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Business Secretary announces £184 million investment in doctoral training

Posted on 01/02/2018

Business Secretary Greg Clark has today (Thursday 1 February) announced a major investment in science and engineering research totaling £184 million to be allocated over two years. Forty one UK universities including King's College London will share in the funding that will support doctoral training over a four year period.

The Business Secretary made the announcement during a visit to YASA Motors in Oxford where he opened a production facility. YASA Motors is a spin-out from the University of Oxford, which has received an allocation of £13.6 million to use for its Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs).

The funds for doctoral training will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through its DTPs, and the funds will support students entering training in the academic years beginning October 2018 and October 2019.

Business Secretary Greg Clark 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 like YASA Motors.

'Through our commitment to increasing research and development funding by a further £2.3 billion to 2021/22, we are ensuring that the next generation of engineers and scientists will continue to thrive under our modern and ambitious Industrial Strategy.'

EPSRC supports 9,000 post-doctoral students each year either via DTPs, Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTS) or Industrial Case studentships.

After completing PhDs around 39 per cent of doctoral students go on to be employed in business or public services, 39 per cent go on to work in academia and 22 per cent 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’s Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson, said: “This year we are allocating £184 million to universities via Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). 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.”

The funding is a part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to UK science, with a record £6.9 billion invested in science labs and equipment up to 2021, and protection of the science budget at £4.7 billion per year in real terms for the rest of the parliament.

Notes to editors:

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP)

This year 41 universities will benefit from the Doctoral Training Partnership funding, which ranges from £477,000 to £15.5 million.  The DTPs are awarded to universities for the provision of doctoral study and are allocated on the basis of EPSRC research grant income, and fellowships. They were previously known as Doctoral Training Grants.

The flexibility of the DTP allows universities to leverage funds, for example from industry, and potentially support higher numbers of students. Previous use of DTP has resulted in award-winning research papers that have sparked further investment in research from industrial partners and other international funding bodies.

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.

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