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Envision Doctoral Training Programme

PhD (ISCED 2011 level 8)


Cost -

Envision brings together a powerful group of UK researchers with industry and NGO partners to provide a new generation of environmental scientists with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to take on the challenges of a changing world.

Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Lancaster University is leading the initiative which brings together the Universities of Nottingham and Bangor, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the British Geological Survey and Rothamsted Research. The initiative also involves large multinationals, SMEs and international research centres.

Students will benefit from: broad research themes, access to leading world experts, close ties with business, relevant work experience and leadership training. Envision will recruit 16 PhD students per year over the course of five years.

The Envision DTP provides students with:

  • A world-class multidisciplinary research training environment that includes supervisors working at the cutting-edge and world-class research platforms, which will deliver excellent scientific and transferable skills training using a multidisciplinary cohort development programme that develops professional and leadership skills.
  • Broad research themes with access to a critical mass of established researchers across a broad, but coherent, range of disciplines with a track record of research and postgraduate excellence.
  • Close ties with business and Research Institutes through our CASE partners, core and co-located Research Institute partners and co-located businesses and embedded teams of KE professionals within the Lancaster Environment Centre and the North Wales Marine/Coastal Science Group Maritime Cluster, Bangor.
  • The opportunity to gain employment experience either though an industrial placement, a CASE project or through working in one of the three Research Institutes.
  • Multiple research organisations that complement each other and offer the potential for new science and collaborations, exposing students to different research cultures, a wide variety of supervisors, a depth of research excellence and training resources (including facilities and equipment) and a wider cohort of peers.

As a student undertaking an Envision based PhD project, there are a number of additional administrative requirements that you will need to be aware of. An induction session at the start of Michaelmas term will cover these.

Types of Engagement

Collaborative CASE studentships

CASE studentships are when a student works collaboratively with an external organisation. It is expected that students will spend between three and 18 months with the partner and the student receives additional funds to be added to their RTSG.

Research, policy and industrial placements

To enhance their employability all Envision students will be offered the possibility of an internship to acquire career-enhancing skills. Placements will vary in nature, from working in a large industry research laboratory, with a small charity, or a policy placement. There will be flexibility in terms of when, and how (e.g. a block or one day per week) students will carry out their placement or internship.

International Internships

Our international partners the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), The Centre for Tropical Agriculture Research and Education (CATIE), International Centre for Agro-forestry Research (ICRAF) and UoN’s international campuses will provide an opportunity for our students to carry out their placement in an overseas research centre, allowing them to experience research in another culture and helping them to develop international linkages.

The partnership will also deliver placements within businesses outside the UK by using existing programmes, in particular the INTERREG IVB funded KARIM network (LU) which facilitates international internships with SMEs across NW Europe.

Structural components
Research Project

Application procedure

All applicants should make their application through the Envision website. An application consists of a completed application form and a CV with a maximum of three pages.

You may apply for up to three Envision projects, it should be made clear which project you are applying for when you submit your application through the project portal. You will need to submit an application form and CV for each project that you apply for (the three applications must all be in one single PDF). If you are applying for three projects please submit three CVs and application forms in one submission to us. Please make your preference of projects clear in your application.

Once received in the Envision office your application will be forwarded to the appropriate Envision supervisor who may want to interview you. Envision will offer interviewed candidates a £75 contribution to interview expenses.

If you are selected for the project you applied for, your application will then be considered, alongside those of the candidates for the other Envision projects, by the Envision Management Group.

Grant opportunities

The studentship is only available to UK and EU candidates. 

Each student will be supported by the tax-free stipend (£15,009 in 2019/20), typically for 3.5 years. In addition, for eligible students, the award will cover EU/UK fees

All Envision students will have a Research and Training Grant of £8,750 to fund their research, conference attendance and networking and will be able to bid into a cohort development and mobility fund. This will be support students attending subject-specific courses that require a payment, student travel to partner sites to attend courses or other research-related activities, and for students to develop and lead their own programme of community building or outreach events (e.g. student-led conferences, reading groups). Funding such as travel bursaries or existing funding within institutions (e.g. travel prizes) will also be available.


Applicants must have or expect to have, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, in a relevant subject to the project they are applying for (these will be specified in the individual project descriptions).

ISCED Categories

Marine Geology
Physical and chemical oceanography
Environmental protection technology
Offshore and renewable energy
Marine spatial planning