Funding boost to train next generation of environmental scientists

The University of Liverpool has led a successful bid for a share of £100m funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to train the next generation of environmental scientists.

The Adapting to the Challenges of Changing Environment (ACCE) Doctoral Training Programme [DTP] brings together the academic strengths of the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield and York, and the unique scientific expertise and resources of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the Natural History Museum.  Their successful bid in the second round of NERC’s DTP programme will support 22 new PhD studentships a year in ecology, evolution and conservation over the next 5 years.

The multidisciplinary programme aims to develop confident and multi-skilled PhD students capable of undertaking cutting-edge research and tackling environmental biology questions of global significance.

Professor Andy Fenton, ACCE DTP Programme Director at the University of Liverpool said: “ACCE is the only Doctoral Training Partnership in the UK dedicated to ecology, evolution, and conservation and we are delighted with this funding success. ACCE students will tackle questions of global significance, and develop the skills and experience needed to equip them for careers in science-based industry, academia and beyond.”

Dr Dylan Childs, Postgraduate Research Director from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, said: “An IPCC report released this week made clear that we have to deal with the imminent threat of climate change, and to limit global temperature increases to a maximum of 1.5 C before 2030. This funding will allow us to continue to train young scientists who will enable us to tackle the challenges of living in this changing world.”

The 2018 DTP call was an open and competitive process that identified 17 DTPs to host PhD studentships funded by NERC. Each DTP was assessed on the basis of excellence through a transparent, peer-reviewed application process.

Sam Gyimah, Minister for Science and Innovation, added: “The UK is alive with ambitious young minds that have the potential to shape the science and research landscape, stretching existing boundaries of knowledge and conquering the challenges of tomorrow.

“Making the most of the UK’s world-leading reputation in science and innovation is at the core of our modern Industrial Strategy, and it is today’s young people that will fulfil this ambition to create a Britain fit for the future.”

The new DTP succeeds the original ACCE DTP, which funded PhD studentships starting in 2014-2018.

For information about ACCE please visit 

Photo credit: Professor Rob Beynon

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