Studentships FAQs

Are the studentships funded?

All studentships are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). For 2022/23, funding covers home tuition fees, and a yearly stipend (£17,609 for 2021/22) and project consumables.
Field work costs may also be covered.

How many studentships are you funding?

In 2022-23 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 midday (12pm GMT) on 7 January for October 2022 start.

How to apply?

  • Complete the pre-application form on our website 
  • Choose the project listed on our website 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.
  • We recommend that you look at the SSCP DTP scoring criteria and our top tips for applying for a PhD when you apply.

Please note that our call is open from October-January each year.

How do I complete the Imperial Application Form?

When should I complete the Imperial Application form?
This depends on the supervisor's department. 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?

 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: £82,381.50* as the Award Amount


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


*this amount is based on 21/22 figures


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 Admissions team. You can find their contact information here.

Am I eligible?

There is a limited number of studentships for international students available. Please note, we expect keen competition for them and UKRI funding will 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 does not meet the criteria above, they would be classified as an International student.
Further guidance on UKRI Eligibility Criteria can be seen here, in Annex One of the International Eligibility Guidance.
Candidates will also be expected to meet Imperial entry requirements and SSCP DTP requirements.

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.

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?

You need a minimum of a bachelors degree to apply for these studentships. Please be aware of the Imperial College entry requirements as well. 
There is strong competition for our studentships and many of the applicants will already have a Masters degree.

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 or 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.