For those considering graduate school and looking to apply to PhD programs, Durham University in northeast England has an exciting new opportunity. Thanks to an over £1 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust to support doctoral training in Interdisciplinary Understanding for a Changing Arctic, the Durham Arctic Research Centre for Training and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (DurhamARCTIC) program will fund fifteen doctoral students pursuing degrees on Arctic-related topics starting with an intake of five students this fall.

Having visited Durham once before, I can say that I think it would be an absolutely magical and intellectually stimulating place to study (especially for geographers!). Durham University is also part of the University of the Arctic network of educational institutes and has longstanding research ties to the region. You might be familiar with the famous map of claims to continental shelves in the Arctic, which was published by Durham University’s International Boundaries Research Unit.

The Arctic Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship programme, as it is officially called, emphasizes interdisciplinarity. The DurhamARCTIC website notes, “The Arctic is a crucial space for scholarship that builds bridges between the sciences and the humanities.” Challenges like climate change and sustainable development require all sorts of minds to put their heads together rather than one single approach. So, to encourage this in practice, while students can propose Arctic-related research in any of Durham University’s three faculties (Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences & Health), their supervision committee will include one member of academic staff from outside one’s home department to ensure an interdisciplinary focus.


The scholarships provide full fee waivers for UK/EU students, along with maintenance stipends at the standard Research Council UK rate (currently £14,553 per year for 2017/18). There’s a whole range of other benefits too, including a three-month placement at an Arctic institution, conference travel funds, and an annual summer school. Find out more about the program at the DurhamARCTIC website or in this PDF.


The deadline to apply is February 2, so don’t delay!

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