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Bristol shares in £83.5m funding boost for doctoral training

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17 April 2014

The University of Bristol has received more than £3.4 million in a recent injection of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for postgraduate training.

Thirty-eight UK universities have benefited from a total of £83.5 million of funding this year through the EPSRC’s Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). Bristol will use its share to support outstanding students across a range of subject areas in the Faculties of Engineering and Science.

The announcement came 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 and we are maintaining our financial expenditure on Industrial Case of around £17 million 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.’

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. The flexibility of the DTP allows universities to leverage funds, for example from industry, and potentially support higher numbers of students.

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.

More information on Bristol Doctoral College is available online.

Further information

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 £800m 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.

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