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New research grants target the oil and gas sector

Environmental management in the oil and gas sector is the focus of a new multimillion pound research grant extended by the NERC.

“Looking across the sectors that provide growth in the UK’s economy, and where a strong understanding of the environment is absolutely essential, it is hard to think of one where the need is higher than in oil and gas,” said NERC chief executive Duncan Wingham. “It’s vital that NERC contributes to ensuring growth with responsible environmental management for the industry.”

One of the initiatives includes an award of £2·8m to a consortium of institutes led by Heriot-Watt University to host a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT). The consortium includes world-leading institutes in this field, such as Imperial College London, the universities of Aberdeen, Durham, Manchester and Oxford, and the British Geological Survey (BGS).

As well as NERC’s £2.8M investment, the consortium has already committed to invest a further £5.2M.

The centre will be the first in a series of new NERC CDTs which the organisation has said will meet identified high-level skills gaps and priority needs. The centre at Herriot-Watt will support a minimum of 60 students and the first intake will begin in October 2014.

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