NERC GW4 Doctoral Training Partnership PhD projects in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Key facts

Application deadline 7 January 2018
Start date October 2018
Duration 3.5
Funding body NERC
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships 37

The NERC Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Partnership (GW4+ DTP) provides 37 PhD studentships annually and seeks to train tomorrow’s leaders in earth and environmental sciences.

It engages a broad spectrum of academic and non-academic partners to create an innovative training programme that responds to current and future needs in earth and environmental sciences. The GW4+ DTP commenced in September 2014 and forms part of the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership initiative.

Here is a list of the available projects for 2018 for the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

DTP research theme: Solid earth

DTP research theme: Living world

DTP research theme: Changing planet

Project in all DTP research themes:

These research projects listed are in competition with other projects available across the NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership. Usually the projects which receives the best applicants will be awarded the funding.

Please note that mandatory activities will take place during September 2018.

Find out more

For an overview of the NERC GW4 programme, please see the DTP's website.

You can find general information on NERC funding opportunities at the University on our funding pages. You can find information on research within the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences on our research pages.

Data protection

If you're applying for a place on a collaborative programme of doctoral training provided by Cardiff University and other universities, research organisations or partners, please be aware that your personal data will be used and disclosed for these purposes.

Your personal data will always be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We will remain a data controller for the personal data we hold, and other universities, research organisations or partners may also become data controllers for the relevant personal data they receive as a result of their participation in the collaborative programme of doctoral training.

Accessing your personal data

If you'd like to have access to any of your personal data as held by the University, please email There may be a fee of £10 associated with such requests.


If you have any queries or concerns about the use of your personal data during the application process or your time as a student, please contact Postgraduate Research (PRG) Quality and Operations (Registry).



Mrs Christine Williams

Administrative Officer

+44 (0)29 2087 5772

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum
Additional funding offered Additional funding to the value £11,000 is available over the course of the programme for conference attendance, fieldwork allowance, travel allowance and other project costs. A further £4,000 is available in the form of as a training credits over the course of the programme for specialist training courses and/or opportunities.

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

You should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a first or upper second class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. If you have a lower second class degree, you will be considered if you also have a master’s degree. If you have a minimum upper second class degree and significant relevant non-academic experience, you are encouraged to apply.

English language

If English is not your first language, you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS (and no less than 5.5 in any section) by the start of the programme.

Studentships are available to students meeting UK residency requirements as set as described by UKCISA.



Mrs Christine Williams

Administrative Officer

+44 (0)29 2087 5772

In the first instance, you should submit an application for the Doctor of Philosophy in Earth and Ocean Sciences, with a start date of October 2018.

Please also email:

  • a copy of your  CV
  • a personal statement/covering letter
  • two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)
  • current academic transcripts.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship/grant' and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from NERC GW4 Doctoral Training Partnership.

If you'd like to apply for more than one project, please email the Postrgraduate Office.

The deadline for applications is midnight GMT on Sunday 7 January 2018.

An internal selection will be conducted, and shortlisted candidates will then go on to an institutional interview which will take place on the week commencing 5 or 12 February 2018.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.



Mrs Christine Williams

Administrative Officer

+44 (0)29 2087 5772

Funding opportunity provided by:

Meet us at our Information Fair on 22 February 2018.

Eligible research programmes