Funding to train science and engineering leaders

Woman working in the Geomechanics Lab, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is to receive funding of more than £4.8 million, announced by the UK Government, to train future leaders in science and engineering.

Strathclyde is to receive the allocation, from total awards of £184 million, to support doctoral training over four years. The Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) grants, from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), are awarded to students through the Strathclyde Research Studentship Scheme.

The scheme’s awards are also funded internally and through investment from external public, private, and third sector sources. This will lead to at least 115 PhD studentships being made available annually to postgraduate research Engineering and Science students.

Support

The DTP funding will support students entering training in the academic years beginning October 2018 and October 2019. It is being awarded to 41 universities across the UK.

Professor William Kerr, Deputy Associate Principal Research & Knowledge Exchange at Strathclyde, said: “Research is central to everything we do at Strathclyde – presenting solutions to global challenges, informing our teaching, and enabling us to form strong, productive partnerships with business and industry.

“The DTP grants funded by the EPSRC have already been highly successful in previous years in enabling us to nurture Strathclyde postgraduate researchers of excellent calibre. This new round of funding will help us to recruit many more and to enhance our research-related impacts still further.”

The funding announcements were made by UK Business Secretary Greg Clark. He said: “Doctoral Training Partnerships have an excellent record of providing universities with funding that supports doctoral students as they undertake ground-breaking research. This research and expertise underpins the creation of innovative companies.”

After completing PhDs, around 39% of doctoral students in the UK go on to be employed in business or public services, 39% to work in academia and 22% to training or work in other sectors. Students pursue careers in a wide variety of sectors, from advanced materials to healthcare technologies, big data and analytics to manufacturing, and energy.

EPSRC Chief Executive Professor Philip Nelson said: “This year we are allocating £184 million to universities via Doctoral Training Partnerships. These will cover a two year period, giving institutions certainty and time to plan their DTP programmes, and support excellent doctoral students.

“The DTPs have produced some outstanding examples of new thinking and helped further the careers of a new generation of researchers who will be the leaders of the future.”

DTPs are awarded to universities for the provision of doctoral study and are allocated on the basis of EPSRC research grant income and fellowships.

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