The Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA)

About us

The Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA), is a consortium of research intensive Universities and research institutes that are working together to provide excellence in doctoral research training. 

CENTA encompasses research activities within three broad themes:

  • Climate and Environmental Sustainability
  • Organisms and Ecosystems
  • Dynamic Earth

These themes cut across about 20 academic departments, within the 6 universities, as well as the 4 NERC research organisations involved. This reflects both the multidisciplinary nature and excellence of our research and the high numbers of researchers in central England who span the breadth of the NERC remit. A critical mass of researchers in close geographic proximity is one of our great strength. It facilitates shared access to facilities and training and helps to build a strong cohort identity. Training in CENTA2 is supported systematically by end-users from industry to non-governmental organisations and governmental agencies.

Our vision

The world’s population now exceeds 7 billion and is projected to reach 9 billion by the middle of the century. More than half the world’s people live in cities, whilst the productive regions of the land and oceans are intensively exploited to meet growing demands for food, water, and energy. Accommodating the needs and aspirations of people, whilst living sustainably within the Earth’s limits is the great challenge of the 21st century.

Furthermore, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, extreme weather and natural hazards is critical5. Managing these environmental challenges will require ever-increasing sophistication from a new generation of environmental scientists.  Our vision is to attain new standards of excellence in research training and to deliver a transformative interdisciplinary experience for doctoral researchers.

At CENTA we aim to develop well-rounded students confident in a wide range of scientific, research, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Such individuals will go on to become future sector leaders, equipped with not only specialist and technical expertise in their research fields, but also the ability translate research into impact and to address the complex and shared environmental challenges facing society.

CENTA High-level end-users



The Natural History Museum

Natural England

The National Trust

The MET Office



Severn Trent

Twycross Zoo

Lighthill risk network


Atkins Global

Operation Wallacea


The Marine Biological Association


Smithsonian Institution


Kew Gardens


Who we recruit

We recruit graduates who have studied a wide range of subjects including earth sciences, geography, environmental science, chemistry, biology, physics, maths, engineering and computing. Find out how to apply.


NERC DTP Data Protection

Research Organisation’s must ensure that Students, Supervisors and project partners are made aware of what information, including personal data, is provided to UKRI, and how that information about the Studentship will be used by both UKRI and the Research Organisation, including but not limited to:

  • Their Research Organisation to disclose to the Council any information that the Council requests regarding the progress of their studies, the submission of their thesis (where appropriate), and the completion of their studies.
  • Their Research Organisation to disclose Student contact details to UKRI. This is to allow UKRI or Third Parties acting on the UKRI’s behalf to contact Students both during and beyond the duration of their Studentship for evaluation purposes, or regarding funded courses or to invite Students to events or conferences that the Councils fund.
  • Their Research Organisation to provide data on equality and diversity to allow the Councils to help assess how effective policies and procedures are in eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equal opportunities, this information may be used anonymously for statistical purposes. This information will be treated in confidence and in line with all relevant data protection legislation.
  • Their Research Organisation to provide any such information requested on the Council’s behalf to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) or any other organisation or agency empowered to act on UKRI’s behalf, including UK Shared Business Services (SBS) Ltd.

Further information is provided by the UKRI Use of grant proposal information addendum ( ) and via the UKRI Privacy Notice (