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£100 million pledge to Postgraduate training by NERC

  • · Over the next 5 years NERC (The Natural Environment Research Council) will invest £100m to support PhD students, including those at the University of Warwick
  • · A generation of world-class scientists trained and engaged in both industrial and academic environmental solutions will be produced by the University

The PhD training centres, known as DTPs, underpin the UK's world-leading profile within the environmental science community and bring together universities, research organisations and partners from a wide range of backgrounds, including charities, non-governmental organisations, government bodies and industry leaders.

DTPs will train the scientists of tomorrow by providing the scientific, professional and technical skills that increase the UK's scientific capability to solve economic problems. Together, DTPs will train the highly skilled workforce that the UK needs for its future as a leader in cutting edge research, innovation and sustainable economic growth.

The 2018 DTP2 call was an open and competitive process that identified 17 DTPs that will host PhD studentships funded by NERC. Each DTP was assessed on the basis of excellence through a transparent, peer-reviewed application process.

The PhD studentships will be available over the course of five annual admissions, starting in the 2019-2020 academic year. Each DTP will recruit a number of students every year, which will create a cohort of students who will network, train and tackle challenges together.

The University of Warwick is part of the CENTA2 (Central England NERC Training Alliance 2) DTP, a consortium led by the University of Birmingham, alongside members from other partner institutions including University of Leicester, Loughborough University, The Open University and Cranfield University as well as the British Geological Survey, National Centre of Earth Observation, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

Among the 17 bids funded the Central England NERC Training Alliance 2 (CENTA2) shared the top level of funding with one other bid.

Professor Robin Allaby, from the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, said:

“This investment in NERC science in the Midlands is an exciting boost for environmentally driven research and industry. The close collaboration between leading universities, industry, public agencies and NCOs will produce a generation of world-class scientists trained and engaged in both industrial and academic environmental solutions.”

Professor Tim Wheeler, Director of Research & Innovation at NERC, said:

“This investment will provide a bedrock for the environmental science community, fostering the nest generation of highly skilled professionals that bring together specialist knowledge from academia, industry and beyond.”

Sam Gyimah, Minister for Science & Innovation, said:

“The UK is alive with ambitious young minds that have the potential to shape the science and research landscape, stretching existing boundaries of knowledge and conquering the challenges of tomorrow.

“Making the most of the UK’s world leading reputation in science and innovation is at the core of our modern industrial strategy, and it is today’s young people that will fulfil this ambition to create a Britain fit for the future.”


11 OCTOBER 2018


ABOUT NERC: NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is part of UK Research & Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.



Warwick Life Sciences is an international centre of excellence with more than 80% of our research rated as 'world leading or internationally excellent' in the REF 2014 assessment. We are ranked 4th in the UK for Bioscience (Guardian University League Tables 2019).
Our focus is in excellent teaching and research with impact.
Our research falls into four themes: Biomedical Science, Biotechnology, Environmental Bioscience, and Plant and Crop Science. This research impacts across a broad range of areas, particularly in crop improvement and protection, biosensing and early medical diagnoses, ageing, animal health, earth biosystems, pollution and environmental genomics.
Our facilities support multidisciplinary research programmes across Warwick and with other universities, research institutes and industry both nationally and internationally.


Alice Scott, Media Relations Manager- Science, University of Warwick

Tel: 02476 574 255 or 07920 531 221


For further information please contact:

Alice Scott, Media Relations Manager - Science, University of Warwick

Tel: 02476574255 or 07920531221

E-mail: alice dot j dot scott at warwick dot ac dot uk