How to Apply2023-03-08T17:46:41+00:00

How to Apply

Applications for IAPETUS2 2023 studentships are now open. Please start by looking at our studentship page for information on our 2023 projects. We recommend contacting the primary supervisor of your preferred project for more information and to discuss your suitability for the project.

Application Process

IAPETUS2 will support at least 16 funded postgraduate studentships at one of our partner organizations in 2023
To apply for an IAPETUS2 studentship, please follow the guidelines below.

Application Overview
How to Apply
Financial Support
Application Flowchart

IAPETUS2 held an online Q&A workshop for applicants on Friday 16th December, where we outlined the application process and answered the pre-submitted questions. To see this online session, please click here. The password is +=iA720& and the sessions starts at 9 minutes and 25 seconds

Application Overview

In order to apply for an IAPETUS2 Studentship, all applicants must complete both the application form and the EDI form below by 6th January 2023 at 12pm. If you are longlisted you will be contacted by the 20th January 2023 and invited to put in a full application to the university where the PhD is based by 15th February 2023.

In order to address historical imbalances, IAPETUS2 is committed to recruiting a diverse, representative community of researchers in Environmental Science. We are guided by the UKRI policies on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and have developed our own Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy to further this. This includes the Widening Participation Scheme, which identifies applicants from underrepresented groups who may be guaranteed an interview (up to 30% of interview places). Any of our studentships can be part-time if that mode of study is more appropriate for your circumstances. (International students should check the terms of the Tier 4 visa scheme to see if this is possible).


All applicants need to meet NERC’s eligibility criteria to be considered for an IAPETUS studentship and these are detailed in the current UKRI studentship terms and conditions

How to Apply

Please use the template to prepare your application before completing the online form. The application form is designed to provide us with the information we need to evaluate your application. We know that successful PhD students come from a wide range of backgrounds and with widely differing amounts of past experience. By using the template we can best evaluate your past achievements and potential for PhD research in the context of any past opportunities or barriers you may have faced. Our aim is to help you demonstrate your potential and make the best possible case for your future career in the environmental sciences.

We recommend that you use the template to enter and edit your supporting information in good time before the application deadline, and then use it to copy and paste the information required into the online form. Please note that we can only accept applications in this way, and you should NOT send the completed template document to us.

If you are uncertain about any of the elements of the form, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at The DTP Manager will respond to your questions; the manager is not involved in the decision-making part of the evaluation process for studentships. We will also host an online Q&A session on 16th December to answer questions about the application process. If you have questions about the procedures for each of our partners, contact details for their administrators are also available via the link on our website, and again these administrators are not directly involved in the evaluation of applications. Academic contacts in each institution may be involved in the evaluation process.

Financial Support

IAPETUS2’s postgraduate studentships are tenable for up to 3.5 years and provides the following package of financial support:

  • A tax-free maintenance grant set at the UK Research Council’s national rate, which in 2022/23 is £17,668.
  • Payment of tuition fees at the Home rate (some of our partners have funding available for the additional fees charged to international students. Please get in touch with the primary supervisor of the project to learn more);
  • Access to extensive research support funding; &
  • Support for an external placement of up to six months.

Part-time award-holders are funded for seven years and receive a maintenance grant at 50% of the full-time rate.

Application Flowchart


Should I contact the primary supervisor of the project before applying?2022-10-31T09:11:54+00:00

Yes, you should contact the primary supervisor. As an applicant, it is useful to discuss the project details with the supervisor and talk through your suitability for the project. After having this conversation, you can incorporate this into your application.

Can I apply for more than one project, and if so, does each one require a different application?2022-12-09T10:04:53+00:00

Yes, you may apply for more than one project if you wish. But consider how many projects you realistically have a good chance of success with.  It is better to make a smaller number of strong applications than a larger number of more speculative ones.

You must complete one application form per project, but we only need a single EDI form per applicant.

If you are longlisted for multiple projects, we will ask you to select which project you want to proceed with by 27th January 2023, at 12 noon.

How do I submit my IAPETUS2 application?2022-12-09T10:07:02+00:00

Please use the IAPETUS2 application template to draft your application. Applicants must then submit their applications by copying and pasting their answers from the template on to the online application form. Applicants also need to submit a separate EDI form. No parts of the EDI form are used for determining any part of awarding the studentships.

You must complete one application form per project, but we only need a single EDI form per applicant.

Application templates must not be emailed to IAPETUS2, only completed online application forms will be accepted.

The application deadline is Friday 6th January 2023 at 12 noon.

Why does IAPETUS2 require applicants to complete the EDI form?2022-12-09T09:59:18+00:00

IAPETUS2 is funded through the UKRI Research Council NERC. All UKRI Doctoral Training Partnerships are required to submit anonymised EDI Statistics within an Annual Report.

Does the application form require supporting documents such as a CV and transcripts?2022-12-09T10:22:43+00:00

No supporting documentation need to be submitted with the IAPETUS2 application form and EDI form. If longlisted, applicants will be asked to email copies of their CV and transcripts to the primary supervisor of the project, so please have these ready by the 20th January 2023. Please do not send them in advance of this request.

Can I just send my supporting documents to the primary supervisor in advance of being longlisted?2022-12-09T10:19:50+00:00

No, please do not send any supporting documents to the primary supervisor in advance of being notified of the longlisting stage. The longlisting stage is undertaken by the supervisory team using an anonymised version of the application form, so the supervisors will not be using any additional information.

If you are longlisted, the IAPETUS2 administrator will email to notify you of this by Friday 20th January. You will be asked at this stage to send your CV and transcripts to the primary supervisor of the project by Monday 23rd January, so please have your CV and transcripts ready to send on this date. Please do not include a photo on your CV and please ensure your CV is written in gender neutral pronouns to avoid unconscious bias during the application process.

Do we need to supply reference letters with the application form?2022-12-09T10:07:46+00:00

No supporting documentation needs to be submitted with the IAPETUS2 application form and EDI form. The application form however requires that you fill out the contact details for 2 contacts who can supply a reference. References will be automatically contacted by IAPETUS2 if you are longlisted for a project. Please ensure you have asked your two references and ensure they are available to provide a reference in the last two weeks of January 2023.

My reference is on fieldwork at the end of January, beginning of February, what should I do?2022-12-09T10:21:02+00:00

If you are successfully longlisted, IAPETUS will automatically contact your references from them towards the end of January. If your reference(s) are not available then your application will be considered without the reference(s). Before submitting your IAPETUS2 application, please ensure your references are available in the final 2 weeks of January to provide a reference . If they are not, please provide details of another reference.

One of the supervisors of the project I am applying to is the supervisor of my Masters, can they provide a reference for me?2022-12-09T10:11:39+00:00

No, if a supervisor of the project you are applying for is your current supervisor in your Masters, they cannot provide you with a reference for your IAPETUS2 application. Please select another reference.

I am an international applicant, are all my fees covered by IAPETUS2?2022-12-09T10:05:44+00:00

IAPETUS2 are only able to cover the Home Fees for International students. So far, all of our institutions have paid or waived the difference in fees between home and international fees for those international applicants who have been successful, and we expect this to continue for 2023. Please do discuss this with the primary supervisor. International students receive the same stipend and research costs as home students.

Am I applying for a PhD when submitting my IAPETUS2 application?2022-10-31T09:11:54+00:00

No, when submitting your IAPETUS2 application, you are just submitting an application to fund a PhD in one of the IAPETUS2 institutions. You will be notified by email when you need to submit a PhD application to the awarding university. This will likely be in late January, early February after longlisting. (The date depends on which institution you would be applying to).

Should I include my current MSc on the application form section on qualifications, even though I am still in the process of completing it?2022-10-31T09:11:54+00:00

Yes. It should be included in the main education section of the form.

What does ‘degree classification’ mean on the application form?2022-10-31T09:11:54+00:00

This refers to the grade or final mark you received for your degree. In the UK degrees are classified as 1st, 2:1, 2;2 and 3rd. If you have an international degree please state the mark or grade you were awarded with the UK equivalence if you know it. If you don’t please do not worry, our supervisors are used to assessing international applications.

Is there any advantage to state in your application if you applied for IAPETUS2 last year? Is it considered alongside the EDI form/widening participation?2022-10-31T09:11:54+00:00

It isn’t a specific criterion for assessment, although you may want to mention it in case it is helpful to show how your skills and background have changed since then to make you more suited for the project.

Does IAPETUS2 offer any shorter term projects or opportunities?2022-10-31T09:11:54+00:00

IAPETUS2 supports 3.5-year PhD projects within the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) structure. If you are interested in shorter-term opportunities, it is best to email supervisors directly to see what they may be able to support.

If you are still an undergraduate, we do offer Research Experience Placements (REPs) in the summer. These paid opportunities last 6 – 8 weeks and are advertised through a separate process from April or May.

I have a temporary residence permit in Europe however I have a plan to go back home to a country outside of Europe. Will this affect my application?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

IAPETUS2 cannot answer specific questions about visa processes, but there is an international office in each partner organization where you will be able to find appropriate guidance.

The DTP part of the application process will not depend on where you are located.

I have not heard from IAPETUS2 about the status of my application, what should I do?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

When you submit an IAPETUS2 application online, you should receive an automatically generated email confirming you have submitted your application form. Please check your junk folder if you do not think you have received this. Please contact us if you have not received this and we can check that your application has been received.

IAPETUS2 will then contact applicants on the following dates after this:

Friday 20th January, 5pm – Confirm whether an applicant has been longlisted or not

Tuesday 21st February, 5pm – Confirm whether an applicant has been shortlisted for interview or not

Friday 3rd March, 5pm – Confirm whether an applicant has been awarded a studentship or not

Please do not contact IAPETUS2 in advance of these dates and times to check on the status of your application as notifications will be sent out only on these dates.

Should I ask for reference letters?2022-12-09T10:27:00+00:00

No, your reference details need to be on your IAPETUS application. Please notify your references that if you are longlisted, they will be contact by IAPETUS2 from Friday 20th January and to please be available to submit a reference on your behalf as there is a quick turnaround.

My reference has contacted me saying they have written a standard reference letter, is this ok?2022-12-09T10:27:27+00:00

If possible, we are asking all references to please use the IAPETUS standard reference form in order to be able to compare all references like for like. Please encourage your reference to use the reference form provided.

When do I send in my CV and transcripts?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

On Friday 20th January, you will be notified whether you have been longlisted or not. At this stage, anyone longlisted for a project will be asked to email the primary supervisor of the project a copy of their CV and transcripts by Monday 23rd January. Please do not email these in advance as supervisors complete the longlisting stage using anonymised application forms only.

Are there any requirements for the CV?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

Please keep your CV to no more than 2 pages long, please do not include a photo on your CV and please ensure your CV is written in gender neutral pronouns to avoid unconscious bias during the application process.

Who decides who gets the studentships and how do they determine that? Is it based on who might be the best fit to the project they are applying for, or who they think is the best candidate based on their credentials?2022-12-09T10:29:19+00:00

Firstly, the Supervisory teams longlist the top three applicants who are the best fit for their project then each partner organisation produces a shortlist of up to seven applicants. The Studentship panel (made up of representatives from all IAPETUS2 institutions) compares the applications across the partners and makes awards based on their assessment of both the application (60%) and the interview (40%)

Criteria are published (Appendix 3 in Student Guidance document) based on background, project fit and future potential (50:40:10)

When do I submit an application for a PhD?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

You will be notified by email when you need to submit a PhD application to the awarding university. This will likely be in late January, early February after longlisting. (The date depends on which institution you would be applying to).

Which university do I need to apply to for a PhD2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

You apply to the university where the primary supervisor is based at. (The first supervisor listed on the project). If the primary supervisor is based at BAS, BGS or UKCEH, you apply to the university of the second supervisor.

How important is the personal statement in the university application? Can I use the same information that I put in my answers to questions in the IAPETUS2 application?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

It is worth discussing this question with potential supervisors, but for the most part you should be able to reuse the material from the initial application in the personal statement part of the form – we’re not anticipating the need to rewrite the material substantially.

Can I request feedback on my application?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

Due to the large numbers of applications, IAPETUS2 cannot offer any feedback to applicants.

When are the interviews to be held and will I get to choose which day I will be interviewed on?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 28th February and Wednesday 1st March 2023. You will not get to choose the date and/or time of interview. Please ensure you are available to be interviewed on these dates.

When will I receive my Invitation to Interview?2022-12-09T10:23:40+00:00

If you are successful at shortlisting stage, you will receive your invitation to interview by 5pm on Tuesday 21st February 2023. If you are not successfully shortlisted, you will receive notification of this on this date.

Will my interview be in-person or online?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

All IAPETUS2 interviews will be held on Zoom on Tuesday 28th February and Wednesday 1st March 2023.

Will I need to give a presentation during my interview?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

No, you will not need to give a presentation. The interview will be structured in a question and answer format. There will usually be three interviewers and each applicant will be asked the same set of questions. Interviews will normally last no longer than 30 minutes.

When will I know if I have been successful?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

All interviewed applicants will hear from IAPETUS2 on Friday 3rd March 2022

When do I need to respond to the offer?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

If you are offered a studentship with IAPETUS2, we will need you to respond to this offer by no later than midday on Wednesday 15th March 2023 at 12 noon.

I am on the reserve list for IAPETUS2, am I likely to receive a studentship?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

IAPETUS2 is unable to tell you whether or not you are likely to receive a studentship as it depends on how many acceptances and declines we receive from those offered a place.

I am on the reserve list for IAPETUS2, how long am I likely wait until I hear more?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

IAPETUS2 is unable to tell you how long you will be kept on the Reserve List for as it depends on how many acceptances and declines we receive from those offered a place. The first group of offers must respond by Wednesday 15th March. After this point, IAPETUS2 will make new offers for the declines it has received, and will continue to do so until we have a complete cohort. We aim to do this as quickly as possible, but we do need to give those who receive offers time to consider the offer. IAPETUS2 will notify those left on the reserve list once it has closed.

Can I request feedback on my application?2022-10-31T09:11:28+00:00

Due to the large numbers of applications, IAPETUS2 cannot offer any feedback to applicants.

I see more IAPETUS2 projects keep being added to the website. When will all IAPETUS2 projects be online for this year’s competition?2022-11-01T16:04:15+00:00

All IAPETUS2 projects will be online by Friday 4th November at 5pm.

Key Dates
November 1, 2022
IAPETUS2 Applications open
December 16, 2022
Online Applicant Q&A workshop
January 6, 2023
Deadline for applicants to apply for a studentship
January 20, 2023
Applicants will be informed if they have been longlisted or not
January 23, 2023
Longlisted applicants send their CV and transcripts to the primary supervisor of the project
January 27, 2023
Deadline for applicants longlisted for multiple projects to select which project to be considered for
February 15, 2023
Deadline for longlisted applicants to apply to the Awarding University for the PhD (except for Durham applicants)
February 23, 2023
Applicants will be informed if they have been shortlisted to interview or not
March 7, 2023
IAPETUS2 Interview Days
March 8, 2023
IAPETUS2 Interviews Days
March 10, 2023
Shortlisted Applicants will be informed for the award decisions
March 31, 2023
NERC Universal Acceptance Date