About us

[programmeThe NERC Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Partnership (GW4+ DTP) is designed to train tomorrow’s leaders in earth and environmental sciences, providing 37 fully-funded PhD studentships annually across the partnership covering home tuition fees, stipend, research and training support grant and training budget. The partnership builds on the GW4  alliance of the Southwest UK’s Universities and brings in additional 6 Research Organisations (RO) and 24 Associate Partners.  More details of the partnership can be found here.

The DTP is governed by a Management Board representative from each of the 10 university and RO partners who provide strategic oversight of the DTP with academic, industrial and student oversight provided by each of the research theme board, external advisory board and student reps respectively.  Members of these boards can be found here.

The programme commenced in September 2014 and forms part of the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership initiative.

PhD research projects in earth and environmental science

At least 37 PhD studentships are offered in earth and environmental sciences across the partnership.  Each studentship provides funding for 3.5 years comprising of fees and stipend in line with RCUK rates, an £11,000 Research and Training Support Grant and £4000 training budget for a research project under one of the three interdisciplinary research themes:

  • Solid Earth
  • Living World
  • Changing Planet

Research projects will be led by one of the GW4+ partners and collaboration across the partnership is encouraged.  Students will be registered at one of the GW4 universities and students may be co‑supervised in other institutions in the partnership. For more details about our current and future projects


Earth and environmental scientists are in demand from a diverse range of sectors.  The DTP training programme aims to equip students with a broad range of skills in preparation for their future careers.  Students will be expected to gain fundamental and advanced research skills, alongside complementary transferable skills. For more details about our training programme 

Research Experience Placements

The NERC GW4+ Research Experience Placement (REP) scheme is aimed at addressing the shortage of individuals with quantitative skills coming into Earth and Environmental Science.  We offer four summer placements across the GW4+ partners for undergraduate students in quantitative disciplines to engage in active research projects in the NERC area, enhance their academic skills and make a more informed decision on furthering their research at postgraduate level. For more details about our Research Experience Placements

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