PhD training given £83.5 million boost

Posted by er134 at Apr 15, 2014 10:30 AM |
Minister announces further investment in doctoral training at University of Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 15 April 2014

Postgraduate training in the UK’s universities, including the University of Leicester, is to receive another injection of funding from The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

This year EPSRC is investing £83.5 million in through its Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) (previously known as DTG). The DTP includes £10 million for Doctoral Prizes and £1 million for Vacation Bursaries.

The announcement comes shortly after the Chancellor’s announcement of extra investment in 22 Centres for Doctoral Training.

Announcing the funding David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “This significant investment shows that the UK is committed to top quality postgraduate research and training. Our future as a leading science and engineering nation is dependent on fostering the talent we have in our universities, this investment will reap rewards in the academic and economic arenas and provide us with a wealth of skilled people able to tackle global challenges, from infrastructure planning to public health.”

EPSRC’s new Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson said: “Centres for Doctoral Training are not the only route we use to support PhD training . This year we are allocating £83.5 million to 38 universities via Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and we are maintaining our financial expenditure on Industrial Case of around £17m per annum.

“DTPs demonstrate our commitment to excellence in postgraduate research and training.  The grants will complement the funding for CDTs and provide universities with flexible funding to support doctoral students in their own priority areas.”

Professor Martin Barstow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, said: “Following our success in obtaining and EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training, we are pleased to have obtained further funding for a Doctoral Training Partnership, recognising the excellence of EPSRC supported research in the College and University.”

The DTPs are awarded to universities for the provision of postgraduate study and are allocated each year on the basis of EPSRC research grant income. They were previously known as Doctoral Training Grants.

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.

This year 38 universities will benefit from the Doctoral Training Partnership funding, which ranges from £300,000 to nearly £8 million.  The flexibility of the DTP allows universities to leverage funds, for example from industry, and potentially support higher numbers of students.

The total number of students coming to Leicester will be up to 40. The students will be in the Engineering, Maths, Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy.

Universities will be able to take advantage of the enhanced flexibility of the DTP scheme to offer Doctoral Prizes to EPSRC-supported students so they can maximise the impact of their PhD.  These prizes will also help to improve retention of the very best students in research careers.

This year EPSRC has invested £10 million to help universities offer these awards as part of their doctoral support.


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