Centres for Doctoral Training video

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EPSRC have funded 44 new centres for doctoral training which will train over 2,000 PhD students.

The multidisciplinary centres bring together many areas of expertise, building relationships between teams in universities and with industry. Students receive taught coursework to develop their technical knowledge and broaden their skills as well as carrying out challenging PhD-level research projects.

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Dave Delpy – Chief Executive EPSRC

This announcement today is the largest single commitment to training that EPSRC has done and I suspect that any other research council has done.

Lord Drayson [LD] – Minister of State for Science and Innovation

Well it’s an extra £250 million to train over 2,000 PhD students. These are our brightest and best, it’s the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs, who are going to deliver the breakthroughs that we need for the future.

Professor David Gavaghan [DG] – Computational Biology, University of Oxford

What EPSRC are announcing is a major injection of funding into graduate training in the UK. This is very important because it will allow UK universities, the top universities in the UK, to compete with their international competitors.


And what’s different about this is that as well as funding these extra students we’re doing so in a way which encourages the universities to form communities of research, in partnership with industry, addressing some of the key challenges that the UK faces, things like climate change, energy, security and an ageing population.

Professor Gloria Laycock [GL] – Director, Crime Science Centre, UCL

The new doctoral training centres are really a huge step change over what we’ve had before and it has been piloted by the EPSRC so we know the new system works, it’s just so exciting.

[Student talking]

The doctoral training centre offered the opportunity to instead of narrowing my horizons as I studied to actually broaden them somewhat.


Instead of it being narrowly focussed for three years on some really esoteric bit of academic research, these students are going to know so much more.

[Student talking]

I’m studying assistance biology and ultimately I woul d like to go into bionano-technology so I’d like to study stem cells and nanotechnology. That’s something that hasn’t been done before and the doctoral training centre allows you to do that much better than if you were doing a normal PhD.

[Student talking]

One of the great things about the doctoral training centre is I have been able to do work that is directly clinically relevant. It coul d make an impact on clinical work very quickly and through the doctoral training centre I have had the opportunity to do something that is an actual problem that doctors bring to us.

Jeremy Watson – Global Director of Research, Arup

The doctoral training centres give us a real opportunity to work very closely with academics and those universities. We’ve already have good relationships, but now there will be other ways to relating to those people.


The most important thing for British business is that they have access to a good pool of very highly qualified people, who are not just good at the science, and the understanding of science, but they understand how business works too.


We need completely new breeds of scientists to take a completely innovative approach and those are precisely the sorts of scientists that would be produced by these new doctoral training centres.


More than ever we are realising that the world, not just the UK, is facing some massive challenges - Globalisation, Global warming - and they have huge implications for all sorts of things and the solutions to those problems have to be multidisciplinary. With these doctoral training centres that’s precisely what we are focusing on, students talking to each other across disciplines and really learning about how to deliver the solutions to those problems. And the UK is going to be so ahead of the world on this.


It’s really important that the UK positions itself to be a leader in these areas of real importance for the future and this scheme makes sure that we have the people to do that.