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Kent receives share of £5 million for environmental research

The University of Kent and its partners in Environment East (EnvEast) have received a £5million award from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to fund PhD students to carry out environmental research.

The award will fund 60 PhD researchers over the next five years at EnvEast - a doctoral training partnership between the universities of East Anglia, Kent and Essex, who together form the Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC) - alongside eight other core environmental partners.

The funding will enable students to work collaboratively between two or more partners within or outside of the EnvEast partnership. Kent students will receive training under the ‘Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Development’ theme of the programme.

Professor Richard Griffiths, of the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation and an EnvEast Board Member, said: ‘This award consolidates Kent’s position among the leading providers of postgraduate training in environmental research in the UK. Successful applicants will be hosted within the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology or the National Centre for Statistical Ecology, both of whom have international reputations for the quality of their research and training.’

Professor Diane Houston, Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Kent, said: ‘This is further recognition of the excellence of doctoral training at Kent and adds to our success in winning funding from UK research councils and the European Commission. Kent has access to funds that will support postgraduate research students in becoming the next generation of scholars, nationally and internationally.’

The funding will cover fees, maintenance, professional development opportunities, and research costs for a number of research areas defined as ‘strategically important’, and is one of 15 successful Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) announced recently by the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

David Willetts said: ‘This significant investment highlights the Government’s commitment to supporting postgraduate training and research in the environmental sciences. We're dedicated to providing the next generation of environmental researchers with the necessary skills and training to succeed in academia and industry.’

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.’

Core partners alongside EnvEast include: the British Antarctic Survey, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, the Marine Biology Association, the John Innes Centre, and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science.

Advertising for student applications begins in November 2013 on the University of Kent and its partner’s websites. The first successful recipients of these awards will begin their 3.5 year-long studies in October 2014. For more details, click here.



Contact: K.Scoggins@Kent.ac.uk

Story published at 10:45am 15 November 2013

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Last Updated: 23/05/2013