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GeoNetZero CDT

GeoNetZero CDT

The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) entitled GeoNetZero is a new program of PhD research and training created to address key areas in Geoscience and its role in the Low Carbon Energy Transition and Challenge of Net Zero.

Led by Heriot-Watt University, the CDT represents an exciting partnership between the Universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee, Durham, Exeter, Keele, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Royal Holloway and Strathclyde, the British Geological Survey, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Ministry of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

The CDT’s research focus is on tackling the challenge of sustainable resource management and the crucial role the subsurface will play in the low-carbon energy transition towards a net zero carbon economy, covering the full spectrum of topics from carbon storage and geothermal energy to sustainable oil and gas resource management. The CDT projects will be of interest to those with a background primarily in the geosciences.

GeoNetZero CDT

The CDT’s academic partners have 17 PhD positions available to commence in early October 2020. Studentships are for 4 years, provide funding for tuition fees and stipend at the national UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) level and a generous £5k per annum Research Training & Support Grant (RTSG) allowance.

8 of the studentships are funded by NEO Energy (NEO), an independent upstream UK Continental Shelf (UKCS)-focused energy company, matched by an equal amount from the academic partners. Projects in receipt of NEO funding will have a specific application to the UKCS.

GeoNetZero CDT

The 4 year studentship period accommodates the unique Geological Society accredited, centrally administered, industry-funded Training Academy element of the CDT which runs alongside the PhD studies undertaken at the degree-awarding institution. This 20 week training program is delivered by academic, industry and regulatory experts on a residential basis over the first 3 years of the studentship. The CDT program also includes an annual graduate school conference at which students present their results and showcase the best academic research in the Low Carbon Energy Transition and Net Zero Geoscience themes to industry, government and academic representatives.

This CDT model builds on the proven track record of the NERC CDT in Oil & Gas, now in its sixth year, and has established a unique collaboration between UK higher education partners, research institutions and industry partners. The CDT has proved a fertile ground for industry internships and the students who have graduated from the program have an enviable record in securing employment thereafter.

Here’s what existing CDT students say about their experience, and the benefits of the transition to the new research themes of the Geoscience CDT:

Dr Nick Richardson, Head of Exploration and New Ventures at the Oil & Gas Authority, said:

“Meeting the UK Government's target of Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 is critically dependent on anchoring a world-class geoscience skills base in the UK. The CDT has an established track record in developing talented graduates who will underpin the diversification and integration required by industry as society transitions to a low-carbon future.”

Details of the project titles and application process can be found here.


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