CENTA Studentship Information

All of our studentships can be based at any of our university or research centre partners.

CENTA offer studentships through two main pathways.  You can apply directly to a project, or, if eligible, you can apply directly for one of our CENTA Science Opportunity Scholarships (or, if eligible, both).  The two pathways have different eligibility criteria and application deadlines.

You can also design your own PhD project in collaboration with a CENTA academic.

Our project-based studentships

Our PhD projects are designed by experienced teams of supervisors at our different universities and research centre partners. They are designed to be completed within 3.5 years within the £8000 ‘Research and Training Support Grant’ (RTSG) budget that all successful students will be allocated.

You can apply directly to any of our advertised projects before the yearly application deadline.  Please see http://centa.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply/ for more information about eligibility and how to apply.

Current projects

Find the right project for you with the best institutions and supervisors available.

How to apply

There are two main pathways to a CENTA studentship with slightly different application processes.

CENTA Science Opportunity Scholarships (CSOS)

We recognise that our PhD cohorts are not as diverse as the talented pool of BSc and MSc students that are eligible for our studentships.  In order to address a historical imbalance, it is our ambition to offer up to 3 fully-funded studentships to BAME Home-award-eligible applicants who meet the academic requirements. Please see here for more information about eligibility and how to apply.

To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

• Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or

• Have settled status, or

• Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or

• Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

(For further information please see Annex B in the following document:  https://www.ukri.org/files/funding/ukri-training-grant-terms-and-conditions-guidance-pdf)

These scholarships are not directly linked to any specific project. Once awarded, CENTA will help to put you in contact with academics who conduct research in your area of interest who will help you to design a suitable project.  If you are interested in any of the projects that have been advertised, you may also apply directly to that project. Such an application would be independent from your application for a CENTA CSOS.

Information about how to apply for a CSOS.

Designing your own PhD project

We welcome and encourage you to design your own PhD projects with a CENTA supervisor (at a CENTA university or research centre). In order to do this, you must contact them well in advance of the application deadline to develop the project together (please contact the CENTA Manager at [email protected] if you require help in finding a potential supervisor). The supervisor will be able to provide you with the project development form.

Your developed project form must be submitted to [email protected] by 17th December 2021 (this must be done with the approval of the supervisor of the potential project).

These projects must pass the same criteria for student excellence, fit with NERC remit and feasibility as regular CENTA projects.

You will need to apply to the university hosting the project, including a CENTA application form, the university application form and your CV in the same way as you would if you were applying for an advertised project.

Financial support

CENTA studentships are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and our partner universities for 3.5 years.  Different support is available for “home-fees-eligible” and “international” students.

(For further information please see Annex B in the following document:  https://www.ukri.org/files/funding/ukri-training-grant-terms-and-conditions-guidance-pdf/ )

Successful home-fees-eligible candidates will receive:

  • An annual stipend, set at £15,609 for 2021/22, paid directly to the student in monthly increments
  • Full university fees paid directly to the university
  • A research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000, held at their host institution
  • CASE studentships attract an additional £3500 contribution to the RTSG, held at their host institution

Successful international candidates will receive:

  • An annual stipend, set at £15,609 for 2020/21, paid directly to the student in monthly increments
  • A contribution to the university fees at the level of support for Home-fee-eligible students.  Please note that there will likely be a shortfall in fees that will need to be covered from another source. Some universities may waive these fees; please contact the supervision team associated with your project to ask for further information.
  • A research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000, held at their host institution
  • CASE studentships attract an additional £3500 contribution to the RTSG, held at their host institution

CENTA Flagship Projects

You may notice that some projects are labelled as “Flagship” projects. These have been selected because the project meets specific characteristics such as CASE support, collaboration with our CENTA high-level end-users, diversity of the supervisory team, career development of the supervisory team, collaboration with one of our Research Centre Partners (BGS, CEH, NCEO, NCAS), or student co-designed project. These characteristics are a CENTA priority.

Studentships associated with Flagship projects will be provided exactly the same support as all other studentships.