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UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Environmental Intelligence – Data Science & AI for Sustainable Futures

Study for a fully funded 4-year PhD in Environmental Intelligence, starting in September 2022

The increasing availability of large and complex data sets from diverse sources such as environmental monitoring; satellite remote sensing; climate modelling; electronic medical records; and social media and contributions from citizen science; presents an exceptional opportunity to transform our understanding of both the effects of environmental change and our planet-transforming power. Environmental Intelligence is the use of big data and AI to enhance our understanding of the complex interactions between the environment, climate, natural ecosystems, human social and economic systems, and health.

Training Environment

The CDT provides a 4-year PhD programme designed to be suitable for students from a range of academic backgrounds. As a postgraduate researcher in the CDT you will receive training in the range of skills required to become a leader in Environmental Intelligence:

  • the computational skills required to analyse data from a wide variety of sources
  • expertise in environmental challenges
  • an understanding of the governance, ethics and the potential societal impacts of collecting, mining, sharing and interpreting data, together with the ability to communicate and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders

Year 1 of the PhD programme is largely devoted to training which will be delivered through a combination of taught courses and projects. Towards the end of Year 1, students will be supported to select their PhD topic, develop a proposal, and establish a supervisory team. Supervisors cover a broad range of relevant disciplines, reflecting the University of Exeter’s research strengths in both data science and AI, and the environmental and social sciences.

Students will also have the opportunity to work with the CDT’s external partners, including the Met Office and a range of international institutions and businesses, to ensure that they are well versed in both cutting edge methodology and on-the-ground policy and business implementation.

You can read more about why you should choose Environmental Intelligence at the University of Exeter here.

Entry requirements

We are seeking applications from those with or expecting to receive a 1st class or 2i undergraduate degree in a wide variety of subjects relevant to the application of data science and AI to environmental challenges. These might include for example, computer science, statistics, mathematics, climate, health, economics, philosophy, and social and environmental sciences. For those without a computer science or mathematics background, additional training will be provided (if required). We are happy to discuss alternative requirements for those with non-standard qualifications and/or experience.


Fully funded 4-year studentships at the UKRI standard rate are available for UK students (subject to UKRI eligibility restrictions). A strictly limited number of studentships are available for exceptional international applicants.


Closing date for applications: Friday 6th May 2022

Further information and how to apply visit our website here.

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