Prestigious research council invests £1.3m in Swansea University’s engineering and sciences doctoral training

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Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced that Swansea University will receive £1.3m from the EPSRC to expand its training and provision across Engineering and the Physical Sciences.

The investment supports a total of 36 studentships for new doctoral students, and enables Swansea University to continue to enhance its strong track record of collaborative partnerships with industry and academia.

Swansea University is committed to distributing the studentships to academic disciplines that align both with EPSRC’s priority areas and with the University’s research strengths. Studentships will be available in and across the boundaries of three disciplines: Engineering, Science (including Mathematics) and Medicine.

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

Swansea University is one of only two Universities  in Wales and one of forty-one UK universities that will share the £184million total funding to support doctoral training over a four-year period.

Professor Steve Wilks, Swansea University Pro-Vice-Chancellor, said:

“This investment from the EPSRC in Swansea University is testament to the strength and intensity of our research and long-standing track-record in delivering ground-breaking collaborative outputs with industrial partners such as Tata Steel, Unilever and Rolls Royce.

“EPSRC’s confidence in Swansea’s ability to responsibly utilise the investment, to train and coach the UK’s next generation of engineering and scientific leaders, demonstrates Swansea’s reach and impact across engineering and physical science advancement.

“Swansea University is delighted to continue working with the EPSRC and welcomes their endorsement through this investment.”

EPSRC’s Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson, added:

“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.”

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.

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.

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs): In 2018 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.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC): is the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research. By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, they build the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Their portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research they fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. The EPSRC works collectively with its partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.