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 are expected to have a 2:1 or higher in a relevant degree, or the overseas equivalency. Please read our eligibility requirements carefully before applying.

International students

The UKRI has updated their eligibility criteria to confirm that Overseas students will be eligible for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships from the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

All UKRI-funded PhD students will be eligible for the full award – both the stipend to support living costs, and fees at research organisations UK rate, however UKRI funding will not cover international fees set by universities. The London NERC DTP does not have any current opportunities to provide international tuition fees from other sources and the UKRI training grant terms and conditions prohibit students from being expected to bear the cost of any shortfall in funding. This means that international students cannot self-fund the difference between home and overseas fees when in receipt of a UKRI studentship.

We continue to accept applications from Overseas students in receipt of alternative studentship funding from other sources that can cover the difference in fees between Home and Overseas rates.


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 equally attractive 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.


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 but not after 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 check the ‘in progress’ button 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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