Nov 4, 2013 Oban - Scientists at the University of Edinburgh, in conjunction with SAMS and other partners, have won a share of UK Government funding to train the next generation of environment experts.
The Edinburgh Earth and Environment Doctoral Training Programme, led by Professor Peter Nienow in the University's School of GeoSciences, will seek to attract and enable the brightest PhD students to address environmental challenges, by providing a flexible training programme in a multidisciplinary setting.
Their initiative, funded by the Britain's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), brings together 28 partners from research, education, policy and industry sectors to deliver a programme of PhD training and research.
The Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, has announced £100 million of new investment by the NERC in 15 Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs), which specialise in training environmental science PhD students.
The DTPs will support 1200 PhD students across the 15 partnerships. This means at least 240 new students will begin training every year for five years, with the opportunity for partners to co-fund, boosting the number of studentships available.
The strong focus on collaboration within and between the DTPs allows partners to pool their experience to create rich training environments for students and encourage knowledge-sharing and interconnectivity, which benefits environmental science researchers.
An integral element of the NERC DTP programme is that a minimum of 30% (or 360) of the students will work with and undertake research projects that are directly relevant to non-academic partners. This will help keep Britain at the forefront of research training, and provide students with the training experience they need to enter a wide range of careers.
Professor Duncan Wingham, chief executive of NERC, said:
“If UK environmental sciences are going to continue to prosper, we need to make sure we get the best from our students. These DTPs position us to compete in an increasingly competitive global environment by training students in the best possible way to use environmental sciences to help meet the challenges and opportunities facing us today.
We want to provide these students with the skill-sets and experiences to equip them to become future scientific leaders, and sustain the flow of top talent and skilled people for UK research, business and government. Encouraging collaboration between academic institutions and partners across the environmental sciences sector when delivering training for every student will help achieve this.
NERC DTPs will further scientific progress and support UK economic growth, job creation and prosperity.”