NERC Doctoral Training

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP2)

PhD research with BGS – a doctorate with a difference

BGS-sponsored PhD students are expected to have significant interaction with the survey during their research. A BGS member of staff will be part of your supervision team and you will be expected to spend some of your research training at the BGS. The amount of time depends on the type of project. The BGS has two categories of PhDs under the DTP2 programme.

  • Hosted studentships
  • Collaborative studentships

Hosted studentships

Funding for the PhD is provided by the Doctoral Training Partnership. The student is expected to spend at least 50% of their time at BGS. Hosted PhD researchers will be primarily based at the BGS and will be undertaking research that is key to our strategy. Your time at BGS will be spent at either our Keyworth or Edinburgh offices and you will have access to and training on a range of our world class research facilities and data.

A BGS member of staff will be your lead supervisor and be responsible for your research training. You will become a member of one of the science teams that underpin our main research themes and have access to a broad range of applied geosciences expertise.

In addition to technical training (see the BGS GeoSchool for examples of this), you will have access to BGS personal development training programme — e.g. project management, technical writing and the BGS mentoring scheme.

As the BGS does not award degrees you will be registered for your degree at one of the universities in the partnership, and in collaboration with your university, and the BGS supervisors will develop an appropriate portfolio of research training.

BUFI will contribute funds to cover mobility between BGS and the collaborating university and where appropriate additional support to the Research and Training Support Grant (RTSG) which can be used to support research costs at BGS. Below is a list of Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP2) and the collaborating universities where BGS can host its own students.

ARIES University of East Anglia, University of Kent, University of Essex, University of Plymouth, Royal Holloway University of London

CENTA2 University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, Cranfield University, The Open University, University of Warwick

E4 Edinburgh

ENVISION Lancaster University, University of Nottingham, Bangor University, Rothamsted Research, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

GW4+ University of Bath, University of Bristol, University of Exeter, Cardiff University

IAPETUS2 Durham University, Newcastle University, University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews, University of Stirling, Heriot-Watt University

SCENARIO University of Reading, University of Surrey

SSCP Imperial College London

Application procedure

Candidates wishing to apply for a BGS-hosted studentship must complete the postgraduate application form of the university where they will be registered by the deadlines indicated on the PhD opportunity and in addition send the following by email to BUFI

  • current CV
  • names and addresses of two referees
  • personal statement written by the candidate; no longer than 1 page of A4, containing project title and detailing their reasons for applying to study a PhD and why they have selected their chosen doctoral research project

Further information

For enquiries about individual hosted projects please e-mail the BGS or university supervisor as stated in the PhD opportunity.

Collaborative studentships

If the BGS is a collaborative partner on your PhD project you will be primarily based at a partner university. However, you will typically spend between 3 and 18 months at the BGS during the 3–4 years of your research training. A BGS member of staff will be a key part of your supervisory team and, in consultation with your lead-university supervisor, develop an appropriate training programme that can include classroom-based technical training (see the BGS GeoSchool for examples of this) and hands-on training in using the analytical equipment and data required for your project. BUFI provides support to students to cover additional research costs and travel and subsistence whilst the student is at BGS. BGS has offered to support collaborative studentships in the following DTPs:

ACCE University of Liverpool, University of York, University of Hull

DTP in Environmental Research University of Oxford

INSPIRE University of Southampton

London DTP University College London, Birkbeck University of London, Brunel University London, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Holloway University of London

PANORAMA University of Leeds, University of York

QUADRAT (website launch in November 2018) University of Aberdeen, Queens University Belfast

Application procedure

Application is usually via the host university. Please check the relevant DTP website.

Further information

For enquiries about individual collaborative projects please e-mail the BGS or university supervisor as stated in the PhD opportunity.

For general enquiries about doctoral training at BGS e-mail BUFI

More information on the Doctoral Training Partnerships funded by NERC