PhD opportunities

Over 50 PhD students carry out doctoral training and research at Kew, with access to our world-class scientific collections, facilities and expertise.

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 project-funded PhD opportunities, please visit our careers portal.

Kew staff also supervise postgraduate students who are in receipt of their own scholarships and are 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 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 2018 PhD studentships will be updated when possible. More information on eligibility and how to apply is on the SSCP DTP website.

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.

Please check back here later for 2018 applications. For information about the programme, Kew supervisors, eligibility and how to apply, please visit the Environmental Research DTP website.

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.

Please check back later for information about 2018 applications for PhD studentships. For more information about available projects, eligibility and how to apply, please visit the London NERC DTP website.

TECHNE AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership

The TECHNE consortium comprises seven universities in London and the South-East and has approximately 50 AHRC scholarships to award each year across a range of arts and humanities disciplines. Kew is actively involved in the consortium, which is currently funding two joint PhD students with Royal Holloway’s Geography Department through Partnership awards. Opportunities are advertised through the TECHNE website, but potential students with a specific plan of research in arts or humanities are invited to contact Prof. Mark Nesbitt ( or Prof. Felix Driver ( at an early stage.