CENTA PhD Studentships


The Central England NERC Training Alliance is a partnership involving the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Warwick, Cranfield and the Open University, together with the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. CENTA has been awarded £4.9 million from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) which, with additional support from the partners, will fund around 120 PhD studentships over 5 years, training the next generation of Environmental and Earth Scientists.

CENTA has now entered is second phase "CENTA2", with increased funding and studentships.

The University of Leicester has expertise in a number of areas where the CENTA Partnership has particular research strength.  These are:

environmental sustainabilityClimate and Environmental Sustainability. Key areas of strength include pollutants in the atmosphere and aquatic environments, and satellite-based observations of the climate system.


Organisms and Ecosystems. Key areas of strength include modern organismand ancient ecosystems, responses to environmental change, vertebrates – living and fossil, exceptional preservation of fossils and their evolutionary implications, microfossils and how they link to climate change studies and hydrocarbon exploration.


dynamic earthDynamic Earth. Key areas of strength include magma dynamics, tectonic and Earth surface processes, rates and timescales of geological processes, palaeoenvironments and palaeoclimates, all underpinned by cross-cutting excellence in chemical analysis of rocks, fossils and geological processes.

As a CENTA student, you will belong to a consortium well-resourced to provide you with extensive training to give you confidence in all aspects of your research. The partnership draws together relevant expertise from a complementary set of research organisations to train scientists capable of making outstanding contributions to their discipline, able to apply their knowledge to the challenges facing the UK economy, the quality of life of its citizens, and the state of the global environment.

Applying for a PhD Studentship

The studentship competition for projects starting in September 2019 are now closed

We welcome applications from UK and EU students, students from outside of the EU are not eligible. Full tuition fees and an annual stipend in line with UK Research Councils are available for UK and EU applicants who qualify for NERC awards. 

Further guidance about eligibility is available at RCUK Terms & Conditions 

You can find out more about CENTA via this link.

Our expertise linked to CENTA is hosted within 6 departments in Leicester, and your application will be dealt with by host departments. To view a list of the PhD projects available and to find more information on how to apply just follow the appropriate link below:

Department of Chemistry Department of Infection,Immunity and Inflammation
Department of Genetics Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment


Department of Physics and Astronomy

Applications for 2019/20 are now closed

Interviews will take place on 13 and 14 February 2019

Details of our application process can be found hereHow to Apply for a CENTA project:





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