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Doctoral Training in Chemistry at York

All new research students studying Chemistry at York participate in the innovative Doctoral Training in Chemistry (iDTC) programme.  Additionally, the Department is a partner in a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Networks. Details of the different schemes are outlined below.

PhD projects

Chemistry Doctoral Training

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Innovative Doctoral Training in Chemistry

The Innovative Doctoral Training in Chemistry (iDTC) programme offers the advantages of a cohort-based postgraduate experience to all PhD, MPhil and MSc by research students studying Chemistry at York*. The latest innovations in graduate training are offered to all of our postgraduate research students to support the development of scientific, transferable and employability skills, enhance the research output of each student, and meet the needs of employers. A unique aspect of the iDTC is its focus on enhancing cross-cultural communication and inclusion.

Core Skills Development and Research Training

All research students take the core training package which provides both a grounding in the skills required for their research, and transferable skills to enhance employability opportunities following graduation.  Core training is progressive and takes place at appropriate points throughout a student's higher degree programme, with the majority of training taking place in Year 1.

Collaboration and Integration

Integration and collaboration between research groups is fostered through shared training experiences.  All students take the bespoke cross-cultural communication for Chemists course.  International students are provided with a Scientific Writing for non-native English speaking scientists text book and are invited to attend regular international postgraduate coffee mornings.  The Chemical InterActions Society provides opportunities to integrate with staff and students through social events.  Those new to the UK are paired with a 'buddy' from their home country or region of the world, to help them settle in.


All new research students are appointed a mentor from within the existing research student community.  For those new to York, mentors work in the same research area. Those who have previously studied at York will be appointed a mentor working in a different research area.  The mentor partnership is a means to explore options and understand more about working in the Department of Chemistry.


* Those students participating in other doctoral training networks may opt in to iDTC activities where equivalent training is not provided elsewhere.


Atmospheric Science (NERC)

NERC Panorama Doctoral Training Partnership

Panorama is a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) between the Universities of Leeds and York in Environmental Research. The Atmospheric Chemistry group forms the York component of this Training Partnership. Its vision is to equip the next generation of environmental scientists with the skills necessary to understand the complex interactions within the Earth system, enabling them to contribute to the development of scientific and policy solutions for the problems we will face in the coming decades, on both national and global scales. We aim to develop future sector leaders who have excellent scientific and transferable skills, a knowledge of the major challenges facing society, an understanding of how research translates into impact and experience of working in a leading-edge, multidisciplinary research environment, with a wide range of subject specialists and external stakeholders.

This NERC DTP spans the science of Earth’s atmosphere, geosphere and biosphere. It is hosted by eight academic departments accross the Universities of Leeds, York and Hull, building on a history of bi-lateral and multi-lateral research collaborations. Through high quality research projects and training, we attract excellent postgraduate students into natural environment science research and train them for future employment and leadership, enabling them to contribute to environmental well-being and UK economic prosperity.

Details of the projects on offer, the training programme and the mechanism for obtaining funding can be found on the Panorama website. Overall the DTP funds 24 studentships between Leeds and York each year in a range of environmental topics. York based projects are advertised here.

Applications for these projects should be submitted via the University of Leeds website in the first instance even if the project is to be hosted in York.

Mechanistic Biology (BBSRC)

BBSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology

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The White Rose studentships initiative was set up in 1997 to encourage collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York and since 2005 has awarded studentships. In 2011 the White Rose Universities Consortium was awarded a Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the first students took up their places in October 2012. PhD places are available for October 2018 entry.

A total of 78 4-year studentships were awarded over 3 years:
•    60 from the BBSRC
•    9 from the White Rose University Consortium
•    3 each from each of the universities 

It brings together researchers in many different departments and research centres:
•    Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology and Centre for Plant Sciences (Leeds)
•    Krebs Institute (Sheffield) 
•    Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (York) 
•    York Structural Biology Laboratory (York)
•    Faculties of Biological Sciences (Leeds)
•    Maths and Physical Sciences (Leeds)
•    Department of Biology (York)
•    Department of Chemistry (York)
•    Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (Sheffield)

Key partners provide access to specialist technologies and the opportunity to understand of the role of research in informing policy-making:
•    Food & Environment Research Agency (Fera) (Sand Hutton, York)
•    Research Complex at Harwell RCaH (Harwell, Oxford)
Graduates are provided with a structured, individually-tailored, programme of training courses in a wide range of areas and cohort-wide training modules developed specifically for the DTP in core skills. In addition there is a huge range of opportunities to attend seminars, student conferences and other events offered across the White Rose universities.

Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS)

Students undertake 3 months of Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) to gain experience of work in a professional environment and in transferable skills that will be beneficial in their future careers. The flexible PIPS scheme is individually tailored and students are supported by a specialised professional development coordinator. 

PIPS may include:

•    industrial R&D
•    science policy
•    science communication
•    publishing
•    entrepreneurship
•    project management  

Changing Environment (NERC)

NERC Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE)


This Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) between the Universities of SheffieldYork and Liverpool includes the York Departments of BiologyChemistryEnvironment and Geography and Archaeology addresses key research themes of York Environmental Sustainability Institute (York Environmental Sustainability Institute) on Global Change and Sustainable Environments.  The partnership also includes NERC’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).  It aims to develop confident and multi-skilled postgraduate students who can relate the science they undertake to business, policy, public needs and society.  The training delivered through the partnership will have an emphasis on generic skills such as entrepreneurship and commercialisation of research and will aim to address the environmental science skills gaps identified in NERC’s skills review 2012.  A minimum of 30 per cent of the students will work with and undertake research projects that are directly relevant to non-academic partners in a bid to help keep the UK at the forefront of research training and provide students with the training experience they need to enter a wide range of careers.

Students will benefit from a PhD training programme that has interdisciplinary collaboration at its core. The aim is to produce multi-skilled researchers equipped to tackle cutting edge environmental science of global significance, embedded within a unique, supportive training environment. All projects are co-supervised, most of them with supervisors in different institutions, in order to foster innovative science, collegiality, and breadth of experience.

Our fully-funded PhD programme in Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE) offers projects aligned with the grand challenges in environmental research: securing ecosystem services and environmental resources; predicting and mitigating impacts of climate change; understanding the dynamics of biodiversity; and mechanisms of evolutionary change. This year we have 6 projects available in Biology and 2 projects in Chemistry for application in which the lead supervisor is based in York. If you wish to discuss the projects available with the academic staff please contact them by the email available on each project description.

One of the York studentships each year can be allocated to well qualified students who have devised their own research project, together with a York ACCE supervisor. The project must fall broadly within one of the ACCE themes. If you are interested in this route, please contact a potential supervisor in the departments of BiologyEnvironmentArchaeology or Chemistry to discuss your idea and help develop your project outline.