Student Applicant Eligibility FAQ

Key NERC PhD eligibility Questions and Answers

I am not sure I am eligible for a NERC studentship. How can I check?

All doctoral training grants stating after 1 May 2014 will be governed under the RCUK harmonised postgraduate training terms and conditions and their associated guidance. See RCUK Training Grant Guide, Paragraph 11, Student Eligibility. If you are still unsure please discuss this with the student services office or university Registrar in the first instance. Contact if still unsure.

I am an EU student – am I eligible for NERC funding?

As an EU student, you cannot receive a stipend (maintenance grant) unless you have been ordinarily resident in the UK throughout the three year period preceding the date of application for an award. You would be eligible for a fees-only award (which covers fees and some research training support costs) but you would need to find additional funding to cover your costs of living.

I have a UK passport, my parents moved outside the EU, since then I have been in full time education. I now want to return to the UK to undertake a PhD. Am I eligible for NERC Funding?

You may be eligible for a NERC award if you can prove that your absence from the UK was temporary. Temporary absence is where a UK citizen has spent an extended period living outside the UK, either for study or employment. Candidates will have to show that they have maintained a relevant connection to the UK. Temporary does not depend on length of absence.

I have a working permit/student visa, am I eligible to apply for a studentship?

No. Student Visas, work permits or dependent visas have restrictions on the time spent in the UK and therefore holders of these cannot demonstrate a relevant connection or settled status.

I am an international student and I would like to study in the UK. Am I eligible for NERC funding?

In order to be eligible for NERC funding, you must be able to prove settled status in the UK as per the Immigration Act 1971. You must also be able to prove that you have a relevant connection to the UK, which requires that you have been ordinarily resident in the UK throughout the 3 year period preceding the date of the award. NERC does not currently fund international students outside of these criteria.

full NERC Student eligibility guidelines are provided here