How to Apply

The current list of available projects is available on our available projects page. 

To apply please send a copy of your CV to for consideration.  Your application will be considered by the CDT board and if shortlisted will be invited to attend an interview.  Normally the candidate is invited to the University to meet the supervising academic, followed by an interview at the host company. Please indicate if you are interested in a particular project.

If successful, you will be offered a project at one of our industry sponsors, subject to EPSRC funding eligibility and University admissions criteria.

Entry requirements

The EPSRC entry requirements must be met.  Candidates must:

  • Have an Honours Degree at 2(i) or above in a relevant discipline (physical sciences, engineering or material sciences)
  • Candidates may be accepted with relevant industrial experience.

The scheme is popular, with over three quarters of Research Engineers holding a masters qualification on application.  We pride ourselves on turning scientists into chemical engineers and over 50% of our entrants don’t hold a first degree in chemical engineering (for example previous recruits have held undergraduate degrees in Chemistry, Physics, Aeronautical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics).

Programme Structure

Our current research engineers are investigating industrial problems; either with large multi-national corporations or SMEs.  For the CDT in Formulation Engineering, students are mainly based in industry partners across the UK but join together as a cohort to undertake a formal programme of study across their 4-years of the programme.  We currently collaborate with world-leading companies including P&G, Kraft/Mondelez, Unilever, Johnson Matthey, Imerys, Pepsico and Rolls Royce.  [Find out about our Industrial Collaboration]

Taught Component

Following a comprehensive review of teaching and learning in 2019-20,we have designed a programme that is responsive to both academic and industry need.

The programme comprises 120 credits of taught material.  The modules offered are typically intensive one week long courses at the University, with the majority offered at Masters level with a pass mark of 50%.  Students are able to select, with guidance from their supervisor(s), from a wide range of modules that will build on previous learning and bridge the gap between the demands of a taught programme and the more significantly intensive doctoral training.

There are 10 and 20 credit modules available and we usually recommend students taking 50 credits in the first year, 40 in the second year and 30 in the third year (leaving final year free for thesis writing and experiments).  1 credit represents 10 hours of notional learning, so 10-credits is the equivalent of 100-hours, 20-credits of 200-hours and so forth.  Taught modules (usually 10 credits) are one-week long and are assessed via a combination of written examination and coursework.

On average our modules have 30% contact time (academic-led teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, lab work, etc) with 70% student-led independent learning.  

We currently offer a suite of courses:

  • ‘Foundation’ modules in process engineering and bioscience to give basic training for those whose first degree did not contain the appropriate material
  • Core modules in formulation science and engineering, including measurement of structure and process, particle and colloid science, and in the science underpinning molecule delivery.  

A ‘Training Need Analysis’ is developed in collaboration with supervisors and modules are selected on the following basis:

  • Directly relevant to their research;
  • Develop business and transferrable skills; 
  • Cover areas of Formulation Engineering not taught in the research engineer’s degree or career history; and
  • Cover new manufacturing paradigms (to be delivered in collaboration with partners across the UK)

In addition to technical modules, we train research engineers in the skills they need to operate effectively in an industrial environment.

Research Component

Our Research Engineers complete a 50,000 word research thesis, defended by viva voce. 

Ethics training

All current EngD research engineers complete an ethics training course, as well as specific research integrity training, provided centrally by the University. 


What study routes are available?

We recruit onto the Doctorate in Engineering (EngD) or PhD with integrated studies.  Each EngD/PhD with integrated studies are recruited to specific projects, which are sponsored by a range of external companies, either large multinational corporations or SMEs (a list of current industry sponsors can be found at: Industry collaborators)

What is an EngD?

The EngD is similar to a PhD in that the research engineer carries out an in depth research project, but the key difference is that the research engineer is based with the sponsoring company.   An EngD is funded for 4 years, rather than 3 years for a PhD.  Information on the programme structure can be found above.

What funding is available?

Research engineers can be recruited onto the EngD or PhD with Integrated Studies.  Fees are covered by EPSRC and research engineers receive a stipend (from EPSRC) and an industry ‘top up’ from the sponsoring company.

Present figures are £20,800 a year for EngD and £18,800 a year for PhD [figures for 2019/20 cohort].

What projects are available?

We collaborate with a variety of leading Research & Development (R&D) organisations. Partnerships ensure a joint approach to solving problems in a sustained manner, whilst access to a talented pool of research engineers provide novel ideas that are examined long-term and implemented.

Formulation Engineering is an interdisciplinary subject. Projects are undertaken by research engineers in different disciplines. Areas include: chemistry, physics and biochemistry. The modules taken depend on the research engineers’ research background and the project, but they cover the fundamental science and engineering behind formulation engineering, as well as the business, legal and marketing aspects that allow research engineers to converse fully with other divisions of their sponsors.

Current available projects that we are recruiting to can be found on our available projects page.

Current and previous projects can be found on our student projects page.

General enquiries

For any general enquiries regarding the programme, please contact