How to Apply

Applications for IAPETUS2 2022 studentships are now open. Please start by looking at our studentship page for information and our 2022 projects page. We recommend contacting the lead supervisor of your preferred project for more information and to discuss your suitability for the project.

Please note that our website is currently not functioning correctly which has delayed the opening of applications and may mean that you cannot find the information you are looking for. We are working hard to resolve this but you can email contact.iapetus@durham.ac.uk with any urgent enquiries.

Application Process

Our application process has recently changed as we revaluating our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. A guide to the application process and student assessment criteria can be found here.

In the first instance the application process involves completing both the application form and the EDI form below by 7th January 2022 at 5pm. If you are shortlisted you will be contacted by 17th January 2022 and invited to put in a full application to the university where the PhD is based by 8th February 2022 .

IAPETUS2 is committed to developing a diverse representative community of researchers in Environmental Science. We welcome applications from everyone, and we particularly welcome applicants from traditionally under-represented communities, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, people with disabilities, neurodiverse, female and LGBTQ+ candidates and those from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Any of our studentships can be part-time if that mode of study is more appropriate for your circumstances. We are guided by the UKRI policies on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and you can find  copy of them at this link. Our DTP policy for EDI can be found here.

Please use this template to prepare your application before completing online form. The application form is designed to provide us with the information we need to evaluate your application. We know that successful PhD students come from a wide range of backgrounds and with widely differing amounts of past experience. By using the template we can best evaluate your past achievements and potential for PhD research in the context of any past opportunities or barriers you may have faced. Our aim is to help you demonstrate your potential and make the best possible case for your future career in the environmental sciences.

We recommend that you use the template to enter and edit your supporting information in good time before the application deadline, and then use it to copy and paste the information required into the online form. Please note that we can only accept applications in this way, and you should NOT send the completed template document to us.

If you are uncertain about any of the elements of the form, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at contact.iapetus@durham.ac.uk. The DTP Administrator will respond to your questions; the administrator is not involved in the decision-making part of the evaluation process for studentships. We will also host online Q&A sessions in November (see below) to answer questions about the application process. If you have questions about the procedures for each of our partners, contact details for their administrators are also available via the link on our website, and again these administrators are not directly involved in the evaluation of applications. Academic contacts in each institution may be involved in the evaluation process.

Studentship Application Process Frequently asked Questions

Can I apply for more than one project, and if so does each one require a different application?

Yes.  But consider how many projects you realistically have a good chance of success with.  It is better to make a smaller number of strong applications that a larger number of more speculative ones.

You must complete one application form per project, but we only need a single EDI form

If you are longlisted for multiple projects, we will ask you to let us know by 19th January 2022 which project you want to proceed with.

Do we need to supply reference letters? If so, at what stage of the application process?

Only longlisted applicants will be requested to supply reference letters and we will provide a specific template that should be passed on to referees.

Do international students have to pay the difference in fees?

So far, all of our international institutions have paid or waived the difference in fees between home and international fees, and we expect this to continue for 2022. International students receive the same stipend and research costs as home students.

Should I include my current MSc on the application form section on qualifications, even though I am still in the process of completing it?

Yes. It should be included in the main education section of the form.

What does ‘degree classification’ mean on the application form?

This refers to the grade or final mark you received for your degree. In the UK degrees are classified as 1st, 2:1, 2;2 and 3rd. If you have an international degree please state the mark or grade you were awarded with the UK equivalence if you know it. If you don’t please do not worry, our supervisors are used to assessing international applications.

Is there any advantage to state in your application if you applied for IAPETUS2 last year? Is it considered alongside the EDI form/widening participation?

It isn’t a specific criterion for assessment, although you may want to mention it in case it is helpful to show how your skills and background have changed since then to make you more suited for the project.

Who decides who gets the studentships and how do they determine that? Is it based on who might be the best fit to the project they are applying for, or who they think is the best candidate based on their credentials?

Firstly the Supervisory teams decide the three applicants who are the best fit for their project then each partner organisation produces a shortlist of seven candidates. The Studentship panel (made up of representatives from all IAPETUS2 institutions) compares the applications across the partners and makes awards basin their assessment on both the application (60%) and interview (40%)

Criteria are published (Appendix 3 in Student Guidance document) based on background, project fit and future potential (50:40:10)

What are the best skills to have experience in before starting a PhD, either in general or specifically for the projects through IAPETUS2?

  • Research, responsibilities, time management
  • Demonstration of interest and motivation

When do I apply to the university or research institute where the project is based?

You will be informed by 17th January if you have been longlisted and have until 8th February to put in the full application.

Does IAPETUS2 offer any shorter term projects or opportunities?

IAPETUS2 supports 3.5-year PhD projects within the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) structure. If you are interested in shorter-term opportunities, it is best to email supervisors directly to see what they may be able to support.

If you are still an undergraduate, we do offer Research Experience Placements (REPs) in the summer. These paid opportunities last 6 – 8 weeks and are advertised through a separate process from April or May.

How important is the personal statement in the university application? Can I use the same information that I put in my answers to questions in the IAPETUS2 application?

It is worth discussing this question with potential supervisors, but for the most part you should be able to reuse the material from the initial application in the personal statement part of the form – we’re not anticipating the need to rewrite the material substantially.

I have a temporary residence permit in Europe however I have a plan to go back home to Africa. Will this affect my application?

We in IAPETUS2 can’t answer specific questions about visa processes, but there is usually an international office in the partner organizations where you will be able to find appropriate guidance.

The DTP part of the application process will not depend on where you are located.

Studentships