UKRI / EPSRC PhD studentships in the Application of Artificial Intelligence to the study of Environmental Risks (AI4ER)

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    University of Cambridge
    United Kingdom
    Formal sciences
    Natural sciences
    Professions and applied sciences
    Social sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)


Embedded in the outstanding research environments of the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the AI4ER Programme addresses problems that are relevant to building resilience to environmental hazards and managing environmental change.

Students will apply leading edge computational approaches to address critical global environmental challenges by exploiting vast, diverse and often currently untapped environmental data sets.

The primary application areas are:

  • Weather, Climate and Air Quality
  • Natural Hazards
  • Natural Resources (food, water & resource security and biodiversity)

The programme consists of a one-year Master of Research (MRes) course which includes two terms of formal teaching via lectures, practicals and team challenges/hackathons, along with a three-month research project.

On successful completion of the MRes, a three-year PhD research project will follow.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must hold a 2.1 or higher in any of the following subjects:

  • Natural sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry, earth sciences, biology)
  • Engineering
  • Computer science
  • Mathematics

Those who hold undergraduate degrees from non-UK institutions can check the required equivalency here.

Ideal candidates will have some practical experience in applying machine learning/AI to an environmental problem, however the ability to show an understanding of this topic, within the application form, will also be considered i.e. a statement that indicates an interest in environmental risk must be supported by how AI can help with the problem.


We are able to provide funding to UK residents (those who have lived in the UK for three years or more) and are able to offer limited funding to those from the EU and overseas. Please refer to our website for further details.

Additional industry funded studentships linked to specific projects on algorithmically quantifying and certifying the carbon offset and biodiversity value of nature-based solutions are also available via the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits (4C). These studentships are fully funded for both international and UK citizens. To find out more details please visit our 4C studentships page which has details of the specific projects available. 

How to apply

Applications should be made online at www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses and searching for AI4ER. As part of the application you will need to submit a statement of interest plus answer some specific questions (details can be found on the ‘How to Apply’ pages of our website).

We strongly encourage applications from under-represented groups.

There will be several rounds of recruitment linked to the given deadlines on our website. All applications will be considered, but funding opportunities may no longer be available after the main round of recruitment (February 2022). The programme website will be updated with further details throughout the recruitment period.

Applicants should ensure that they review our website prior to applying to ensure they have a thorough understanding of the programme and its aims and objectives.



The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.