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PhD opportunities

Over 50 PhD students carry out doctoral research at Kew, with access to our world-class scientific collections, facilities, training and expertise.
A scientist at work at the Millennium Seed Bank
A scientist at work at the Millennium Seed Bank

PhD students at Kew work alongside highly experienced botanists, mycologists and conservationists, learning from leading global experts in plant and fungal biodiversity science. All of Kew’s PhD projects are undertaken in collaboration with a university partner, either in the UK or in another part of the world. Each student has at least two supervisors, one from Kew and one from the partner university, providing opportunities for training and development across a wide range of disciplines and skills.

PhD studentships

Many of our PhD students are funded through specific research projects at Kew. For a list of current project funded PhD opportunities, please visit our careers portal.

Kew staff also supervise postgraduate students who are in receipt of their own scholarships and undertaking research relevant to our science teams. Students with project ideas and full funding for the project are invited to contact relevant research leaders to enquire about possible collaborations.

Fully funded PhD opportunities are also available through the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP). The DTPs provide excellent research, professional, technical and personal development training in a multidisciplinary environment.

Kew is a named partner for DTPs offered by Imperial College London, Oxford University and the London NERC DTP consortium. Students enrolled on these DTPs have the opportunity to carry out research projects at Kew. The application and selection processes differ for each DTP, so please refer to the links below for more information:

Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership

The Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) DTP is a unique and prestigious PhD training programme coordinated by Imperial College London. It offers innovative training and development opportunities that will prepare and inspire a new generation of environmental experts and leaders to tackle some of the toughest challenges of our time. Students will join a multi-year and interdisciplinary cohort spanning all areas of environmental research.

Applications for PhD studentships beginning in October 2017 are currently open. To view the available projects and for information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit the SSCP DTP website. The deadline for applications is 16 January 2017.

Oxford Environmental Research Doctoral Training Partnership

The Oxford DTP in Environmental Research offers world-class training for the next generation of researchers working at the frontiers of environmental research. It aims to provide training to the most promising postgraduate research students that will enable them to launch a successful, independent research career.

Applications for entry in September 2017 are currently open. For information about the programme, Kew supervisors, eligibility and how to apply, please visit the Environmental Research DTP website. The deadline for applications is 20 January 2017.

London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership

The London NERC DTP brings together nine of the world’s leading research centres in environmental science, to provide innovative doctoral training in a multidisciplinary setting. The programme equips each student to conduct empirical and/or theoretical research, underpinned by rigorous numerical and statistical skills. It also includes a range of transferable skills, from time management to academic writing, ethics and the peer review process – equipping students with the skills necessary to succeed both within, and outside, academia.

Applications for PhD studentships beginning in September 2017 are now open. For more information about available projects, eligibility and how to apply, please visit the London NERC DTP website. The deadline for applications is 9 January 2017.

Other current PhD opportunities

Biodiversity in the genomic age: how did grasses become so diverse?
Application deadline: 9 January 2017