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Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) 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 19 UK-based Higher Education Institutes and 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 (Camborne), 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.

The NERC CDT in Oil & Gas is looking to recruit up to 34 students for entry in October 2016. These 4-year studentships are offered within the following four themes of the CDT:-

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

These 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 10 industry sponsors (BP, Cairn Energy, ConocoPhillips, E.ON, Maersk Oil, OMV, Shell, Statoil, Total and Woodside Energy) and comprises a total of 20 weeks' training delivered by academic, industry and regulatory experts to all students as a single cohort. There is also an annual graduate school conference at which students will present their results and showcase the best academic research in oil and gas to industry, government and academic representatives. Our industry sponsors are also keen to establish internship schemes for NERC CDT affiliated students.

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

"The NERC CDT provides a unique opportunity to undertake and contextualise oil and gas research and training to address the energy challenge to keep the lights on whilst respecting and addressing any environmental impact it has."
NERC CDT Director, Professor John Underhill, Heriot-Watt University

"Such a good experience that I feel privileged to have joined the CDT”
– NERC CDT student

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 American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) European President, Professor Keith Gerdes, Shell. 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 NERC studentships are available to UK nationals and to EU citizens who have resided in the UK for a minimum of three years prior to commencing the studentship. The core partners (Aberdeen, Durham, Heriot-Watt, Imperial, Manchester and Oxford) have pledged to match-fund studentships from their own resources, and EU citizens not meeting the prior residency requirement, and overseas applicants are advised to contact these universities first before submitting an application to check that they meet the local funding criteria.

Deadline for Applications is 31st January 2016

Interviews will take place at each institution during February/March 2016.

Applicants who are made an offer must convey their decision to the relevant university by noon on 16th March 2016.


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