The NERC QMEE studentship application portal is now open for students commencing in October 2019 with an application deadline of Wednesday, 16 January 2019. Please click here for a list of the available projects. 

The CDT will train 36 PhD students in three cohorts of 12 starting with a first entry in October 2017. Students will be based at one of the 5 main partner institutions, with a co-supervisor at another partner. The duration will be 3.5 years full-time or a longer equivalent part-time.

Your supervisory team will include expertise in ecological and/or evolutionary data and quantitative methods. Students will be registered either at Imperial College London or at the University of Reading.

There are two ways to apply for a studentship*: 

Track I: Apply directly to a supervisor for one of the suggested projects listed here. You should send your CV, a covering letter explaining why you are interested in the CDT and that project, and the names and e-mail addresses of two academic referees. At least one of them should have supervised you on a previous research project.

Track II: Apply centrally to the CDT using the electronic application form here (you will need to request a username and password from This track is designed for students who would like the opportunity to develop their own project ideas together with a supervisory team during the initial pre-project period (final project subject to approval by the selection and training boards). In your covering letter, please explain why you are interested in the CDT, what type of project you are interested in, and the names of potential supervisors for your interests from the list of project supervisers here.

*Please choose to apply either by Track I or Track II but not both. The final ranking is on student merit so there is no advantage to applying through both routes. 


Studentships will last for 3.5 years full-time or the equivalent period part-time.

Most applicants will have, or be about to obtain, a Masters qualification (MSc, MRes or MSci/MMath) and a 2.1 or higher undergraduate degree. Exceptional students at Bachelors level without a Masters will also be considered. Relevant post-graduate experience will also be taken into account.

NERC-funded studentships are subject to RCUK eligibility requirements, which are outlined under “Student eligibility” and “Residence Requirements” on the RCUK website. In short you should be a citizen of the UK or other EU country and have been residing in the UK for the last 3 years (apart from temporary or occasional absences).

There may be a limited number of studentships available to students not meeting the RCUK residency criteria.

For more information please e-mail us at