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Call for project ideas for a possible Cohort 4 NERC SENSE Earth Observation CDT PhD studentships

Deadline: 30th November 2022

We would like to announce a call for PhD project proposals, for a possible Cohort 4 of the SENSE Earth Observation CDT recruitment, for studentships starting October 2023. Please note we are making this announcement now so we can quickly proceed to recruitment should funding be confirmed.

The key facts are:

  • All PhD projects will focus on using Earth Observation data, with many projects also expected to make use of advanced computer techniques such as machine learning.
  • The number of projects advertised and students recruited will depend on funding however in previous rounds we advertised around 32 projects for 16 studentships.
    • Note, in order to ensure we maintain a good success rate for the advertised projects, not all submitted PhD proposals will be advertised.  
  • To encourage collaboration across the SENSE community, all supervisory teams must have co-supervisors from at least 2 SENSE institutes
    • Leeds, Edinburgh, BAS, NOC – we will provide support in linking you up
    • We welcome additional co-supervisors from other non-SENSE institutes
  • All students will be registered at the Universities of Edinburgh or Leeds (50/50 split)
  • All students will benefit from attending a comprehensive EO training programme in their first year and other training and cohort building opportunities during their PhD.
  • All students will undertake a 3-month industry placement
    • We have a number of industry partners who are interested in matching with academics and offering placements, and your own industry connections are welcomed 
  • Project proposal submission deadline is the 30th November 2022
  • To submit a prospective PhD proposal for the October 2023 cohort, please fill out this form 

SENSE’s recruitment committee will select the best projects that align with SENSE’s specific remit for advertisement should funding be confirmed. For further advice and top tips about how to submit a good SENSE PhD proposal, please see attached document: SENSE PhD proposal writing tips as well as the recruitment schedule below.

Prospective Recruitment Schedule

Because we have yet to receive confirmation of funding this is only a draft schedule. We would hope that we would be able to fit in with a similar schedule from previous recruitment rounds and match the universal acceptance CDT/DTP deadline of 15th March 2023.

  • Projects advertised – Early December 2022
  • Application deadline – Mid January 2023
  • Interviews and offers made beginning of March 2023
  • Cohort starts 1st October 2023

If you have any questions or if you’d like any support with your project proposal please get in touch with Arpna Virdi at Leeds ( or Eleanor Graham at Edinburgh ( ).