Application FAQs

Are the studentships funded?

All studentships are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

For 2024/25, funding covers:-

  • Stipend based on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) minimum rate (currently £20,622 including London Weighting Allowance for 2023/2024)
  • Home tuition fees* at the NERC indicative rate of £4,712, and a yearly stipend (£20,622 for 2023/24) and project consumables (£5,000 over 3.5 years).
  • Field work costs may also be covered.

More detail can be found on the UKRI webpage.

*For more information on home and international tuition fees, please see Eligibility.

How many studentships are you funding?

In 2024-25 we are offering 19 NERC-funded studentships; however, please note that the call for applications is now closed.

How long are the studentships for?

The studentships are funded for 3.5 years.

What was the deadline for 2024/25 applications?

Please note that the call for NERC-funded studentships commencing in October 2024 is now closed. We therefore do no longer accept any applications. 


How to apply

Please note that the call for NERC-funded studentships commencing in October 2024 is now closed. We therefore do no longer accept any applications.

If you applied by the deadline (8 January 2024), below diagram which shows the key steps:-


Any questions?
The SSCP DTP held an online Q&A session for interested applicants with SCP staff and current students on 21 November. Please email to request a copy of the recording.

How and when do I complete the Imperial Application Form?

When should I complete the Imperial Application form?
This depends on the supervisor's department. For the majority of departments, this is done after the SSCP DTP selection process. However, some departments require this to be completed at the point of application.


I searched for the department/SSCP DTP in the Postgraduate Programme Search and can't find it

The SSCP does not appear in the search, you should use the lead supervisor's department. If your lead supervisor is based at a Host Partner institution (British Geological Survey; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Natural History Museum; Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Space, UK Centre fo Ecology and Hydrology or Zoological Society of London), please input the Imperial College department of the second supervisor. 

Do I submit a Personal Statement or Research Proposal?

Please upload a Personal Statement. This can be 1-2 pages long.

 How do I complete the finance section?

 How are you intending to fund your studies?

 Step 1: select Scholarship from drop down menu – please only select ‘scholarship if you have applied for a scholarship’

 Step 2: select Non-Imperial from scholarship drop down menu

 Step 3: select NERC – SSCP DTP from name of scholarship drop down menu

 Step 4: type: £93,669* as the Award Amount

 Step 5: select: both from fees/maintenance drop down menu

 *this amount is based on 23/24 figures

 I have more questions about the application form that are not covered here

If you have further questions about completing the form and the documents it requires, please contact the Registry Admissions team. You can find their contact information here.

Am I eligible?

For the 2024 call which is now closed, there were a limited number of studentships available for international students. These were subject to eligibility and the availability of funding, and we expected there to be keen competition for them.  UKRI fundingwould not cover international fees set by universities. 

To be classed as a Home student, applicants 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 did not meet the criteria above, they would be classified as an International student. 

There is further guidance on UKRI Eligibility Criteria here and in Annex One of the International Eligibility Guidance

Candidates were also be expected to meet Imperial entry requirements and  the SSCP DTP requirements(pdf).


Where will I be based?

Students will be registered and based in the Imperial department of their supervisor.

If a project is with a partner institution, students will have the opportunity to work at their partner sites. Students who split their time between Imperial College London and a partner institution must be on site at Imperial for at least 2 months per year, as per PRI agreement.

Do I need to have a masters degree to apply?

A minimum of a bachelors degree was required to apply for NERC-funded studentships. Other Imperial College entry requirements were alos applicable.

There was strong competition for NERC-funded studentships and many of the applicants would already have a Masters degree.

Can I do the PhD programme part-time?

The PhD studentships can be full or part-time (minimum 0.5FTE). This must be agreed in advance with the SSCP DTP Education Programmes Manager and the project supervisor

Can I do an MRes/Is this a 1+3 studentship?

No, we do not offer an MRes option or follow the 1+3 model. Our studentships are 3.5 years entirely at PhD level.

Are there work opportunities during the PhD?

There will be opportunities for additional work, which may include teaching within your department or work with the Grantham Institute.  

UKRI states for Teaching and Demonstration Work: Students may undertake teaching or demonstrating work when this is compatible with their training and provided that this is approved by their Supervisors. The total time spent (including preparation and marking) should not interfere with the progress of the doctorate. The amount of time is at your and the Supervisor’s discretion, but it is recommended that this is no more than six hours in any week. 

Current student demonstrator rates can be seen on the Imperial website.

Those on a tier 4 visa will also need to adhere to the rules on work hours.

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

Departments are currently reviewing all applications (deadline for application was 8 January). We expect you to hear if you have been successful in the first stage of selection at the end of January, 2024.

You’ll find out if you have been selected for a SSCP DTP studentship towards the end of February.