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Department of Geography


Physical Geography / Environmental Science PhD Opportunities

Physical Geography / Environmental Science PhD Opportunities

Cambridge NERC Earth Systems Science Doctoral Training Programme

Research groups, themes and PhD projects

Physical Geography / Environmental Science research at the Department of Geography / Scott Polar Research Institute consists of three broad research groups: Biogeography & Biogeomorphology, Climate & Environmental Dynamics and Glaciology & Glacial Geology. Many academic staff within these groups have advertised PhD projects under the umbrella of the interdisciplinary, interdepartmental Cambridge Earth System Science Doctoral Training Programme (DTP). Prospective students who wish to apply for an advertised project are asked to browse the DTP website and identify the project or projects that they wish to apply for.

The DTP has divided all its PhD projects across all Departments into three themes:

There is also a list of Cambridge Coastal Research Unit (CCRU) topics.

Note that members of the Department of Geography/Scott Polar Research Institute have PhD projects spread across all three themes. You can use the 'searchable list of projects option' to identify PhD projects by Department. Simply type 'geography' here and you will find all projects across the Department of Geography/Scott Polar Research Institute. Typing 'spri' will show you just those projects based at the Scott Polar Research Institute. You can also search by supervisor.

If you have other ideas for a specific PhD topic that falls within the interests of any member of the Physical Geography/Environmental Science research groups of the Department of Geography/Scott Polar Research Institute, then we would be pleased to discuss them with you. To find out more about the advertised topics or to discuss your own research ideas with a potential supervisor, please contact the relevant supervisor by e-mail.

Enquiries, applications and admissions

We welcome enquiries and applications from those with backgrounds in Physical Geography or Environmental Science, or in any other related and relevant discipline (e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Climatology, Computing, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Oceanography or Physics). Applicants should hold, or expect shortly to obtain, at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent.

  • If you wish to be considered for funding, the application deadline is 12:00 noon (UK time) on Thursday, 4 January 2018 for an October 2018 start.
  • If you have secured funding already, please apply as soon as possible, preferably by Friday 30th March 2018 and by the absolute final deadline of 12:00 noon (UK time) on Saturday 30th June 2018 for an October 2018 start.
  • If you are a USA citizen, resident in the USA, and wish to be considered for a GATES scholarship administered by the University of Cambridge for an October 2019 start, please apply by the deadline in early October 2018.

There is further information about how to apply for a Physical Geography / Environmental Science PhD on the ESS DTP website and on the Geography Department website. All applications must be made via the University Graduate Admissions portal using the on-line process. On your application form, please indicate if you are applying for an advertised topic or topics (give the topic number and title), or your own topic. Please also specify the correct University of Cambridge supervisor(s), whether you're applying to the Geography Department or the Scott Polar Research Institute and whether you wish to be considered for a studentship/scholarship - tick or state all those that apply; this should include the Natural Environment Research Council if you are eligible.