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  2. Phd Studentships
  3. How to Apply

How to Apply

We offer PhD studentships with funding from three sources:  i) the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) CENTA (; ii) the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at The Open University; and iii) the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

Your application

For your application you need to submit the following:

  • an Home OU Application form (if you are resident in the UK or European Economic Area)
  • Overseas OU Application form (if you are resident elsewhere: not eligible for a CENTA PhD Project)
  • a CENTA application form (only required if you are applying to a CENTA PhD Project) please use this link to download the centa application form rather than the link embedded in the project proposal document.
  • a research proposal (if self-funded/candiate initiated)
  • an up-to-date CV and contact details of 3 academic references
  • a cover letter outlining why the project is of interest and how your skills match those required


Current PhD Studentships below are available applications should be sent to by 12pm (noon) on the 21st January 2019.

Please note there is an earlier application deadline of the 6th January 2019 (midnight) for the GCRF studentship (see botton of page).


CENTA Funded PhD Studentships

Monsoon evolution through vegetation and fire reconstructions (OU1)

Response of meadow species assemblages along a hydrological gradient and impacts on the movement and fate of carbon in the plant-soil system (OU2)

Enrichment of critical elements in granites: melting process or protolith? (OU3)

The Environmental Impact of Plastic Pollution (OU4)

The effect of the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) extreme environmental change on insects (OU5)

Sedimentation patterns in the tropics during the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) period of extreme environmental change (OU6)

Siliceously deficient? Are UK crops missing out on silicon and can cover crops help? (OU7)

Floodplain-meadow management in a changing environment (OU8)

The behaviour of the economically important elements during crustal processes and volcanic degassing at Popocatépetl volcano, Mexico (OU9)

Comparative palaeoecology of marine and terrestrial ecosystems (OU10)

Angiosperm evolution and the Arctic floral revolution (OU11)

Resilience to change in a fast-changing environment: vegetation productivity in high Arctic (OU12)

Plant-mycorrhizal associations and response to global change in a species-rich calcareous grassland (OU13)

Survival of microbial "living fossils" inside salt crystals (OU14)

Understanding life at the limits (OU15)

After the dust has settled: The post-impact hydrothermal system at Rochechouart impact crater (OU16)

From the Colorado Plateau to beyond Earth: using magmatic intrusions into sulphate-rich sediments as analogue for planetary habitable environments (OU17)

Making the most of K-feldspar: development of  in-situ K-Ca dating and isotopic fingerprinting of upper crustal processes (OU18)

Understanding the impacts of urbanisation on ancient woodland (OU19)

STEM Faculty Funded PhD Studentships

What role does technology play in support of fieldwork in the environmental sciences? (OU20)

Impact of future winter temperature volatility on winter mortality (OU21)

Taxonomic structure of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the evolution of biodiversity (OU22)

Limits of habitability of the icy moons (OU23)

How are UK-based university academics responding to the requirements to plan for, enact and report impacts derived from publicly-funded research? (OU24)

Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for PhD studentship in Environmental Science (NB: deadline for application for this project is 6th January 2019)

Understanding macadamia tree growth, constraints of nut production and future-climate projections for sustainability (OU25)

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