential PhD projects, you can browse our list of Exemplar Projects for inspiration. You’ll have the chance to speak to potential supervisors in person at the Meet the Supervisors days at each institution, and every Thursday.

Cohort 2 at the joint summer conference in 2016.
Image by Grantham Institute.

As a DTP student you’ll now start receiving our weekly “Events and Opportunities” newsletter, which details everything from conferences to public engagement opportunities, internships and competitions. You can also check the listings on the site at any time by logging in and visiting https://london-nerc-dtp.org/student-resources/events-and-opportunities/.

CASE Partnerships and Collaborations

The most important part of my job is to help DTP students develop CASE partnerships with external organisations. If you’re interested in a CASE partnership, please get in touch by email, pop into the DTP office on a Monday or Friday, or speak to me at one of the induction week events or at Skills Frida. You can add a CASE partner to your project at any time, so there’s plenty of time to develop the best partnership for your project. During reading week this term, I’ll be hosting a one-day event called the “Meet the Associate Partners Day”, which will include presentations from some of our associate partner organisations and the opportunity to network with potential industry collaborators and identify areas of potential collaboration as you develop your PhD projects.

Cohort 1 at the Grand Canyon on the California Field Course in 2015.
Image by Tom Mitchell.

Strength in Numbers

Your fellow students are your greatest resource – not only within your own cohort but across the years. Some of you will have already met the other four cohorts at this year’s joint DTP student conference, but there’ll be many more opportunities, the first of which is the meet and greet lunch this week.

If you’re looking for a fellow student, check the Student Directory – each DTP student has a profile there that tells you a bit about their research and how to get in touch.You’ll all have profiles soon too, so don’t forget to update them! You can find your profile by visiting https://london-nerc-dtp.org/profile/SurnameFirstInitial. These profiles will be set up after induction week, once you’ve all registered and had your photos taken. Please keep an eye out for an email from me with details of how to log-in and update your details.

You also have three Student Representatives who meet with the management board on a regular basis and can relay your concerns, suggestions and feedback (both positive and negative, please!).

Social Media
You can keep up to date with the DTP on Facebook and Twitter, and there is also a (student-run) Facebook Group and a London NERC DTP Students and Alumni LinkedIn Group you can join to stay in touch with one another. You can also join the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership Postgraduate Student Network LinkedIn Group to network with other PhD students from around the country.

Popular Writing

And, by the way, if you’d like to contribute to the blog please get in touch with me directly at c.asher@ucl.ac.uk. As I mentioned, you’ll all be writing something for the blog as part of your Skills Friday’s training this term, but you can also contribute a post any time you like. Just email me with your ideas!


Some of you may already blog elsewhere – if so I’d love to include your posts in our “Student Blogs Around the Web” feed – just send me the URL of your blog, let me know whether you’re the sole contributor or part of a team, and I’ll add it to the feed that appears on the right-hand side of the main blog page.

If you have questions, try the student FAQs page first – if your question isn’t there please email us at londonnercdtp.admin@ucl.ac.uk. There is also a wealth of information in the student resources section, and I’m adding to this part of the site all the time.

A warm welcome

For now, I hope you all enjoy your induction week at UCL, and I look forward to getting to know you all over the next few weeks.

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