Stirling to receive share of £12 million in new funding

Back to news
Aerial image of a fish farm in a large area of water

The University of Stirling has received a share of £12 million to train the next generation of environmental and aquaculture scientists.

Two consortiums involving Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences will benefit from new funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), to support PhD studentships under its Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) scheme, over the next five years.

The IAPETUS partnership – which unites Biological and Environmental Sciences at Stirling, with the Universities of Durham, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Newcastle and St Andrews; the British Geological Survey; the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; and the British Antarctic Survey – will share £7 million of investment for more than 80 PhD studentships. Led by Durham University, IAPETUS will deliver PhD student training in research topics including climate change, geological processes, environmental hazards and biodiversity.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Universities Partnership for Environmental Research (SUPER) – involving Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, Aberdeen, Edinburgh Napier, Heriot-Watt, Highlands and Islands, St Andrews, Strathclyde and West of Scotland Universities – will share £5 million, to fund between 60 and 90 PhD students. The consortium is managed by the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS).

Professor Andrew Tyler
Professor Andrew Tyler
Associate Dean for Research / Deputy Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences.
These awards for IAPETUS and SUPER recognise and support excellence in postgraduate research within each of the consortiums’ universities.

Professor Andrew Tyler, Associate Dean for Research and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, welcomed the announcement. He said: “These awards for IAPETUS and SUPER recognise and support excellence in postgraduate research within each of the consortiums’ universities.

“The award enables each consortium to work more effectively together, providing new and relevant collaborative interdisciplinary postgraduate research opportunities that address the key environmental challenges facing society today at home and internationally, whilst also training our future leaders in science.”

Professor David Paterson, Executive Director of MASTS and leader of the SUPER bid, said: “This support from NERC is fantastic news, not only recognising the excellent training environment that Scotland can offer but it arrives at a critical time to support efforts to respond to the environmental challenges highlighted in the recent IPCC Climate Change report.

“We are looking forward to placing our best students in a position to learn and then develop the tools to understand and better manage ecosystems sustainably.”

NERC DTPs provide excellent postgraduate research opportunities as well as varied, professional and technical skills and personal development training. This round of funding – totalling more than £100million – will support 17 DTPs, with each allocated between 12 and 18 studentships per year.

Background information

Media enquiries to Greg Christison, Communications Officer, on 01786 466 687 or

You may also be interested in