Chancellor George Osborne announces 22 new Centres for Doctoral Training

Posted on Friday 28th March 2014

Postgraduate training in a wide range of engineering and scientific fields important to the UK’s economy received a further boost today. Twenty two new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt. Hon George Osborne MP. The University of Birmingham will host one of these of new centres in the area of Formulation Engineering.

The new CDTs come on top of the 91 centres previously announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in November 2013 and January 2014.
EPSRC and other research councils have been able to fund these new centres following a £106 million investment announced in the Budget, and by negotiating with universities, industrial partners and the Scottish Funding Council, to maximise the number of centres and the students they will be supporting.

Mr Osborne said: “A forward looking, modern industrial strategy is part of our long term economic plan to deliver security, jobs and growth to all parts of the UK. Our £500 million investment in Centres for Doctoral Training will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, ensuring Britain leads the world in high-tech research and manufacturing.”

This latest Government investment in a further 1100 students through an additional 22 Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), brings the total investment in CDTs to over £500 million.

Professor Peter Fryer, from the University of Birmingham’s School of Chemical Engineering, said of the Birmingham centre: ‘Our centre will conduct research into the manufacture of micro- and nano- structured formulated products. Engineered microstructure is key to product function and consumer acceptability. The challenge is to develop sustainable design routes to create optimal structure, and to understand how structures behave in use. The science is the same across different industries, such as foods, home and personal care, catalysis and ceramics and our research is carried out with a group of world-class industry partners who lead in their sector including P+G, Mondelez, Unilever, Rolls Royce, Johnson Matthey and Imerys. Industry support of more than £10 million will be leveraged by EPSRC funding.’

Universities, industry and other charitable partners will be adding a further £70 million to their already large contribution of £374 million to support the training of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The combined public and private investment amounts to over £950 million.

Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), said: “We have been working hard with universities and partners to ensure that as many centres as possible can be supported. The CDT model has proved highly popular with universities and industry and these new Centres will mean that the UK is even better placed to maintain the vital supply of trained scientists and engineers.”

For media enquiries contact:

The EPSRC Press Office, Tel: +44 (0)1793 444 404, e-mail: pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk or Kate Chapple, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel +44 (0)121 414 2772 or +44 (0)7789 921164

Notes to Editors:

1. Centres for Doctoral Training

Centres for Doctoral Training are one of the three main ways by which EPSRC provides support for Doctoral Training. The other routes are the Doctoral Training Grant and Industrial Case Studentships. It is anticipated that much of the need for doctoral students in many areas will continue to be met by the DTG and ICASE, which together make up more than 50 per cent of EPSRC’s current spend on studentships.

CDT students are funded for four years and the programme includes technical and transferrable skills training as well as a research element. The centres bring together diverse areas of expertise to train engineers and scientists with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle today’s evolving issues, and future challenges. They also provide a supportive and exciting environment for students, create new working cultures, build relationships between teams in universities and forge lasting links with industry.


2. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. www.epsrc.ac.uk

3. The Medical Research Council

The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Twenty-nine MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms. www.mrc.ac.uk

4. NERC
NERC is the largest funder of environmental science in the UK. We invest £330m in cutting-edge research, training and knowledge transfer in the environmental sciences. Our scientists study and monitor the whole planet, from pole to pole, and from the deep Earth and oceans to the edge of space. We address and respond to critical issues such as environmental hazards, resource security and environmental change. Through collaboration with other science disciplines, with UK business and with policymakers, we make sure our knowledge and skills support sustainable economic growth and public wellbeing - reducing risks to health, infrastructure, supply chains and our changing environment.

5. AHRC
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk

6. ESRC
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high-quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2013/14 is £212 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.