Partnership awarded £5 million to train the next generation of environmental and Earth scientists

The University of Glasgow, together with six other partners, is to host a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) to deliver outstanding postgraduate education in environmental and Earth sciences.

The DTP is an initiative funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and brings Glasgow together with the Universities of Durham, Newcastle, St Andrews, Stirling and the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

The partnership called IAPETUS, named after the ancient ocean that closed to bring together Northern England and Scotland, has been awarded £5 million, to fund in excess of 60 PhD scholarships over the next five years. IAPETUS is one of 14 other doctoral training partnerships that NERC are investing in across the country.

PhD students will be funded to undertake research addressing some of the most critical questions and challenges facing the world today, including:

  • Global environmental change and its impact on glaciers, sea levels and the climate;
  • Energy and the study of the Earth’s resources;
  • Exploring the carbon cycle and its relationship to forests, peatlands and the oceans; 
  • Understanding biodiversity and ecosystems; and
  • Natural hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides and flooding.

Students supported by IAPETUS will receive world-class training and development, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to be leaders and experts in their chosen fields.

Building on the strengths and expertise of all the partner organisations, IAPETUS students will benefit from a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment in which to conduct research, together with access to world-class laboratory and field resources, facilities and services.

Later this month, IAPETUS will announce further information about the scholarships available to students seeking to commence a PhD in the 2014/15 academic year. The partners aim to recruit and support the very best postgraduate students in the environmental and earth sciences over the next five years.

A key feature of IAPETUS’ approach to postgraduate training and development will be working closely with businesses, policy-makers and the public and third sectors to provide students with opportunities to put their knowledge and skills into practice. Over 35 external partners have already signed-up to support IAPETUS – including major energy companies, national charities and key public bodies, ranging from BP, to the National Trust for Scotland and the Ordnance Survey. The partnership will allocate a minimum 30% of its funding to projects that involve collaboration beyond academia.

Professor Susan Waldron, academic lead for IAPETUS at the University of Glasgow, said: “The inter-University co-operation and shared facilities that will be offered through the IAPETUS renders this doctoral training partnership greater than the sum of its parts; we welcome this opportunity to support excellence in training the next generation of environmental scientists.”

“We are committed to recruiting and supporting the very best postgraduate students to IAPETUS, whom we expect to produce ground-breaking science and make real impact in their future careers as leading environmental scientists. Working with industry, policy-makers and other external stakeholders is a vital part of the ‘Business of the Environment”.


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First published: 6 November 2013