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

2021 studentships

The deadline for 2021 studentship applications has now closed. Please return to this page in November to receive information regarding 2022 studentship opportunities. Below are some example of studentship activity from the previous year.

  • Effects of Dispersants on Mitigating Environmental Impacts of Marine Oil Pollution

Dr Boyd McKew (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Professor Terry McGenity (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Rob Holland (OSRL Ltd)

Further details about the studentship

  • Future-proofing English Shellfish Exports: Ecology, Catchability and Sustainability of the Common Whelk Fishery

Dr Tom Cameron (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Phil Hollyman (British Antarctic Survey), Dr Michelle Taylor (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), Dr Ruth Bryant (RAGT Seeds Ltd), Ms Helen Wilson (RAGT Seeds Ltd)

Further details about the studentship

  • Putting Molecular Ecology to Work for Targeted Control of Marine Biofouling

Dr Nick Aldred (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Professor Alex Dumbrell (School of Life Sciences, University of Essex), Dr Ralitsa Mihaylova (Safinah Group)

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)

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 has recently announced that it is changing its residential eligibility rules. Now, regardless of whether you are a "home" applicant or an "international" applicant, you can apply for a studentship. However, they are applying a cap on numbers, as only up to 30% of studentship awards can be made to international applicants.

To be classed as a home student, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or 
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If you do not meet the criteria above, you are classed as an international student.

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

How to apply

The ARIES 2020-21 studentship competition has now closed and awards have been made. Further information on the 2021-22 studentship competition will be available here from October 2021.

Training

ARIES offers an exciting training package to support you during your PhD and in your career choices post study.

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