The University of Stirling has received a share of £5 million to train the next generation of environmental and Earth scientists.
Stirling is one of five universities receiving funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to support more than 60 PhD scholarships over the next five years.
Scientists from Stirling will join their peers from the Universities of Durham, Glasgow, Newcastle and St Andrews together with the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology to form IAPETUS, named after the ancient ocean which closed to bring together Northern England and Scotland.
The IAPETUS partnership will provide PhD students with access to world-class resources and high quality teaching as they tackle critical environmental challenges such as:
Global environmental change and its impact on glaciers, sea levels and the climate
Energy and the study of the Earth’s resources
Exploring the carbon cycle and its relationship to forests, peatlands and the oceans
Understanding biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides and flooding
Professor Andrew Tyler, head of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Stirling, said: “This award recognises and supports excellence in postgraduate research within each of the consortium Universities.
“The award enables the consortium to work more effectively together, providing new and relevant collaborative postgraduate research opportunities that address the key environmental challenges facing society today, whilst also training our future leaders in science."
A key priority of this PhD training programme is to carry out research of relevance to business, society and policy makers. Many partners have already signalled their support for IAPETUS including major energy companies, national charities and key public bodies ranging from BP, to the National Trust for Scotland and the Ordnance Survey.
A further announcement is expected later this month for students looking to apply for a NERC-funded PhD project starting in 2014.