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Welcome to the website for the SPHERES NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). Our NERC DTP spans the science of Earth’s atmosphere, geosphere and biosphere. It is hosted by five academic departments at the University of Leeds and one at the University of York, building on a history of bi-lateral and multi-lateral research collaboration. Through high quality research projects and training, we attract excellent postgraduate students into natural environment science research and train them for future employment and leadership, enabling them to contribute to environmental well-being and UK economic prosperity. We have recruited over 100 students in 4 cohorts since October 2014. Their research projects tackle current and future global challenges such as climate change, atmospheric pollution, natural hazards, sustainable use of natural resources (e.g., water, hydrocarbons, minerals, soils, forests, biodiversity) and food security.

There are major environmental changes facing our planet: Food, water and energy demands coupled with the effects of climate change and natural hazards will create unprecedented scientific, societal and economic challenges. We are equipping the next generation of environmental scientists with the skills necessary to understand the complex interactions within the Earth system, enabling them to contribute to the development of scientific and policy solutions for the problems we will face in the coming decades, on both national and global scales. We aim to develop future sector leaders who have excellent scientific and transferable skills, a knowledge of the major challenges facing society, an understanding of how research translates into impact and experience of working in a leading-edge, multidisciplinary research environment, with a wide range of subject specialists and external stakeholders.

We recruit about 28 students per year from the UK and rest of the European Union and provide them with fully funded studentships, including a generous research budget.


First DTP cohort on induction day - October 2014


Second DTP cohort on induction day - October 2015


Third DTP cohort on induction day - October 2016