IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership (NERC)

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Research Council Scholarships

The University of St Andrews is a partner in IAPETUS Doctorial Training Partnership. This partnership joins the leading research universities of Durham, Glasgow, Newcastle, St Andrews and Stirling, together with the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, in a united approach to doctoral research and training the next generation of leaders in the science of the natural environment.

IAPETUS is a multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), funded and accredited by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), offering PhD students a world-class environment in which to study.

IAPETUS’ training and research is focused around a number of interdisciplinary clusters of internationally-recognised excellence, which spans the environmental and Earth sciences:

  • Global environmental change
  • Geodynamics and Earth resources
  • Carbon and nutrient cycling
  • Hazards, risks and resilience
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem resources.

Collaboration and knowledge exchange with industry, policy-makers and other non-academic organisations is at the heart of our activities. Over 30% of our studentships are CASE awards and we already have over 35 external partners supporting IAPETUS’s research.

Studentships are for between three and four years, depending on the doctoral research project and provide full UKRI stipend and fees. 

Duration of award

up to 4 years (based on full fee paying years). It does not include periods of leave, write-up, continuation or extension

At what stage of my course application can I apply for this scholarship?

Please apply after you have submitted your application for an eligible course at the University of St Andrews. You do not need to wait until you have received an offer of a place before applying.

Application restrictions

Study level

Available to students studying at:


Domicile for fee status

Scotland home, Rest of UK, Overseas


Available to faculty members from:

Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geography and Sustainable Development

Mode of study

Full time, Part time - daytime

Additional criteria

All funding and reporting is via the University, students will be requested to provide project details for the NERC annual submission via the student research data portal in October of the first year. Additional information may be requested at any time and any changes in status or the project should be forwarded to the DTG Coordinator.

Any issues with fees or funding should be reported to finschol@st-andrews.ac.uk in the first instance.

Current award holder should refer to the NERC Postgraduate Training information for full details on RTSG claims, fieldwork expenses, maternity cover and any other LOA’s or extensions likely to affect funding or submission dates. Requests for these should be emailed to Registry and the financial advice and support adviser on NERCfas@st-andrews.ac.uk.

If a student is prevented from working by illness for a continuous period of more than two weeks they must inform Registry immediately and send a medical certificate confirming the period unfit to work (regardless as to whether or not the student is suspending studies).

ROs cannot approve extensions to submission dates that are not associated with changes to the funding end date. All requests for submission date extensions not associated with changes to the funding end date must be referred to NERC via the financial advice and support adviser (NERCfas@st-andrews.ac.uk).

Current students can contact the School Postgraduate Secretary, Registry or Finance Advice & Support for any additional information regarding NERC or University terms and conditions.

Limited awards may be available for International applicants. Please check the full UKRI eligibility criteria.

How to apply

Applications for IAPETUS2 2024 studentships are now open; Please see the IAPETUS website to apply before 5th January 2024.

You should apply to an eligible NERC course at the University of St Andrews by completing the research application form. Prior to applying, you must make contact with a potential supervisor.

Full details of the internal application process can be obtained from the postgraduate office in your prospective Academic School: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/about/schools/

Following an internal selection process the top candidates will be asked to submit their application to IAPETUS (online via the website) where a cross university governance committee will make the final selection based on overall merit.


Terms and conditions

Please read the University of St Andrews scholarships terms and conditions

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IAPETUS website