World-class environmental research boosted by new doctoral training partnership

gs-tropicalweatherlOutstanding research in the area of environmental science has received a major boost with a new collaboration to train the next generation of doctoral researchers.

The Postgraduate Centre in the Science of the Environment: Natural and Anthropogenic Processes, Impacts and Opportunities (SCENARIO) was yesterday granted £4.9m of funding over the next five years to support 60 PhD studentships. The new centre is a collaboration between universities, research centres and business, and is one of 15 new Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

SCENARIO is led by the University of Reading, with three other institutes hosting PhD students:

  • University of Surrey
  • NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • the British Geological Survey

Sixteen other partner organisations will offer a range of additional training opportunities and expertise, including the Met Office, Environment Agency and companies in the space, water, energy, insurance and risk management sectors.

Dr John Methven, who led the SCENARIO funding bid, said: “PhD students are the lifeblood of research at universities and PhD graduates go on to lead in many areas of scientific research, innovation and technological development, both in the UK and abroad. We are proud to announce the start of the SCENARIO DTP and the opportunities it will create for 60 PhD students, who will be the leading environmental researchers of the future in this crucial area of science.”

Initial information about the PhD projects to start in October 2014 is available on the Department of Meteorology’s website. Further details will also be made available via the Graduate School’s funding opportunities page in December.

Demystifying the PhD (for prospective PhD students)


PhD Graduates

Thinking about doing a PhD? Unsure of what it involves or whether it is right for you?

The Graduate School is running an event this term (‘A PhD: What me?’) which is designed for those with an interest in going on to do doctoral (PhD) research, most of whom will currently be taking a Masters or Undergraduate degree.

This event –  which is running on two dates (one for the Sciences and one for the Humanities, Social Sciences and Business) aims to address the big questions about PhD study including how a PhD works, how to find a supervisor, how to apply, funding opportunities and much more.

These sessions will involve academic staff and a current PhD student from a relevant Faculty.  The dates for the different Faculties are as follows (click on the title to download a flier):

PhDs in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Business
Wednesday 20 November 2013 at 14:00

PhDs in Science and Life Sciences
Wednesday 4 December 2013 at 14:00

To book a place on one of these sessions (depending on which Faculty you belong to), please e-mail

Graduate School welcomes 2013 Felix Scholars


The Graduate School had the pleasure of welcoming the University’s latest cohort of Felix Scholars at a reception held on 28 October. The event was attended by a number of Felix Scholars enrolled in previous years, along with a number of key academic and administrative staff.

The highly prestigious Felix Scholarships are awarded each year to PhD and Masters candidates from India and developing countries such as South Africa and Ghana. The selection process, which spans three Universities (Reading, Oxford and the School of Oriental & African Studies) is fiercely competitive and the candidates who are awarded funding can be confident that they have earned their place. Professor Dianne Berry OBE, Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies, said ‘Felix Scholars are consistently among our most impressive students, as shown by their having secured such a respected studentship. We are delighted to be able to welcome our new intake of Scholars to Reading’.

The main aim of the Felix Scholarship, whose Founder wished to remain anonymous, is to enable the best students to experience academic study and culture outside of their home country. The original country of choice for the recipients of the Felix Scholarship was India for several reasons: it has an excellent and broad pool of very fine educational establishments; it offers an excellent infrastructure to facilitate the selection of the Felix scholars; it has a very high regard for higher education and the English language, both written and spoken, is the second language at the majority of the higher education establishments. Since the first scholarships were awarded in 1991/92, over 250 students, the majority of which have been Indian, have completed their studies across the three Universities thanks to the generous funding provided by the Felix Scholarship.

Further information about the Felix Scholarships is available on their website at