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Central England NERC Training Alliance

The Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA)

CENTA is a consortium of research intensive Universities and research institutes that are working together to provide excellence in doctoral research training.

CENTA encompasses research activities within three broad themes:

  • Climate & Environmental Sustainability
  • Organisms & Ecosystems
  • Dynamic Earth

These themes cut across about 20 academic departments, within the 6 universities, as well as the 4 NERC research organisations involved. This reflects both the multidisciplinary nature and excellence of our research and the high numbers of researchers in central England who span the breadth of the NERC remit. A critical mass of researchers in close geographic proximity is one of our great strength. It facilitates shared access to facilities and training and helps to build a strong cohort identity. Training in CENTA2 is supported systematically by end-users from industry to non-governmental organisations and governmental agencies.

CENTA offer studentships through two main pathways. You can apply directly to a project, or, if eligible, you can apply directly for one of our CENTA Science Opportunity Scholarships (or, if eligible, both). The two pathways have different eligibility criteria and application deadlines. You can also design your own PhD project in collaboration with a CENTA academic. Full details are available here.

Financial support

CENTA studentships are for 3.5 years and are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). In addition to the full payment of their tuition fees, successful candidates will receive the following financial support.

Annual stipend, set at £15,609 for 2021/22

Research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000

For further information, including details on how to apply, visit

Central England NERC Training Alliance