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Cambridge NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships

Graduate Research Opportunities

NERC-funded PhD Studentships

The University of Cambridge will offer at least 12 3.5 year NERC-funded PhD studentships through the Cambridge Climate, Life and Earth (C-CLEAR) DTP to start 1 October 2024. More funding and eligibility information can be found on our website here.

The C-CLEAR NERC DTP and University of Cambridge actively support equality, diversity and inclusion and we encourage applications from eligible applicants from all sections of society.

How to apply:

1) Take a look at the projects on offer and make contact with the lead supervisor for those that particularly interest you, as our prospective supervisors can often provide useful advice and information about the project. We are also happy to devise a project with you if you have research interests that we share; again you should get in touch with your prospective supervisor(s) before applying. Projects for 2024 entry are now available.

There are several ways to search:1) by broad theme (Climate Change and Environmental Processes, Biology and Conservation or Solid Earth and Geological Hazards); 2) by staff member/department (Staff Directory); or 3) by searching for keyword (e.g. 'Geography' or 'Greenland').

Please note that academic staff can act as lead supervisor for one C-CLEAR studentship per application round. To avoid potential clashes at appointment we recommend that you provide a prioritised list of projects that you would consider. Should you list projects hosted within more than one Department, you will be considered for other funding (non-NERC DTP) in the host department you have applied to only.

2) Before starting the application, please ensure you are eligible to apply for admission

Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge graduate programme is intense. We require our graduate entrants to have:

  1. at least a 2.1 in an Honours degree from a UK University or equivalent standard from an Overseas University (e.g. CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject (but see funding information).
  2. two outstanding references, please see the Graduate Admissions pages below for more details (We advise that you request these well in advance of the application deadline)
  3. fluency in the English language - full information on the University's requirements can viewed here.

For more details of the University's academic requirements see the University's Graduate Admissions pages.

3) You will need to apply through the University's Applicant Portal. You can find out which course to apply for and further instructions by clicking on the ‘Applying’ link at the bottom of each project page of the C-CLEAR website.

As you complete your application, please note the following:

Please select a Michaelmas Term 2024 start (01-Oct-2024).

Funding section: When asked ‘Do you wish to apply for funding?’ please tick the box ‘Yes-I wish to apply for funding’.

(Note: if you are applying to projects based at the Departments of Geography (including the Scott Polar Research Institute) or Chemistry, you may not see the funding section after 1 December; in this case you can still apply to the NERC DTP up to our 4 January 2024 noon deadline, but must indicate the NERC DTP project number(s) and supervisor(s) in the respective research section of your application).

Cambridge Trust & Gates Cambridge Pages: We encourage you to complete the Cambridge Trust and Gates Cambridge sections so that you are eligible for as many sources of PhD funding as possible beyond the DTP (be aware that earlier deadlines may apply, please see the deadline section below)

UKRI: please answer 'yes' that you wish to apply to the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership section and list the C-CLEAR DTP projects number(s) and/or supervisor(s) here.

If listing multiple studentships please indicate these in priority order, and apply to the course for your top priority project.

Attachments: Application attachments may vary by course (for example some will request a CV and/or research proposal); please provide all information requested by the course(s) for which you would like to be considered.



A) Announcement: Projects for 2024 entry are now live.

B) Deadlines:

The final deadline / closing date for C-CLEAR DTP applications is 12:00 pm (noon) GMT, Thursday 4 January 2024. All supporting documentation including references must be submitted by this date.

By completing your application by the above date, the course you have applied to should also consider you for other PhD funding schemes (Cambridge Trust, etc). Three exceptions of schemes with earlier deadlines that we are aware of are:

C) Interviews:

It is anticipated that interviews will be held online the week of 19 February 2024.

D) Offers

Initial offers will be communicated starting in late February with decisions to be made by the Universal Acceptance Date agreed by NERC on noon Wednesday 13 March 2024.

If you have any questions, we're happy to help. Contact the C-CLEAR DTP Administrator at or the departmental Graduate Administrator.