IAPETUS2 will support at least 16 fully-funded postgraduate studentships at one of our partner organizations in 2019

// Available Projects & Awards


All of our doctoral research projects are supervised by mixed teams of world-leading researchers, with members of staff from across our partner organizations involved in each.

// Financial Support

IAPETUS2’s postgraduate studentships are tenable for up to 3.5 years, depending on the doctoral research project the student is studying and provides the following package of financial support:

  • A tax-free maintenance grant set at the UK Research Council’s national rate, which in 2018/19 is £14,777.
  • Full payment of their tuition fees at the Home/EU rate;
  • Access to extensive research support funding; &
  • Support for an external placement of up to six months.

Part-time award-holders are funded for seven years and receive a maintenance grant at 50% of the full-time rate.

// Eligibility & Requirements

All applicants need to meet NERC’s eligibility criteria to be considered for an IAPETUS studentship and these are detailed in the current UKRI studentship terms and conditions.

IAPETUS2 is only able to consider applications from Home/European Union candidates. International candidates are not eligible to be considered and where an candidate from another EU country has not been resident in the UK for 3 years or more prior to the commencement of their studies with IAPETUS2, they will only be eligible for a fees-only studentship.

IAPETUS2 is looking for candidates with the following qualities and backgrounds:

  • A first or 2:1 undergraduate degree, or have relevant comparable experience – we welcome applications from those with non-traditional routes to PhD study;
  • In addition, candidates may also hold or be completing a Masters degree in their area of proposed study or a related discipline; &
  • An outstanding academic pedigree and research potential, such as evidenced through the publication of articles, participation in academic conferences and other similar activities.

// How to Apply

Prospective students must apply to the HO hosting the project(s) of their choice via the postgraduate student applications system of the partner organization. All applications must be made by Friday 18th January 2019 at 4 pm (GMT), which is the public deadline for applications that will apply across all of the Partnership.  Please note that some partners may have some earlier internal deadlines, and you are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisor of the proposed project to find out more.

Your application needs to specify clearly that you wish to be considered for an IAPETUS2 studentship and state the research project (s) that you wish to be considered for, quoting the relevant IAPETUS2 project references where possible. Although prospective students are encouraged to explore opportunities across the partnership, they may only finally be considered for an IAPETUS2 studentship for one project. After 18th January 2019, any prospective student who has made an application for more than one IAPETUS2 project will be contacted by email and asked to confirm which one of the projects they wish to be considered for.

Prospective students must provide/attach the following documentation/information to your application:

a) Current CV.
b) A cover letter written by the prospective student, no greater than 2 sides in length, detailing their reasons for applying and why they have selected the project that they wish to conduct.
c) Two (or more) references, avoiding any references from any members of the supervisory team that are part of the research project that they wish to conduct.
d) Full transcripts of previous qualifications obtained to date.

Each Host Organization will nominate a number of applicants to go forward to interview.  The nominees must be prepared to be interviewed on 19th or 20th February 2019.  Interviews will be in Durham, but nominees who are away may be interviewed by Skype or other means.

All successful applicants will be required to apply to the PGCert in Environmental Methods, which is an integral part of the IAPETUS2 training programme.  More details will be supplied when offers are made.


//Key Dates

Friday 18th January 2019   4 pm   —  Deadline for prospective students to apply for a studentship

Tuesday 12th February 2019 — Deadline for Host Organizations to submit nominations to the IAPETUS2 Administrator.  Shortlisted candidates will be contacted about the interview process.

Tuesday 19th – Wednesday 20th February 2019  —   Interviews of shortlisted candidates

Friday, 22nd February 2019  — All shortlisted candidates notified by IAPETUS2 of award decisions.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019 (12 pm GMT) — Deadline for selected candidates to accept or decline their award offer. (NERC Universal Acceptance Date.)

Any unfilled studentships will be offered to our reserve list from this date on.


// IAPETUS2 Training Package

IAPETUS2 provides training for PhD students both as part of the cohort of IAPETUS2 students (and with continuity from the IAPETUS1 cohorts), and at the Host Organizations in which the project is based, and by providing access to external courses.  We use the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to plan training in order to fit into NERC’s Strategy for Providing Postgraduate Skills in the Environment Sector.

Each IAPETUS2 student will:

  • Be registered for a separate qualification, a Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Methods, which will recognize the transferable skills training and non-project-specific training undertaken.
  • Have access to cohort-based activities at three points in the year: Induction in November, our SCENE Research Methods course in January, and our Annual Conference in May
  • Have access to more specialized training courses (recent examples include isotope geochemistry and advanced statistics with R), with some of those courses the result of specific requests from our students
  • Carry out Entrepreneurship training in the form of a “Mini-MBA”
  • Take part in virtual discussion groups with the rest of the cohort at different times in the year
  • Have access to funded placements, which can be student-led or designed by end-user partners


// Further Information

If you have any questions about applying for IAPETUS studentship please contact your prospective Department/School or IAPETUS directly at contact.iapetus@durham.ac.uk / 0191 33 41405.