QUADRAT (Queen’s University Belfast & Aberdeen Doctoral Research and Training) brings together research and teaching centres of excellence in biological sciences and geosciences from the University of Aberdeen and Queen’s University Belfast and a broad network of collaborative partners to provide a transformative platform for PhD Research and training.

Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), with support from several partner organisations, QUADRAT DTP provides outstanding UK/EU students with unrivalled opportunities to gain the skills and holistic understanding essential for the next generation of scientific leaders in academic, industry and policy development due to the unique geographic positions, unprecedented research and training infrastructure and strategic alliances of the two academic partners.

Each year, we award 20 full studentships to exceptional students, providing funding to support Doctoral studies for PhD programmes for 42 months. Our themes of Biodiversity, Earth Systems and Environmental Management allow for an integration of both theoretical and applied projects capable of addressing the most significant environmental and societal challenges we face now and in the future.

The QUADRAT Vision

The vision of QUADRAT DTP is to provide a multidisciplinary training experience built around translating cutting-edge research into improved policy and practice for effective stewardship of natural capital and resource management.

QUADRAT has field training at its foundation reflecting employer needs for graduates who have first-hand skills and experience honed through empirical field data collection and analyses and providing a focus that is aligned with both UK Industrial Strategy and many of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.


The geographical location of the two academic partners, our core strengths in long-term and large-scale field data collection and our position as research partners of choice and point of contact for government, NGO and industry for policy development and applied conservation and management on a regional, national and international level means QUADRAT is in a unique position to deliver this research and training experience.

We are co-located across an unrivalled blend of temperate oceanic, boreal and sub-arctic ecosystems and coastal, fluvial, mountain, periglacial and glacial landscapes.

Our unprecedented research and training infrastructure encompasses world-renowned long-term field study sites, dedicated marine laboratories, experimental farms, research vessels and mesocosm facilities.

Our infrastructure is supplemented by easy access to National Parks, productive pasture and arable land, natural and plantation forestry, world famous freshwater courses, productive seas and designated marine habitats and areas of expanding urbanisation, all supporting populations of iconic status and conservation concern.

This combined with our location and links with oil, gas and renewable energy industries, the aquaculture sector, intensive agriculture, major fishing hubs and extensive tourism provides unequalled opportunities for environmental research relevant across the public and private sectors and delivering major impact.

Funding & Eligibility

Full Award Eligibility | Fees Only Award Eligibility | Academic Eligibility | QUADRAT DTP Studentships

The QUADRAT DTP is funded by NERC (UKRI) and as such, is regulated by the Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.

There are constraints to the funding eligibility of applicants:

Full Award Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a fully-funded DTP studentship, you must:

  1. be a UK or EU citizen or a non-EU citizen with permanent settled status in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’)
  2. have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (this applies to all citizen categories)

Fees Only Award Eligibility

  • EU citizens who will not have lived in the UK for the last 3 years preceding the start of the studentship would normally be eligible for a Fees Only Award.
  • Fees Only Awards will only cover fees and research costs. They do not include stipend, therefore funding to cover living costs for at least 3 years will need to be sought from another source.
  • Non-EU citizens who are not permanently settled in the UK (no indefinite leave to remain or permanent residency) and whose length of stay in the UK is or would be restricted by a visa (Tier 4) are not eligible.

Academic Eligibility

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject. Applicants with a minimum of a 2.2 Honours degree may be considered providing they have a Distinction at Master’s level.

QUADRAT DTP Studentships

QUADRAT DTP students are fully-funded for a minimum of 3.5 years, to start the following October.  They include:

  • Stipend based on RCUK rates (currently £17,668 pa for 2012/2023)
  • Fees (Home/EU Fees)
  • Research and Training Costs (£11,000)

CASE Studentships

In addition, CASE studentships include a CASE partner which is a non-academic organisation within the public, private or third sector providing enhanced training opportunities.

The QUADRAT DTP is funded by NERC (UKRI) and, as such, is regulated by the Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.

How to Apply

Applications for 2023 are now closed. Applications will open for 2024 later in the year.

QUADRAT Projects