How To Apply

The DTP in Environmental Research is part of Oxford's Doctoral Training Centre.

The application deadline is Friday 6th January 2023 at 12:00pm (midday).



NERC has provided funding for 16 full studentships in 2023.  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 fully-funded studentships to around 5 overseas students in 2023 who will be classified as Home students for fees purposes. 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 groups that are under-represented at Oxford

As part of the Doctoral Training Centre we have committed a number of studentships to the Academic Futures and  Black Academic Futures scholarships, in collaboration with Linacre college.  All applicants who fulfil the criteria will automatically be considered for these scholarships.

In 2023 we will also have two studentships co-funded by the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) for young post-graduate students from developing countries, for research that advances the understanding of the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation. Applicants interested in applying for this scholarship will need to quote a unique scholarship code.  Please see our page IPCC Scholarships for more information.  Applications to these scholarships will have the same application deadline.

Please see this short video on What Assessors are looking for in an application


will be held on 20 and 21 February 2023.  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.

Choosing a supervisor

We recommend that applicants make contact with potential supervisors throughout the application process. These contacts may lead to a research partnership, but there is no 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.

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. 

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

Please indicate on the online application form if you are interested in applying to a CASE project on our site (under proposed project title) otherwise, put the stream you are applying to in this field instead. 


Programme Code (or course code)

The programme code for the DTP in Environmental Research is R8_1.  You will need this for the online application form.  This is not the same as a studentship code.  

Studentship Code

You only include a studentship code if you are applying to a special studentship.  We have only one special studentship running, the IPCC studentship which has strict eligibility criteria.  Please see the IPCC scholarship page for more details, including the studentship code.

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 instructions link here which also requests that you identify possible reviewers for your application. 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. You can find suitable reveiwers on the supervisor page or departmental websites.
  4. A piece of written work, one side of A4 or approximately 500 words (see this video for advice
    “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.This could form the starting point for your interview conversation so write it about something you are confident talking about.
  5. Any existing university transcripts, if available.  These will be anonymised.

complete information on these materials is available here on the Graduate Admissions course page

Important points to note:

  • Please follow the Statement of Purpose instructions with your application.  Please identify 2 or 3 potential reviewers for your application at the top of your Statement of Purpose, who are not a potential supervisor. (this is outside the 500 word count).  You can check our supervisors page or departmental websites to find academics in your area.
  • Please use the anonymised CV formApplicants to the IPCC scholarship do not need to complete the anonymised CV form but should attach a CV as normal to their application.
  • 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.

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


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.  

There are a number of related programmes of study, such as Earth Sciences or Biology, where a fee waiver can be sought if applying for more than one of those on this list  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.