Studentships FAQs

Are the studentships funded?

All studentships are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). For 2020-21, funding covers home/EU fees (set by department), a yearly stipend of £17,285  and project consumables.

Field work costs may also be covered.

How many studentships are you funding?

In 2021-22 we are offering 14 NERC-funded studentships.

How long are the studentships for?

3.5 years

What is the deadline?

Student applications must be submitted by 4 January for October 2021 start.

How do I apply?

When projects are being listed on our website, choose the project that you would like to apply for and contact the lead supervisor with a cover letter and CV (don't wait for the deadline) to apply.

How do I complete the Imperial Application Form?

When should I complete the Imperial Application form?
Please contact the lead supervisor who will confirm when the online Imperial application form should be completed. (Some departments require this to be completed at the point of application and others only after the studentship application has been successful.)

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, Kew Gardens, Natural History Museum, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory 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?

Financial Support 












I may not be able to send my references before the application deadline, what can I do?
The deadline for references to be received is actually set by the lead supervisor and their department. Please contact the supervisor of the project you are applying for and ask when they will last accept references.

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 team. You can find their contact information here under the Admissions tab.

Am I eligible?

The DTP is funded by NERC which follows Research Councils UK's harmonised postgraduate terms and conditions regarding student eligibility. See page 11 for more details, the important points are quoted below:

"To be eligible for a full award a student must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay,
  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.
    This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education.
    (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals)."

If you have further questions regarding eligibility, download this PDF, then please contact the specific Registry Admissions team for your faculty.

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 - the length of which depends on the project. 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.

Can I apply for more than one project?

Yes, but if you are invited in for an interview, you must let the supervisor know that you have applied for more than one project.

Do I need to have a masters degree to apply?

No, you need a minimum of a bachelors degree to apply for these studentships.

Please note that there is strong competition for our studentships and many of the applicants will already have a masters.

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.

Can I do the PhD programme part time?

The PhD studentships can be full of part time.  If you are interested in part time studenship this must be  agreed in advance with the SSCP DTP Project Manager and the project supervisor.