Doctoral Training Partnerships

ARIES: Advanced Research and Innovation in the Environmental Sciences

ARIES (Advanced Research and Innovation in the Environmental Sciences) is a Doctoral Training Partnership with the mission “to train postgraduate research students with excellent potential from across society, equipping them with the necessary skills to become 21st Century Scientists: leaders in the science and sustainable business of the natural environment.”

ARIES is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and is an extensive world-class partnership integrating 59 partners from universities, research institutes and end users. ARIES is built upon scientific excellence within five overlapping research themes:

  • Ecology and biodiversity
  • Marine, atmospheric and climate science
  • Geosciences, resources and environmental Risk
  • Environmental genomics and microbiology
  • Agri-environments and water

2022 studentships

The studentship application process is now closed for students wishing to commence study in October 2022. Here are the details of the projects that were available for October 2022 entry:

  • Understanding relationships at biological interfaces using engineered bacterial communities 

Dr Nick Aldred (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Mette Burmølle (Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen), Professor Terry McGenity (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), and Dr Philippe Laissue (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex)

Further details about the studentship

  • Increasing agricultural crop productivity through the selective modification of the soil microbiome

Professor Alex Dumbrell (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Professor Tracy Lawson (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), and Dr Ruth Bryant (RAGT Seeds)

Further details about the studentship

  • Biogeography of microbial bioaerosols in a changing climate

Dr Robert Ferguson (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Professor Alex Dumbrell (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Philippa Douglas (Public Health England.  Air Quality and Public Health,  Environmental Hazards and Emergencies Department. Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards), and Dr Emma Marczylo (Public Health England.  Toxicology Department Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards)

Further details about the studentship

  • The origin and fate of blue carbon in coastal habitats 

Dr Natalie Hicks (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Professor Graham Underwood (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Alina Marca (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia), Dr Julie Bremner (Cefas and UEA (CCSUS)), and Dr Ruth Parker (Cefas, Science Lead)

Further details about the studentship

  • Metabolic drivers of growth and survival in salmonids 

Dr Eoin O'Gorman, Dr Anna Sturrock (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Tom Cameron (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Rasmus Lauridsen (Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust), and Dr Colin Bull (Missing Salmon Alliance)

Further details about the studentship

Eligibility

ARIES studentships are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which applies the eligibility criteria laid down by its parent body, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). These are outlined in their Terms and Conditions of Training Grants document, and given in more detail in their Training Grant Guide (Annex 1), both of which can be found on the UKRI website.

UKRI announced that international students will be eligible for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships from the start of the 2021-22 academic year. UKRI will normally limit the proportion of international students appointed each year through individual doctoral training programmes to 30% of the total.

All UKRI-funded PhD students (UK, EU, International) will be eligible for the full award – both the stipend to support living costs, and fees at research organisations UK rate. UKRI funding will not cover international fees set by universities, but all ARIES partners have agreed to fund the top-up from UK to international fees. ARIES funding will not cover costs associated with visa or health surcharges, or additional costs associated with entry to, and living in the UK.

In case of uncertainty, please email ariesapp@essex.ac.uk.

How to apply

For October 2022 entry, the deadline is now closed. Once you have reviewed the projects above, please send a covering letter and CV to ariesapp@essex.ac.uk, identifying the project that you’re interested in.

Details about the 2023 studentships will be available here in October 2022.

Training

ARIES students benefit from bespoke graduate training and ARIES provides £2,500 to every student for access to external training, travel and conferences. Full details regarding the training provision available can be found here.

As well as ARIES opportunities, you can also benefit from Proficio, our University's unique professional development scheme for doctoral students. You receive up to £2,500 during your studies to fund specialist training across a range of areas from research skills and managing a PhD, to presenting work and getting published.

ARIES also offers advanced training courses to other PhD students at partner universities. Students don't need to be in receipt of a studentship to participate.

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Supervisory team