DTP

Doctoral Training Programme

The Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) recruits students across all areas ranging from palaeobiology to volcanology; from deep Earth seismology to physical oceanography; and from sedimentary basins and mountain-building to biogeochemistry and climate change.

DTP studentships are open to home applicants, or EU applicants who have lived in the UK for three years or longer.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research degree in Earth Sciences via the ‘Doctoral Training Partnership in Environmental Research’ you will need to apply for course code R8_1; the full details of which are available at www.environmental-research.ox.ac.uk.

We welcome applications and expressions of interest from any well qualified students with an ambition to work in a world-class research environment in the Geosciences.

Overseas Applicants

The DTP cannot offer NERC funding for overseas students; however, interested candidates should make an application directly to the department’s DPhil programme stating that you are interested in being considered for the DTP.  Although the DPhil requires a research proposal on its application, you can upload our Statement of Purpose form in its place.  The department will handle the application assessment and interview process, and can also assess suitability for a department/DTP Clarendon award.  Successful candidates can then be re-routed to the DTP.  In the interests of fairness and consistency we apply this policy to all overseas students regardless of ability to pay.  Further details about applying to the DTP can be found here.

Deadlines and Interviews

Applications for 2018 start are now open.  Further details can be found here.

Interviews usually take place in late February or early March.

Research Areas

Listed below are research areas where we expect to be able to supervise DTP projects. Please contact potential supervisors if you’d like further information.

Earth’s climate system

(Ros Rickaby, Stuart Robinson, Gideon Henderson, Richard Katz, Nick Tosca)

  • Reconstructing Mesozoic and Cenozoic ‘greenhouse’ climates and environments.
  • Reconstructing past climates using new old molecules.
    Phytoplankton optimisation to evolving carbon: Implications for the past and future.
  • Chemical variability of the ocean’s bottom boundary layer.
  • Dust fluxes to the surface ocean.
  • Geochemical landscape of the prebiotic Earth.
  • Tracing ocean circulation with chemical tracers.
  • Melting and water drainage from ice-stream margins: theory and computation.

Plate tectonics, mountain building and natural resources

(Chris Ballentine, Joe Cartwright, Lars Hansen, Tony Watts, Dave Waters)

  • Earthquakes, Active Tectonics, and Mountain-Building in Central Asia
  • Modelling fracture and cementation in sedimentary rocks
  • Using noble gases to probe the origins of crustal fluids: oil, water and gas.

Seismology, volcanism, magmatism and the deep Earth

(Tarje Nissen-Meyer, Karin Sigloch, Tamsin Mather, David Pyle, Mike Cassidy, Richard Katz, Lars Hansen, Chris Ballentine, Jessica Hawthorne)

  • Deep carbon in deep time
  • Seismological imaging of mantle structure beneath a hotspot volcano.
  • Volcanic CO2 emissions in the Main Ethiopian Rift.
  • Magma/mantle dynamics: production and extraction of melt from the convecting mantle
  • The fluid dynamics of melting and melt extraction.
  • Using Earth Observation techniques to understand volcanic processes.
  • Mantle volatile reservoirs.
  • Volcanic continental margins and continental break-up.
  • Understanding the volcanism of the Tasmantid seamount chain
  • Large explosive eruptions in the Main Ethiopian Rift
  • Global seismic waveform tomography with massive data volumes
  • Seismological investigations of the Earth’s core-mantle boundary region
  • Small-scale scattering and attenuation in the Earth’s mantle

Seismological studies on the Earth and Sun

(Tarje Nissen-Meyer, Karin Sigloch)

  • Uncertainty estimation in seismic tomography
  • Iterative optimisation for combined boundary and volumetric structures
  • Lattice-Boltzmann method for wave propagation
  • Imaging the Sun’s interior with acoustic waveforms
  • Shallow structures, hazard and seismic sources:
  • Assessing seismic source properties by waveform modelling

Palaeobiology and Evolution

(Roger Benson and Erin Saupe)

  • Origins and evolution of sea turtles using x-ray imaging of exceptional fossils.
  • Large scale patterns of vertebrate evolution using advanced statistics and the fossil record.
  • Using phylogenomics and fossils to dissect adaptive radiation in the pelagic realm’

Projects open to direct application as well as possibly via the NERC DTP are listed here.