UK Research and Innovation Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres

The University of Birmingham currently hosts a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral training that are funded by UK Research and Innovation, via the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

Our UKRI funded Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP), Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT), and Industrial (IDC) and Engineering Doctorate Centres (EDC) offer full studentships to enable you to undertake and complete your doctoral degree. They all draw upon the expertise and research facilities of a broad range of collaborative partners, enabling you to benefit from their expertise and to become part of interdisciplinary networks that work together to provide excellence in doctoral research training.

Research council funded awards for postgraduate study are available to home and EU residents, those with EU Migrant Worker status, and individuals who are deemed to have normal residence in the UK. Some research councils may also fund overseas students in exceptional circumstances.

More information about the research councils is available from the UKRI website.

More information about all UKRI-funded doctoral training programmes currently available at University of Birmingham are organised by Research Council below. 

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)


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The University of Birmingham is currently part of The Midlands4Cities Consortium (M4C), which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Through this partnership, fully-funded M4C PhD students have the opportunity to draw on the combined expertise of the universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester and Warwick, Birmingham City University, Nottingham Trent University, De Montfort University and Coventry University. Through this collaborative partnership, M4C can deliver excellence in all aspects of research supervision and training, and provide access to a wide range of facilities and networks. 

For more information please visit the M4C website.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)


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The University of Birmingham is a member of the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP), which is a BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership between the universities of Warwick, Birmingham and Leicester. It delivers innovative, world-class research training across the Life Sciences to boost the UK’s growing Bioeconomy. Fully funded studentship projects are thematically organised and are offered within a range of University of Birmingham Schools and Departments.

For more information please visit the MIBTP website. 

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)


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The University of Birmingham is part of the Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), one of 14 DTPs across the UK accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The DTP offers postgraduate research studentships in 17 social science disciplines at six universities in the Midlands. Studentships are awarded competitively across the disciplines and partner institutions. The first intake of students began in October 2017. 

For more information please visit the University of Birmingham MGS ESRC DTP website.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)


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There are number of EPSRC funded Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) currently at the University of Birmingham. These CDTs all draw upon the expertise and research facilities of a broad range of collaborative partners. The aim of these Centres is to train a new generation of scientists and engineers to address interdisciplinary challenges in order to solve global problems. The subject areas covered by these CDTs include:

  • Carbon Capture and Storage and Cleaner Fossil Energy
  • Formulation Engineering
  • Fuel Cells and their Fuels - Clean Power for the 21st Century
  • Innovative Metal Processing
  • Structural Metallic Systems for Gas Turbine Application
  • Physical Sciences for Health 

For more information please visit the EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training website.

Medical Research Council (MRC)

The MRC fund research, grants and postgraduate study that is dedicated to improving human health. They support research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences, in universities and hospitals. The University of Birmingham currently receives funding from the MRC for a number of different areas including:

  • Air pollution and human health
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Cancer research
  • Cardiovascular research
  • Cell biology
  • Infections and immunity
  • Neuroscience

For more information on MRC funding, please visit the University of Birmingham's MRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership website.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)


PGP-June2014-037 NERC imageThe  NERC funded Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA)  is a consortium of universities (Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Warwick and The Open University) and research institutes (British Geological Survey and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) that are working together to provide excellence in doctoral research training within the remit of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). As a CENTA doctoral researcher, you will belong to a consortium that can provide you with extensive training and give you confidence in all aspects of your research.

 The University of Birmingham is also an associate partner of the NERC CDT in Oil and Gas, which comprises the collaboration of 7 core academic partners (Aberdeen, Durham, Heriot-Watt, Imperial College London, Manchester and Oxford universities and the British Geological Survey), and 12 associate academic partners (the universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, Dundee, Exeter (Camborne), Glasgow, Keele, Newcastle, Nottingham, Royal Holloway, Southampton and Strathclyde and the National Oceanography Centre), 9 core industry sponsors (British Gas, BP, ConocoPhilips, E.On, Maersk Oil, OMV, Shell, Statoil and Total) and one associate industry sponsor, Nautilus.

 For more information about CENTA or the CDT in Oil and Gas please visit the websites.