NERC ACCE DTP call for project proposals for 2021 entry

We are now seeking project proposals from academic colleagues for the next cohort of NERC ACCE students, commencing in October 2021.

We ran ‘Partnership Building’ online workshops over the summer as a requirement for applications for this (if you wished to submit a project under the Highlight topic – not required if you did not wish to submit a project under the Highlight topic); these have now been completed. If you have missed the workshops and want more information please find contact details here.

Proposals must be submitted online: different institutions within the DTP have different versions of the online form so please contact your local ACCE lead, or, to confirm how to submit your project proposal.

Diversity at the heart of ACCE

The ACCE2 DTP is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identify, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. This year we are improving our student recruitment processes to address barriers to diversity in science. For supervisors the process will for the time being remain the same with some slight but significant modifications:

  • Advertised projects will be screened for implicit bias prior to approval and will be accompanied by an equality, diversity and inclusion statement.
  • The student application process will be more guided to increase transparency and reduce the effects of mentor bias. We still encourage communication between supervisors and prospective students prior to candidates submitting their application.
  • Selection criteria for applicants will be modified to reduce discrimination and reflect that excellence and dedication can come in many forms.

Full details of these changes will be available prior to projects being advertised. We are excited to be reviewing this system and hope that supervisors will embrace this shift.

It is our expectation that no more than 20 projects will be advertised, and all projects received will be assessed and ranked based on the sift criteria. Once the projects are chosen, supervisors will be informed and selected after screening for implicit bias.

Timeline for project submission and advertising

By 25th September 2020: Academic colleagues to submit project proposal online.

September/October 2020: NERC ACCE allocation committee meet to approve and sift projects for advertising.

October 2020: Projects advertised on institution webpages and at

ACCE studentships have a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), currently set at £8,200, to cover the costs of the project and any training beyond what is offered by the University and the DTP. Note that all ACCE supervisors are expected to the attend the ACCE annual general meeting, which takes place at the start of each academic year (this year’s meeting will be held in November).

The studentship application deadline will be early January 2021.