How to Apply

Applications for 2024 entry are now closed

Unfortunately, on Friday 5 January, the University of Leeds’ application portal broke.  If your application has been affected, our PGR Admissions Team will have contacted you by email directly to request copies of the documents you uploaded to our OLA portal. Please send any supporting documents requested to, including your full name and ID number. Please do not send any documents direct to the DTP.

Important information:

  • Application deadline: Friday 5th January 2024
  • Shortlisting: we aim to contact candidates who have been shortlisted for interview during the week commencing 5th February 2024
  • Interviews: will take place between Monday 19th February and Friday 8th March 2024.

Projects marked CASE have the possibility becoming an industry-partnered project which includes an external industry partner with additional research training and support grant (RTSG) funding and a placement. Please see the NERC CASE page for more information.

2024 Recruitment – Closed

Please browse our projects available for October 2024 entry on our Projects page. We also have a page on FindAPhD and recently hosted two candidate webinars. Recordings:

2024: Additional opportunities for candidates from underrepresented groups!

Within our programme, we are dedicated to diversifying our community. As part of our ongoing work to improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the NERC Panorama DTP, we are offering additional opportunities to UK/Home candidates from identified underrepresented groups: Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, those from a disadvantaged socio-economic background, and disabled people. For these groups, this year the Panorama DTP are offering:

– 10% additional interview spaces for appointable candidates.
– a minimum of 2 ringfenced full DTP studentships

To sign up for these opportunities, please fill in this EDI form, which is separate to your application form and also used to report EDI data to UKRI – a requirement of our funder, NERC.

Application Process 2024

We have 24 highly competitive NERC fully-funded studentship awards for session 2024/25 covering the full cost of University fees, plus a maintenance stipend allowance at the UKRI rate of £18,622 (2023/24 rate – rate for 2024/25 not yet confirmed by UKRI) per year for 3.5 years, and a generous research training and support grant (RTSG).  Applications for all projects are open to both home and international applicants; however please note the number of fully-funded places open for international applicants is limited by UKRI to 30%.

To apply, please follow the steps below. Note that, regardless of where the project is based, all Panorama DTP applications are processed by the PGR Admissions team for the Faculty of Environment at the University of Leeds.

We also have further resources to support candidates in their applications:

Step 1

Contact the lead supervisor of your chosen project to register your interest, and to ensure that they will be able to effectively support your application. In many cases potential supervisors may be able to arrange initial visits to Leeds, York or Hull to discuss the work. Please note that you can only apply for 1 project within the DTP.

Step 2

An On-Line Study Application (OLA) should be submitted to Leeds via University Application for Research Degree Study. In the ‘Planned Course of Study’ section, the programme code that should be selected is ‘NERC PANORAMA DTP’. Note: if you do not select this programme your application will not be processed properly and may be missed altogether. In the ‘Research Area/Title’ section the OLA you should simply input the full title of the project that you wish to be considered for and the supervisors’ names.

As part of your application you need to send several documents to the PGR Admissions team, who process the applications for Panorama. Please send the below supporting documents to them at Note that we may not acknowledge receipt of any documents and are unable to respond to requests for information about the status of your application due to the extremely high volume of applications received for the NERC Panorama DTP.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)/resumé: showing a high level of academic achievement (minimum 2:1 Bachelor’s) and appropriate non-academic experience. Please include high school results.
  • Transcripts and certificates of ALL degrees to date: if you have not yet completed your current degree, you will need to send an official transcript of your results so far.
  • Personal Statement: please provide a personal statement, of no more than 1 page, outlining (i) explain why you are interested in your chosen project, (ii) what motivates you to pursue PhD study, (iii) what is your research experience and how does you skill set matches the requirements for your choice of project, and (iv) what is the wider importance of this research project.
  • English Language: generally, if you are from a country other than the UK, you may need to meet the English language requirements evidence through an English language test (e.g., IELTS/TOEFL). The test certificate is not required when applying but will be required when registering if you are successful.
  • References: before we can give full consideration to your application, we will need a minimum of two references. These can be academic or professional and should highlight potential for research/PhD study. These can be submitted with your application if they are signed, or alternatively, they can be emailed directly by the referee to using the Referee_Report_Panorama_DTP form. Please note that it is your responsibility to request these references and ensure they that are sent to the admissions team.

Step 3

Interview: after shortlisting we will call applicants for interview. Interviews for all projects, whether hosted by the University of Leeds, University of York (Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories) or University of Hull (Energy and Environment Institute), will be held either in-person or online at your preference. We seek to make offers to students who show the highest potential for PhD research from previous academic and work-related experiences and interview performance.

Step 4

Offer: we will first make informal offers shortly after interview. Strong candidates whose first choice project is no longer available will be offered an alternative, where possible. Once you accept our offer, we will then make a recommendation for your acceptance for PhD study to the university where the project will be based. That is the university where you will become a registered PhD student and it will send you a formal offer of a study place. The letter will instruct you how to accept the place.

Once you accept the offer of the study place, you will be sent a formal funding letter.