How to apply

Please see Available PhD projects for a list of projects.

Applications for 2019 entry are now closed.

The main interview day will be 13 February 2019 although a few supervisors may interview on different days in early February. You will be invited to interview AFTER the application deadline has closed.
Successful applicants typically start their PhD: 23 September 2019.

Some of the fully-funded projects are potential CASE studentships - CASE studentships are co-operative awards in which the student enhances their training by spending periods working on their project with the CASE partner on placement outside the academic environment. The CASE partner provides an extra £1000 per year for three years towards the student's training budget, plus expenses for travel and subsistence that are incurred during visits. The final decision on which projects will be CASE awards will be made at a later date, but where the possibility of a CASE award exists this is indicated in the project description.

Academic Eligibility: 1st or upper 2nd class degree is required in a subject appropriate to the PhD projects applied for (please see project descriptions). Candidates with a lower class of Bachelors degree, but a good performance at the Masters level ("merit" or above) will also be considered.

Please take the following steps to apply

Step 1

Choose the PhD projects that interest you most (maximum of 4) and rank your choices in order of interest. Your application is only sent to supervisors for projects where you express an interest, so listing more increases your chances of success. If in doubt, choose 4. However, your choices on the application form will not exclude you from choosing another project after discussions with us. Each project description indicates the name and institution of the lead supervisor and has a reference number. You are welcome and encouraged to email the lead supervisors of projects to ask them any questions you may have or to discuss the project.

Step 2

Apply using the University of Reading online application service. You will need to create an account with the online application service.
During your application please select the PhD Programme in Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate.

In the box entitled "project proposal" please state that your application is for the SCENARIO NERC DTP. Then list your chosen projects giving their titles and reference numbers. List them in rank order, starting with the project that interests you most.

We will forward your application to the relevant Departments at Reading and/or Surrey and to the lead supervisors of the projects you have selected. You only need to apply once to the SCENARIO DTP.

Step 3

Prepare the following documents for inclusion with your online application:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of research interests
  • Official transcript of your higher education qualifications inclusive of grades
  • Contact details of two academic references
  • Evidence of your proficiency in English if it is not your first language
Please note that applications without a completed application form will not be accepted. Do not send in CVs without completed applications: they will not be considered.

Funding Eligibility

Funding for PhD studentships from NERC is only available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria. These requirements are detailed in the NERC studentships handbook. In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award, or a full award if they are migrant workers in the UK. All candidates should check the RCUK harominsed postgraduate training terms and conditions to confirm their eligibility for funding. International students who do not meet these nationality requirements should contact us at to discuss PhD project and funding opportunities.

Fee and maintenance awards (UK and other European Union citizens resident in the UK)
NERC Studentships (covering both fees and a maintenance grant, which for 2018-19 was £14,777/year, tax free) are open to all UK citizens, and other European Union students who have lived in the UK for the past three years. Other students may also be eligible if they have an established relevant connection with the UK. A relevant connection constitutes being resident in the UK for the past three years, not for the sole purpose of education, and not being subject to any restriction on the period for which he/she may stay in the UK. Note that these are guidelines: the University decides cases on an individual basis.

Fee-only Award for European Union (non-UK) candidates
European Union (non-UK) candidates who have not lived in the UK for at least the past three years may apply for a NERC Fee-Only Award. You will have to provide your own living costs. To apply for a fee-only award, write a separate request (200 words maximum) explaining why you need this funding. Candidates must show the necessary levels of English proficiency, as described on the University's webpage for international students. Enquiries about this should be directed to the Graduate School at the University of Reading.