PhD bursaries related to nuclear decommissioning

NDA seeks applications annually for PhD research proposals related to nuclear decommissioning. Applications will reopen in 2019.

We look for proposals that support the NDA mission to deliver safe, sustainable and publicly acceptable solutions to the challenge of decommissioning and clean-up of the UK’s civil nuclear legacy.

Up to £500,000 is available to support projects that will lead to the award of a PhD.

The NDA’s goals for the scheme are as follows:

  • maintain and develop the key technical skills that will be required to help us carry out the mission over the coming decades
  • provide fundamental understanding of technologies and processes across the NDA estate
  • develop early stage technologies (Technology Readiness Level 1 to 3)
  • encourage 2-way knowledge transfer between the academic and industrial communities working on nuclear decommissioning


Only project proposals with a total cost to NDA of less than £120,000 will be considered (excluding cost of any collaboration with US research organisations).

Applications for the annual bursary scheme are invited from:

  • UK academic institutions for PhD projects
  • sub-contractors, including Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) seeking ‘top-up’ funding for CASE awards and EngDocs

The relevant themes are:

  1. characterisation
  2. waste packaging and storage
  3. land quality
  4. decommissioning
  5. spent fuel and nuclear material
  6. effluents
  7. open criteria (including robotics and aqueous effluents)

Eligibility will cover PhD projects involving universities or sub-contractors where the bursary is used as a grant top-up to access national facilities for research involving the handling of radioactive materials.

How to apply

Submissions for this year closed at 15:00 on Monday 12 November 2018. The scheme will reopen in 2019.

NDA PhD Bursary Call 2019

Published 17 September 2015
Last updated 14 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Applications have closed for this year, but will reopen in 2019.

  2. This PhD bursary call has opened.

  3. Applications now open for 2018 bursary.

  4. Applications opened for 2018.

  5. Submissions closed. Text to amended to reflect this.

  6. This bursary scheme is now open for applications.

  7. Changed to reflect that awards will reopen later in 2016.

  8. First published.