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Cambridge NERC Doctoral Landscape Awards (Training Partnerships)

Graduate Research Opportunities

Collaborative Partners

The Cambridge NERC DTPs collaborate with a range of stakeholders in industry, government, the third sector and beyond who serve as CASE partners, placement hosts and training partners. In particular it has built relationships with 4 membership networks, representing the industrial, policy and conservation sectors:

  • Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), with a network of over 200 policy fellows –individuals in influential policy positions who have spent time in Cambridge interacting with academics. 
  •  Cambridge Network, a cross-sector organisation with 1200 members ranging from small startups and charities to major employers that brings people together, from business and academia, to share ideas, encouraging collaboration.
  •  Cambridge Cleantech, a specialised umbrella organisation with 400 members supporting the growth of environmental goods and services in the Greater Cambridge area.
  •  Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading biodiversity conservation organisations, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and Fauna and Flora International.

These partners and others will be involved in co-designing and supervising many PhD projects, ensuring a significant number of projects with an applied character. C-CLEAR hosts an annual networking event to bring together academics and stakeholders in industry, government, the third sector and beyond prior to the window for project submission opening in the summer.

If you are a prospective CASE partner and would like to find out more about opportunities to develop collaborative research through the NERC DTP, please contact

The benefits of CASE and collaboration: two views

I would encourage any prospective PhD student to consider a CASE studentship. For me, it has been hugely beneficial, both to the quality of my research and to my professional development. With Forestry England as my CASE partner, I’ve worked with a wide range of industry experts and been given access to fantastic datasets and resources. Importantly, I’ve been exposed to different approaches, ideas and challenges outside of academia. As a result, I’ve been able to tailor my research to real-world problems and questions, ensuring that the results and outputs I produce have direct practical application, which I’ve found to be particularly rewarding. Additionally, as part of the Forestry England team, I’ve been integrated within a non-academic environment, attending team meetings, giving talks, and developing valuable relationships and connections. Being part of academic and applied environments concurrently has been a great privilege – both have given me valuable and complementary experiences. The CASE studentship has been immensely rewarding on many different levels, and I highly recommend the opportunity.


Eleanor Tew, NERC i-CASE student

Jonathan Spencer MBE, FRSA, FRSB
Forest Planning & Environment Manager
Forest Enterprise
Forestry Commission England

The benefits to Forestry England of working closely with Cambridge University in securing, developing and delivering the NERC CASE studentship were considerable. It has engaged Forestry England with one of the leading research establishment engaged in environmental issues, and to direct involvement in addressing one of the key initiatives of the day; the development of our understanding of the role of forests as Natural Capital assets and the ways in which their management delivers ecosystem services to different degrees under different management regimes.

Working with the CASE studentship has exposed FE staff to new ideas, new technologies and challenging concepts; it has allowed both Forestry England and the University to gain a better understanding of their respective roles. It has also allowed for both institutions to raise their profiles through various avenues within their institutions and with the wider public.  It has also raised the profile of forestry and land management as worthwhile and fascinating careers amongst students, with opportunities to address environmental challenges in real world situations, in real forests, addressing real challenges.