The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Formulation Engineering aims to attract students from a diverse range of disciplines including chemistry, biochemistry and physics.

Entry requirement to the scheme is extremely high with over three quarters of the Research Engineers having a Masters qualification on joining the scheme. The programme prides itself on converting scientists into chemical engineers; over 50% of entrants do not hold a first degree in chemical engineering. Recruits have entered the programme with undergraduate degrees in chemistry, physics, aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering and maths.

What is the difference between an EngD and a PhD?

A PhD is a three year programme of research taken by a student mainly within a University leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. An EngD is a four year programme of study and research taken by a Research Engineer based mainly within industry leading to the qualification of Doctor of Engineering.

How is the EngD funded?

The Research Engineer is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and an industrial sponsor. The EPSRC pays the course fees plus an enhanced tax free stipend to the Research Engineer of £14,400 (September 08 Figure) plus the company top up is £5,000 giving a tax free bursary of £19,400 p.a. Whereas the PhD students get approx. £12 - 13,000.

What are the Entry Requirements?

The usual EPSRC entry requirements must be met. Candidates must:

  • Hold a UK passport
  • Have an Honours Degree at 2(i) or above in a relevant discipline (physical sciences, engineering or material sciences).

Candidates may also be acceptable if they have relevant industrial experience

Where will the Research Engineer be based?

EngD projects are intended to be strongly industrially based. It is expected that the Research Engineer will spend the majority of his/her time within the company. The Research Engineer will complete the teaching and assessment of the taught module element at the University of Birmingham or another affiliated university. If the research requires use of specialised university facilities, then the Research Engineer will spend a larger proportion of time within the university.

What Taught Modules must I take?

Research Engineers must take 120 credits worth of modules, which essentially means 12 one-week intensive courses. The modules which are taken will depend upon the Research Engineer's previous experience and the intended project. The choice of modules will be made by the Research Engineer in conjunction with the EngD programme manager and the supervisor. Examples of modules can be seen on the course profile.

What is the role of the EngD Programme Manager?

The Research Engineer is expected to work closely with the Programme Manger as well as the academic and industrial supervisors. The Programme Manager is based in the Professional Support Office and his/her role is to:

  • Liaise with Industry to secure funding for projects
  • Liaise with academics to develop projects
  • Recruit Research Engineers along with the industrial sponsors and academic supervisors
  • Ensure the Research Engineer submits progress reports, attends conferences, writes paper and submits the thesis on time

Enquiries relating to the programme are welcome via:

Mr John C Hooper, MBA.
CDT Project Officer
Chemical Engineering
The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Tel: (+44) (0) 121 414 5275
Fax:  (+44) (0) 121 414 5324

Contact us

For further information, please email