Advanced Training Short Courses (ATSC)

Advanced Training Short Courses support postgraduate training aimed at providing individuals with particular, specialist skills and training within the NERC science remit.

Next funding call

Call status: There are no current call opportunities

Details of future courses for 2018-19 are available below.


Advanced Training: Short Courses are made to support training initiatives seeking to address identified short term skills and training gaps within the environmental sciences.

All award proposals must provide training in an area of priority training need identified by the applicant within their proposal and supported by appropriate evidence of training priority. Information concerning training currently and previously supported by this scheme is available below. In addition, information concerning the training NERC supports through its doctoral programmes is available through the individual websites of the NERC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) linked to through the attached webpages. It is expected that applicants will not duplicate but instead complement existing the training supported through other NERC awards.

There are no mandated training delivery formats for these awards and previous initiatives have been delivered in a diverse range of formats including short courses, summer schools, workshops and webinars.

Funding available

The maximum total funding limit for this scheme is £1 million per year. It is expected that most training initiatives will require £1,000-£3,000 per student and the maximum cost of the training initiative will be no more than £60,000 or £100,000 with additional justification. Most successful training initiatives will be awarded funding to support training for one year although a small number of awards may receive funding to allow them to offer the same training course but held over two years. These two year awards will only be made into areas considered by the assessment panel to be highest training priority.


This opportunity is open to organisations eligible for NERC research grant funding; ie applicants based in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), NERC research centres, and Independent Research Organisations (IROs). Applicants may also include formal Project Partners, who will not receive funding directly from the award, but will have an integral role in the proposed training initiative.

2017-18 and 2018-2019 ATSC award

Information concerning ongoing ATSC awards can be found in the course lists below. For information on any of these courses, including how to apply to attend, please contact the organisations offering the short course training. NERC advertises information concerning these ATSC via the the Research Careers topic on NERC email alerts.

Recently funded ATSC awards

2017-18 and 2018-19 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 136KB)

2016-17 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 104KB)

2015-16 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 75KB)

2014-15 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 103KB)

2013-14 Advanced Training Short Courses list (PDF, 75KB)


For further information about this initiative, please contact .

Case study - Beth Brockett

Beth Brockett

Beth Brockett

Beth Brockett attended a NERC-funded short course during her 3rd year as an interdisciplinary NERC PhD postgraduate at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on mapping carbon and nitrogen storage on farms in Cumbria using field measurements alongside ethnographic data to understand the farm environment.

Beth attended two courses funded by NERC as part of the 2013-14 Advanced Training Short Courses competition and has since found the skills and training she received to be highly useful whilst continuing her PhD research. In addition to providing in-demand postgraduate skills training, Beth thought the courses were a great way to meet other researchers from both her subject areas as well those from different backgrounds.

Beth commented:

I highly recommend attending one of the NERC-funded short courses if at all possible. The course I attended in Statistics using R, in particular, was incredibly good. The course format, literature and resources along with lots of demonstrator support made it a great course - particularly the post course support available. I also found it really useful for networking and meeting other researchers.