Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is a non-departmental public body funded by the UK government through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. NERC fund around 1400 postgraduate students each year. Most are studying for PhDs. Others are studying for MSc or MRes degrees. 

Your award and additional funding

Basic stipend amounts are confirmed each year for all the UK Research Councils by their governing body, Research Council UK (RCUK). Most awards will provide funding towards fees and an annual maintenance grant award.

How your award is paid to you

Stipends are paid directly into your bank account in monthly in advance instalments.

To receive your stipend payment, you must have completed a FIN 41 form and submitted this to your School and the Finance Office. You should contact your School directly if you have not completed one of these forms.

Leave of absence

The NERC does allow leave of absences to be taken from funded studies for medical and personal reasons, including maternity leave. PhD students receiving a stipend from a doctoral training grant are entitled to receive a stipend during maternity leave in line with statutory maternity provision. They will also have their studentships extended by a corresponding length of time.

Retrospective leave of absence requests will only be considered by the NERC under exceptional circumstances.

Extending your registration or submission date

Extensions to your normal period of registration should be discussed with your Supervisor as part of your annual progress review meeting. If you are in writing up status, an extension to the submission date of your thesis may be approved for personal or medical reasons. Retrospective extension requests will only be considered by the NERC under exceptional circumstances.

As the NERC only fund their students when they are normally registered, you will not receive additional funding for an extension in your writing up period

Changing from full-time to part-time

The NERC will support a transfer from full-time study to part time study (or vice versa) if the request is supported by your School and College. You should discuss any potential changes to your registration status with your Supervisor. Transfers between full time and part time study are only permitted during your period of normal registration. Retrospective transfer requests will only be considered by the NERC under exceptional circumstances.

Disabled Students Allowances

To find out if you are eligible for a DSA please read the following guidelines from RCUK:

To apply for a DSA you will need to contact Disability Services, who will provide you with the relevant forms and can give you further advice about eligibility.

Need more help?

Please contact the University Graduate School if you have any queries about your funding which have not been answered on this page.

Email: studentships@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Before you send an email, you should make sure you have read the information for students funded by the NERC and RCUK training grant guidance: