Project proposals for 2023 entry – University of Liverpool

Information for supervisors at University of Liverpool

We are now seeking projects for the next cohort of NERC ACCE students commencing study in October 2023; the deadline for submission of project proposals is Friday 23rd September 2022. We expect to advertise up to 20 projects at Liverpool in this round.  All projects submitted will be assessed and ranked based on the attached sift criteria. Projects with a non-academic partner are more likely to be advertised, for example if they have CASE partner support or partnership support (see below).

Partnership projects

A core principle of ACCE is to encourage studentships that incorporate genuine collaborations between academics and non-academic, end-user partners. Whereas in previous years we have focussed these on defined ‘Highlight Topics’, this year we are taking partnership PhD proposals from across the breadth of the Adapting to Challenges in a Changing Environment theme (see for list of research foci covered by ACCE).  All proposals that demonstrate clear co-design between an academic or academic supervisory team and a supervisor from a partner organisation, will be considered to be “partnership projects” and will be more likely to be advertised. You will be required to evidence this co-design in the ACCE application. We strongly encourage supervisors who developed an unsuccessful proposal in previous highlight topic rounds to resubmit that proposal. More information about partnership PhDs can be found in the document available at:

Submitting a proposal

Links to the following documents are provided:

1. The application form – this has been revised. Your proposal must be submitted online at this link:

2. A Word document that you can use as a collation aid please do not submit the Word document. Note that the online form cannot be saved so we suggest completing details on the Word document and transferring to the online form when you are ready to submit

3. Guidance on sift criteria for projects

4. A list of potential CASE partners (you are not restricted to these organisations, but these partners have previously agreed to be part of ACCE).

Please submit your project via the online form by 5.00pm on Friday 23rd September 2022.

Diversity in candidate selection

The ACCE2 DTP is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. For the 2022/23 entry recruitment round, we improved our student recruitment processes to address barriers to diversity in science. These changes will be maintained into the 2023 recruitment round. In summary:

– Advertised projects will be accompanied by an equality, diversity and inclusion statement
– The student application process will be more guided to increase transparency and reduce the effects of mentor bias. We still encourage communication between supervisors and prospective students prior to them submitting their applications
– Selection criteria for applicants will be modified to reduce discrimination and reflect that excellence and dedication can come in many forms. 

Full information will be made available during autumn 2022 in the updated guide to candidate selection (to be published separately).

5.00pm, Friday 23rd September 2022: Potential supervisors to submit project proposals via the link above.
September/October 2022: Liverpool ACCE allocation committee meet to approve and sift projects for advertising.
October 2022:  Selected projects advertised, after screening for implicit bias, on the University webpages, ACCE website and at

January 2023: closing date for candidate applications.

ACCE studentships include a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), currently set at £8,200, to cover the costs of the project and any training beyond what is offered by the University and the DTP.  Note that all ACCE supervisors are expected to attend the ACCE annual conference, which takes place at the start of each academic year (this year the meeting will be held in early November in York).
The student application deadline will be early in January 2023, with supervisors given time following this date to review their applications and select their candidates. Further details will follow in due course. 

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