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Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas

NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil & Gas

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas draws upon the world-class research expertise of 17 UK-based Higher Education Institutes and 2 NERC-affiliated research centres to inform the next generation of geoscientific and environmental researchers. It is led by Heriot-Watt University and represents an exciting, new, collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dundee, Durham, Exeter, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Imperial College London, Keele, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Royal Holloway, Oxford, Southampton and Strathclyde, the British Geological Survey and the National Oceanography Centre.

Nine of the academic partners in the NERC CDT in Oil & Gas have PhD positions available to commence in early October 2018. These 4-year studentships (UK/EU fee, stipend, £5k per annum Research Training & Support Grant allowance) are offered within the following four broad research themes:-

  • Effective production of unconventional hydrocarbons
  • Extending the life of mature basins
  • Exploration and exploitation in challenging environments
  • Environmental impact and regulation

Some of the project titles also fall within the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning theme of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. The CDT projects will be of interest to those with backgrounds in any of the following disciplines; earth, engineering, environmental, life, marine, mathematical, computer and geo-sciences.

The CDT studentships are of 4 years' duration in order to accommodate the unique Training Academy element of the CDT which runs alongside your PhD studies at your host institution. The Training Academy is wholly funded by 8 core industry sponsors (BP, Cairn Energy, ConocoPhillips, Equinor (previously Statoil), ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and Verus Petroleum) and comprises a total of 20 weeks' training delivered by academic, industry and regulatory experts on a residential basis over the first 3 years of the studentship. Some courses are open to all of the CDT year entry cohorts thus affording you opportunities to develop links with the wider CDT community. There is also an annual graduate school conference at which students present their results and showcase the best academic research in oil and gas to industry, government and academic representatives.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas

The NERC CDT has been described as a "truly game-changing initiative and represents the most exciting development in the provision of training for the energy industry in the UK" by the previous American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) European President, Professor Keith Gerdes. For a full list of projects on offer, eligibility requirements and links to each university's on-line application procedure, please visit our website.

Applicants should follow the local recruitment procedures, including entry requirements, of the institution(s) they are interested in joining. All candidates are appointed on merit and the NERC CDT is committed to equality and diversity. Full studentships are available to UK and EU citizens only.

Each CDT partner university is working to its own application submission and interview deadlines – for details please contact the relevant person at each university hosting projects you are interested in as set out on the CDT website.

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