The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

How to apply

New PhD studentships available with Industrial Strategy linkages

in Smart and Autonomous Systems Science for Environmental applications

The NEXUSS Centre for Doctoral Training is announcing additional PhD studentships available for a 2017 start.  These studentships are interdisciplinary, focusing on scientific excellence within the UK Industrial Strategy remit.  Studentships will be based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton or Partners (Heriot Watt University, University of East Anglia, British Antarctic Survey, Scottish Association for Marine Science and the National Oceanography Centre) and partners, with cutting-edge facilities and world-class academics and technologists from around the world.

Research topics span the coast to deep ocean, atmosphere and land, tackling the most pressing scientific questions of our age, within the environmental sciences.  Within the NEXUSS CDT, there is additional scope to use and develop advanced technology – particularly smart autonomous systems – and methods for investigating environmental problems.

In the current call for studentships, projects have industrial links with many projects having a CASE partner in industry.  Projects with CASE partners will be prioritised over those without.  Interaction and partnership with industry is encouraged and supported within these projects, providing additional training and experience for students.  

Application deadlines:

Due to the short timeframe, applications are encouraged to be submitted as soon as possible, with deadlines anticipated:

*Applicants for Southampton-based projects (University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre) are expected to make themselves available to interview on these dates. Other host partners partners may have alternate interview dates.

All PhD applications to NEXUSS should be made via the Institution hosting the project of interest

You are encouraged to contact potential supervisors by email to discuss project-specific aspects of the proposed research at an early stage. General enquiries should be directed to the NEXUSS Team on

NEXUSS Centre for Doctoral Training

NEXUSS is a Centre for Doctoral Training funded by NERC and EPSRC.  It is led by the University of Southampton, in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey, Heriot Watt University, National Oceanography Centre, Scottish Association for Marine Science and University of East Anglia. The particular focus of NEXUSS is on developing and applying novel Smart and Autonomous Observing Systems (including autonomous aerial and underwater platforms, new algorithms for decision-making by robots, developing new methods for analysing big environmental datasets, and more).  The aim is to equip the next generation of environmental scientists with the necessary skills to develop and apply these new unmanned systems for environmental studies.  Students will be registered at one of the 6 institutions, and will have joint training and an annual Grand Challenge event within each cohort.

Find out more:

Entry Criteria:

Successful candidates are likely to have the following qualifications:

From one of the following disciplines:

The appropriate background/qualifications are project specific, so please check individual project adverts and/or contact project supervisors for additional information.

Funding and eligibility

Each SPITFIRE/NEXUSS project comes with a fully-funded studentship for students who meet the eligibility requirement. 

Please direct any questions regarding eligibility to


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