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The University of Southampton

New funding to INSPIRE Southampton studentships in environmental sciences research

Published: 12 October 2018
Oceanography research
The INSPIRE partnership will bring 80 PhD studentships to the University over the next five years.

The University of Southampton has been awarded funding for 80 new PhD studentships over the next five years as leader of the INSPIRE Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), one of 17 announced by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

INSPIRE engages the University in partnership with the National Oceanography Centre, the Natural History Museum, the British Antarctic Survey and the Marine Biological Association. The partnership underpins the University’s and the UK’s world-leading profile within the global environmental science community.

The £6.99M awarded by NERC will focus on studentships in the University’s Schools of Ocean and Earth Science, Biological Sciences, Engineering, Geography and Environmental Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, and Humanities. The success of Southampton’s bid meant that the University was awarded an increased number of studentships against a backdrop of stiff competition for a shrinking resource.  

Professor Tim Minshull from the School of Ocean and Earth Science, who led the INSPIRE bid, said “This was a real team effort and I would like to thank the team of Professor Martin Palmer, Professor Paul Hughes and Dr Blair Thornton from the University, and Dr Adrian Martin from the National Oceanography Centre for their effort and commitment. The bid also built on the hard work of many other colleagues within the University and partner organisations who have run the successful SPITFIRE DTP on which this bid was built, and who guided the bid through internal review processes.”

Professor Chris Howls, Director of the Doctoral College at the University of Southampton added, “The NERC award to the INSPIRE team demonstrates the quality of doctoral provision within this Southampton-led consortium.   With 16 studentships per year, this is the second highest annual number anywhere in the UK and as such is a major contribution to the next generation of world-class research leaders in environmental sciences. I congratulate and thank the INSPIRE team for their extremely hard work in securing the award and look forward to INSPIRE building on the success of the existing SPITFIRE NERC DTP.”

The University of Southampton hosts and participates in a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) which are helping to train 2,600 research students with the skills they need to address some of society’s biggest challenges, including climate change, energy, our ageing population and high-tech crime and supporting the UK Industrial Strategy.


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