Heriot-Watt University: New GeoNetZero Centre of Doctoral Training projects launched at COP26

The crucial role that Geoscience plays in the Energy Transition and the quest to reduce carbon emissions was underlined with the launch of PhD projects for the GeoNetZero Doctoral Training program in conjunction with the COP26 meeting in Glasgow.

GeoNetZero (GNZ) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) – Geoscience and its role in the low carbon energy transition and challenge to meet net zero emission targets – is a major £6 Million, UK-wide collaborative research and training partnership between 12 Universities.

The 12 University partners – Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee, Durham, Exeter (Camborne), Heriot-Watt (Edinburgh), Keele, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Royal Holloway (RHUL) and Strathclyde Universities – are committed to promote a low-carbon energy future.

As well as undertaking bespoke PhD research, the GNZ CDT students undertake a Geological Society accredited 20-week, 100-day training program delivered by world-leading academics, policymakers, regulators and industry practitioners.

Speaking from the COP26 event in Glasgow, the CDT’s Academic Executive Director, John Underhill Professor of Geoscience & Energy Transition at the lead institute, Heriot-Watt University said:

“The announcement of the GeoNetZero PhD projects marks another major milestone for the Centre of Doctoral Training. The launch of the new projects at COP26 serves to underline how important Geoscience is in the quest for low carbon energy solutions in keeping with the United Nations Sustainability Goals and our aspirations for net zero emissions. The combination of research and training provided by the CDT equips a new generation of geoscientists to tackle and solve the major global challenges associated with climate change and energy needs.”

The 27 approved projects are open for applications and 17 fully funded 4-year scholarships are available, each of which is worth £100k and represent an investment of £1.7 Million in the GeoNetZero CDT. The successful candidates will begin their research studies in September 2022 and will take the total numbers of students enrolled on the program to 51 students.

In addition to the natural focus on the research, the new geoscience projects address and integrate key technical, regulatory and social science themes relevant to and facing carbon, hydrogen and nuclear waste storage, wind power and geothermal energy.

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