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Central England NERC Training Alliance

The Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA)

Interested in PhD opportunities in Earth and Environmental Sciences? CENTA is currently advertising PhD projects and opportunities for autumn 2024 entry.

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 encompass about 20 academic departments, within the 9 universities and research centres that comprise CENTA. This reflects both the multidisciplinary nature and excellence of our research and the high numbers of researchers in central England who work within the NERC remit. A critical mass of researchers in close geographic proximity is one of our great strengths, facilitating shared access to facilities and training, and helping to build a strong cohort identity.

Training in CENTA2 is delivered by highly skilled professionals from broad academic research, industry, and governmental & policy career backgrounds, ensuring our postgraduate researchers are equipped with the skills they need to work in multiple sectors upon graduation.

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 (at home fee level), successful candidates will receive the following financial support:

  • Annual stipend, set at £18,622 for 2023/24
  • Research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000

For further information please visit our FAQ page. For details on how to apply, visit

Central England NERC Training Alliance