Research programme grants associated studentships

NERC Research programmes provide strategically directed environmental research, training and related knowledge exchange, and encourage national and international collaboration.

Next funding opportunity

To be confirmed.


Research programme funding opportunities may allow applicants to request funding within research programme proposals to support associated studentships. Associated studentships link students to a larger strategic investment supported by NERC. Studentships are not associated with all types of strategic investments and are only available where NERC identify the investment as also a priority for training/capacity building.

The research undertaken through an associated studentship should be closely associated with the work carried out in the grant, but in all other respects the department must make the same level of provision for training and supervision that would be expected for any other NERC research student. These expectations are outlined in the UKRI Statement of Expectations for Doctoral Training, available on the UKRI website - external link.

Assessment process

All studentship applications will be assessed on the following NERC success criteria:

  • research excellence
  • training excellence
  • multidisciplinary training environment
  • ability to attract excellent students
  • any call-specific criteria.

Research excellence and call-specific criteria of associated studentships will be reviewed at the moderating panel. Training excellence, multidisciplinary training environment and the ability to attract excellent students will be assessed in office by members of the NERC Research Careers Team. Should the NERC Research Careers feel that a proposal is unsuitable for funding under these criteria, a final opinion will be requested from a member of the Training Advisory Group to confirm the final funding decision. Further information regarding these criteria will be available in the announcement of opportunity document for the relevant funding opportunity.

Research programme associated studentships success criteria (PDF, 63KB)

Funding available

Research programme funding rounds are held throughout the year.

Funding for research programme grants associated studentships should be included within the research programme grant application. All studentship costs should be requested in the staff/project student tab in the application and, if successful, stipend/fees costs will be funded at 100% and other costs provided at 80% FEC. A project studentship may be held as a CASE award, if appropriate.


Associated studentships are governed by the same regulations as other research studentships.