EPSRC/NERC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment


Funded PG Dip and PhD


4 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

16 May 2021

About this project

We need the world’s brightest minds to join us in developing solutions to the environmental and engineering challenges the offshore wind industry is facing. As the world looks to renewable replacements for fossil fuels, energy from offshore wind is key in our move to a zero carbon future.

The UK has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and clean energy produced by offshore wind is central to achieving this ambition. Already providing over 10% of the UK’s electricity and growing at an unprecedented rate, by 2030 it is expected to provide over 30% of the UK’s energy needs. 

The Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind and the Environment is led by the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull with partners Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield Universities who work closely with over 20 Industry partners. The Aura CDT invites high-quality applications from exceptional graduates for 4-year taught and research PhDs. Up to 20 scholarships are available for Home/International students who satisfy EPSRC eligibility rules.

If you choose to carry out your postgraduate studies with us, you will become part of a vibrant, forward-thinking research community. With a strong research base, the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull has made tremendous contributions to tackle global issues encompassing environmental resilience and energy sustainability. With our academic and industry partners, the Aura CDT forms a community of outstanding researchers combined with excellent facilities across a wide range of disciplines, providing a stimulating and enriching environment for the training of doctoral researchers.

The posts are available from September 2021 as a full-time position of 36.5 hours per week for 1 year taught Postgraduate Diploma degree. You will initially study in Hull, in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary, the global centre for research, innovation and development for the sector. This will be followed by a 3-year PhD with one of the academic institutions, aligned with the Aura industry partners or based at the new £12 million flagship Aura Innovation Centre where you will have access to cutting-edge facilities and research support across the partner academic institutions. The partners are committed to best practice in equality, diversity and inclusion; applications are welcome from part-time candidates (part-time applications only accepted from UK applicants due to Tier 4 rules).

For these 'core' scholarships with the Aura CDT, you develop your research proposal during your first year of study. All research falls under one of six key research themes, which have been developed in partnership with industry. For 2021 entry, we are seeking applicants with a particular interest in four of these themes:

  • Big data, sensors and digitalisation for the offshore environment
  • Next generation materials and manufacturing
  • Offshore wind energy integration: challenges and impacts
  • Physics and Engineering of the offshore environment

Further information about these research themes may be found on the Aura CDT website.


In addition, we offer one Industry Partner Scholarship available with LaVision, closing date 16/5

and one Industry Partner Scholarship available with the ORE Catapult, closing date 20/6

Find out more

Watch this short video to find out more about funded PhD scholarships at the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training.

Or click here to watch a recording of our recent free webinar about funded postgraduate research at the Aura CDT. You'll hear from programme leaders, supervisors, and students and listen to queries from other applicants in the Q&A.

Apply now

The Aura CDT has developed six Research Themes in collaboration with our industry partners, which form six pathways to research. To apply for an Aura CDT PhD Scholarship, please select the theme that best fits with your own research interests (and ensure you choose the appropriate link for full-time or part-time study):


For further advice on making an application, please see the Aura CDT website

The Humber Region – the UK's ‘Energy Estuary’ – is rapidly becoming the focus of the renewables industry.

Study under experts. Our geography and environmental studies research was ranked third in the UK for its impact in the most recent national assessment.

The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help. 

Find out more

The Doctoral College provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the college is here to help you achieve your potential. 

Find out more


Up to 20 scholarships are available for Home students who satisfy EPSRC eligibility rules; A number of scholarships are available for International applicants who wish to complete their research at Durham or Hull. All subject to EPSRC eligibility. International students who wish to be based at Newcastle or Sheffield must be completely self-funded.

In addition, we have one Industry Partner Scholarship available with LaVision which will be based at the University of Hull and is open to Home/International applicants. projects 

Full-time UK/International PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘Home/International' student rate and an annual stipend (£15,609 at 2021/22 rate) for four years, depending on satisfactory progress. The stipend amount is set by UKRI, and is subject to annual inflationary changes.


Entry requirements

If you have received a first class honours degree or a 2:1 honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in any of the following, or associated subjects, we would like to hear from you.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science        
  • Earth science
  • Engineering
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

If your first language is not English, or you require Tier4 student visa to study, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency level that meets the requirements of the Aura CDT’s academic partners. This course requires academic IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each skill.

Please contact for further guidance or questions.