How To Apply

The DTP in Environmental Research is now part of Oxford's Doctoral Training Centre, which is trialling an anonymised application process in 2020-21.  The aim of this is to try and eliminate unconscious bias during the application process.  Oxford and the DTP encourages and welcomes applications from all applicants of promise, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, income or any other delimiter.  Information on applying for a fee waiver can be found here.

When completing your application you will be asked to upload a CV using the template we provide.  Please try to ensure that identifying factors such as your name, gender, activities you may have carried out (captain of the X team at Y university) are omitted as far as possible.  It would also be very helpful if you could inform your referees of this and ask them to refer to you as "the applicant" or "candidate" and use "they" as the pronoun in place of "he" or "she".  As this is a trial, we will be checking to ensure that candidates have not been disadvantaged by it, prior to shortlisting.  You can find full information on this trial here.


NERC has provided funding for 16 full studentships in 2021.  With co-funding we are able to offer up to 20 fully funded places per year.  By applying to the DTP you are automatically considered for a funded place.   EU students are now classified as Overseas for fees purposes.  We are able to offer studentships to overseas students in 2021 but NERC does not provide full funding and we therefore need to seek co-funding in order to provide a full studentship package for overseas students.  A studentship package includes the following components:

Course fee (co-funded by NERC & the University)

Tax free living allowance (NERC)

Research and Training support grant (NERC)

Widening Participation of under-represented groups at Oxford. The NERC DTP is committed to improving access to candidates from under-represented groups at Oxford.  To this end we have set aside three studentships, one per stream, with this aim in mind.  We will be applying the same eligibility criteria as the Uniq+ programme.  If you feel you qualify for consideration for one of these studentships, please let us know in your personal statement.

In addition to these scholarships, the university has launched its Black Academic Futures scholarships, in collaboration with a number of colleges and all applicants who fulfil the criteria will automatically be considered for these scholarships.

Projects. We have many DTP supervisors with project ideas that they will be happy to discuss with applicants. We have clustered supervisors into three research streams for convenience. You can search the supervisor list by key word to find out more about the breadth of the topics on offer. We also advertise  CASE projects which involve close collaboration with an external partner, include additional funding, and give an opportunity to spend time working in a setting outside Oxford

Please indicate on the online application form if you are interested in applying to a project on our site (under proposed project title) and if you don't wish to apply to a project, put the stream you are applying to in this field instead.  Make sure you include your preferred research stream and topic area  in your personal statement and include the names of at least two academics, not your proposed supervisor, who would be appropriate to review your application.  Candidates should note that if their application is successful, the DTP will aim to match them to their preferred supervisor; however, apart from CASE projects, this cannot be guaranteed as they may already have a full load of students.  We recommend that applicants make contact with potential supervisors throughout the application process. These contacts may lead to a research partnership, but they do not constitute a commitment on either side. All  students will develop a formal project proposal during the first 2 terms of the programme and, successful candidates (for projects other than CASE projects) are free to alter their research interests during this time if they so wish.

We encourage online applications; the deadline for all applications will be 12 noon (GMT)  Friday 22 January 2021. Please note there is an application fee levied by Graduate Admissions and Funding, the DTP does not receive any part of this fee. Applications will be accepted from the start of the new admissions cycle, on 1st September 2020.  


Interviews will be held on 3rd & 4th March 2021.  Candidates who are invited for interview will be contacted a week before. We will contact all candidates as soon as we can with the outcome of their application.

Important points to note:

  • Please use the Statement-of-Purpose-form-2021 with your application
  • Please use this anonymised CV form
  • If applying for a CASE project please enter the project title in the “proposed field and title of research project” field on the Embark application form
  • If you are not applying for a CASE project, you do not have to specify a research project at this stage so indicate your preferred Research Stream where it asks for the “Proposed field and title of research project”; and if there are pre-defined projects or topic areas of interest to you, you can indicate this in your personal statement or on the statement of purpose form.

Click to start your application

For further information and instructions as to how to make a full application, please see the links below:

Application Procedure for all candidates

All applicants are required to follow the University guidelines on the admissions process.

The fastest, most efficient and preferred method of application is via the secure online application form. If however, you wish to apply using a paper application form, you are able to download this, together with the accompanying Notes of Guidance from the main University website here. You will need to upload a personal statement in which you should indicate which of the three streams is of interest to you.

Programme Code (or course code)

The course code for the DTP in Environmental Research is R8_1.

Supporting materials

You will be required to upload the following documents to your application:

  1. contact details for 3 references, one of whom should be a recent academic supervisor
  2. Curriculum Vitae on the anonymised template
  3. A personal statement, one side of approximately 500 words. We provide a Statement-of-Purpose-form-2020 which also requests that you identify possible reviewers for your application.
  4. A piece of written work, one side of A4 or approximately 500 words
    “Outline a research problem within the remit of the DTP in Environmental Research, briefly indicate the information required to solve it and suggest a line of research that – if conducted – could fill this knowledge gap.”  This does not have to be in essay format, you can use bulleted lists, flowcharts or diagrams if this helps you to express your ideas better.
  5. Any existing university transcripts, if available.  (we have software that can redact personal information from these)


The following colleges have entered into active partnership with the DTP, which means they actively support the programme with offers of joint funding and/or use of space and facilities for teaching and events, or graduate accommodation for our students.  We value these relationships highly. Please include one of these colleges on your application unless you already have an established relationship with another college and would prefer to remain there. In this case you should gain the agreement of the college office and then contact GAF to update your application form with the correct college choice.  There are other colleges who accept for the DTP but have not entered into a full partnership with us, and you can view these on the GAF course page here

St Cross College and the DTP offer a joint Graduate Scholarship to cover college fees, tuition fees (home/EU students) and stipend (for home students).  To be considered for this scholarship please add St Cross as your first choice college on the application form.

Reuben College offers a joint course fee scholarship with the DTP.

Brasenose offers a contribution towards the course fee each year.

  • Reuben College
  • Jesus College (Physical Climate & Biodiversity)
  • Linacre (All Streams)
  • Pembroke (All Streams)
  • St Anne’s (Biodiversity & Dynamic Earth)
  • St Cross (All Streams)
  • St Catherine’s (All Streams)
  • St Edmund’s Hall (All streams)
  • University College (Dynamic Earth)
  • Hertford (All Streams)
  • Queen’s (Biodiversity)
  • St John’s (Biodiversity, Dynamic Earth)
  • Merton (Biodiversity)
  • Wolfson (All Streams)
  • Brasenose (All Streams)

Applying for other programmes of study

The DTP is not the only route by which you can apply to study for a D.Phil programme in Oxford. departments. Related programmes of study are updated on the graduate admissions website course page for our programme, here:

If you are a home student and wish to apply for a D.Phil to study Climate Physics in Atmospheric, Oceanic & Planetary Physics, then you should apply to the DTP only.  International students, however, should apply only to the department in order to be considered for departmental funding.

For all other related programmes of study, such as Earth Sciences or Zoology you should complete a separate application form for each programme. You should then contact Graduate Admissions and Funding  to request a waiver for the additional application fees.

EU & Overseas Applicants

EU and Overseas candidates are now classed in the same bracket.  UKRI have announced that we can now offer full-studentships to these candidates, up to 30% of our student cohort, however we can only award fees at the home level.  Co funding must therefore be sought to cover this shortfall.  in 2021-22 the fees for our programme are as follows:

home    £8,290

overseas £27,460

The NERC contribution to fees in 2020-21 will be £4407.  Rates for 2021-22 have not yet been released but this gives an indication of how large the shortfall is likely to be.  When applying, please bear in mind that additional funding in the region of £19K will need to be secured from outside the DTP in order to take up your place.  University scholarships such as the Clarendon, or college scholarships may be used to plug this gap, external scholarships are also welcomed.

Overseas students who are interested in applying for the DTP in Environmental Research should apply direct to the department where they intend to carry out their research, in order that they can be considered for departmental scholarship funding.  Please indicate in your application research statement that you wish to be considered for the DTP in Environmental Research.