NERC - CENTA Studentships

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES) is a partner in the Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA). We currently have a number of potentially CENTA-funded projects open for competitive application.

Funded by The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), CENTA-funded PhD projects will offer a comprehensive training programme to develop researchers and help to prepare you for post-PhD life in industry, academia, and other sectors. 

CENTA encompasses research activities within three broad themes:

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

These themes cut across about 20 academic departments, within the 6 universities, as well as the four 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. 

Studentship value and duration

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

  • Annual stipend, set at £15,009 for 2019/20
  • Research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000

Key dates

  • Projects go live - Friday 8 November 2019
  • Application deadline – Friday 10 January 2020
  • Interview week (preferred in person, but via Skype possible) – Week commencing Monday 3 February 2020
  • Universal acceptance date for offers – Thursday 19 March 2020


Projects align with one of the following CENTA themes:

  1. Climate and Environmental Sustainability 
  2. Organisms and Ecosystems 
  3. Dynamic Earth 

How to apply

Apply online through the University of Birmingham Postgraduate application system. Please thoroughly read the guidance on how to apply on CENTA's website: 

You must complete the CENTA application form and attach it to your University of Birmingham application when prompted to upload any supporting documents.

Within the application, please detail the supervisor and project title you are interested in under the Research Information section of the application form.

Search our projects and apply