Business Secretary announces £184 million investment in doctoral training

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Business Secretary Greg Clark has today (Thursday 01 February 2018) announced a major investment in science and engineering research totalling £184 million to be allocated over two years. Forty-one UK universities will share in the funding that will support doctoral training over a four-year period.

The Business Secretary made the announcements during a visit to YASA Motors in Oxford where he opened a production facility. YASA Motors is a spin-out from the University of Oxford, which has received an allocation of £13.6 million to use for its Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs).

The funds for doctoral training will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through its DTPs, and the funds will support students entering training in the academic years beginning October 2018 and October 2019.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: Doctoral Training Partnerships have an excellent record of providing universities with funding that supports doctoral students as they undertake ground-breaking research. This research and expertise underpins the creation of innovative companies like YASA Motors.

Through our commitment to increasing research and development funding by a further £2.3 billion to 2021/22, we are ensuring that the next generation of engineers and scientists will continue to thrive under our modern and ambitious Industrial Strategy.

EPSRC supports 9,000 post-doctoral students each year either via DTPs, Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) or Industrial Case studentships.

After completing PhDs around 39 per cent of doctoral students go on to be employed in business or public services, 39 per cent go on to work in academia and 22 per cent training or work in other sectors.

Students pursue careers in a wide variety of sectors from Advanced Materials to Healthcare Technologies, Big Data and analytics to Manufacturing, and Energy.

EPSRC's Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson, said: This year we are allocating £184 million to universities via Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). These will cover a two-year period, giving institutions certainty and time to plan their DTP programmes, and support excellent doctoral students.

The DTPs have produced some outstanding examples of new thinking and helped further the careers of a new generation of researchers who will be the leaders of the future.

The funding is a part of the Government's ongoing commitment to UK science, with a record £6.9 billion invested in science labs and equipment up to 2021, and protection of the science budget at £4.7 billion per year in real terms for the rest of the parliament.

Notes to editors:

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP)

This year 41 universities will benefit from the Doctoral Training Partnership funding, which ranges from £477,000 to £15.5 million. The DTPs are awarded to universities for the provision of doctoral study and are allocated on the basis of EPSRC research grant income, and fellowships. They were previously known as Doctoral Training Grants.

The flexibility of the DTP allows universities to leverage funds, for example from industry, and potentially support higher numbers of students. Previous use of DTP has resulted in award-winning research papers that have sparked further investment in research from industrial partners and other international funding bodies.

The grants allow institutions to be flexible in terms of student recruitment and retention, and enable them to vary the length of support (between three and four years) dependent on the project.

The 2018 DTPs have been awarded to the following 41 universities:

  • Aston University
  • Brunel University London
  • Cardiff University
  • City, University of London
  • Cranfield University
  • Durham University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London
  • Lancaster University
  • Loughborough University
  • Newcastle University
  • Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
  • Queen's University of Belfast
  • Swansea University
  • The University of Manchester
  • University College London
  • University of Bath
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Kent
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Reading
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

Reference: PN 08-18