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Boost to support outstanding thinkers of tomorrow at University of Warwick

  • £4.1 million funding will support 54 University of Warwick doctoral students across engineering and physical sciences

The next generation of research and innovation leaders will be supported through a major £179 million investment announced today (Friday 6 March 2020), including £4.1 million funding to support University of Warwick doctoral researchers.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that forty-one universities will host Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

At the University of Warwick, 54 students across engineering and physical sciences will be supported in their doctoral training thanks to the £4.1 million funding.

Professor Pam Thomas, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) said: “The Warwick DTP programme will deliver engineers and scientists in-depth, advanced research training as well as a broad understanding of their subject area. This will equip them to address important 21st century questions linked to EPSRC research areas with alignment to Warwick’s strategic priorities.

“The Warwick EPSRC DTP offers an exceptional programme of research training with opportunities for interdisciplinary research and industrial collaborations. Researchers will receive access to world leading technologies and state-of-the-art facilities and excellent standards of supervision, management and mentoring.

“They will also receive ongoing career advice to enable them to explore the impact they can have in a wide range of sectors and so develop and manage their careers.”

The DTP investment was announced alongside the first nine Stephen Hawking Fellows, who will continue Professor Stephen Hawking’s legacy by furthering our understanding of the universe and communicating the wonders of science to the public, and funding to improve and boost uptake of science subjects at school.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “From Ada Lovelace to Stephen Hawking, our scientists and the discoveries they have made have pushed the boundaries, improving our healthcare and transforming the way we live, work and travel.

“Today’s funding will support the talented people we have in this country to study these vital subjects, develop technologies for the future and support the UK’s status as a science superpower.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Making sure that the next generation has the scientific skills to meet the world’s needs – from developing green technologies to curing illnesses – couldn’t be more important.

“That’s why we continue to invest in science programmes in our schools and ensure that anyone, regardless of their background, can participate.

“Girls now make up just over half of A level entries for the three core science subjects but there is more we can do so we will fund research to better understand how we can improve girls’ physics A level participation.”

DTPs are flexible investments in doctoral training at universities which support postgraduates to conduct research across the physical sciences, mathematical sciences and engineering. The value of awards is based on the EPSRC research portfolio held by each university.

EPSRC supports about 11,000 doctoral students through DTPs, Centres for Doctoral Training and Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science and Technology (ICASE) studentships.

After completing PhDs, around 45% of engineering and physical sciences doctoral students go on to be employed in business or public sector, with 35% of those working in academia and 20% using this knowledge and skill in training or working in other sectors.

Previous investments in DTPs have resulted in outstanding advances from the research projects. For example, Joe Matthews, a postgraduate researcher funded through Newcastle University’s DTP has developed new methods to predict the location of road collision hotspots.

EPSRC Executive Chair, Professor Dame Lynn Gladden, said: “Doctoral training is a vital element of the UK’s research and innovation system, providing thousands of people with the skills they need to succeed and deliver benefits for the UK.

“EPSRC’s Doctoral Training Partnerships provide an opportunity for universities to support ideas from outstanding research students, to explore emerging research areas and to support universities’ research priorities.”

Four Doctoral Mobility Pilots have been announced to test new approaches to attracting and supporting people from non-academic backgrounds to undertake doctoral study. They aim to support social and career mobility by reducing barriers to entry to doctoral training from different groups and providing opportunities for lifelong learning.  

Notes to Editors:

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main funding body for engineering and physical sciences research in the UK. By investing in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation.

Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future UK prosperity by contributing to a healthy, connected, resilient, productive nation.

EPSRC is part of UK Research and Innovation, a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. For more information visit UK Research and Innovation.

University hosting DTPs in the 2020-21 cohort:

Aston University

Brunel University London

Cardiff University

Cranfield University

Durham University

Heriot-Watt University

Imperial College London

King’s College London

Lancaster University

Loughborough University

Newcastle University

Open University

Queen Mary University of London

Queen’s University of Belfast

Swansea University

The University of Manchester

UCL

University of Bath

University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

University of Cambridge

University of East Anglia

University of Edinburgh

University of Exeter

University of Glasgow

University of Huddersfield

University of Kent

University of Leeds

University of Leicester

University of Lincoln

University of Liverpool

University of Nottingham

University of Oxford

University of Plymouth

University of Sheffield

University of Southampton

University of St Andrews

University of Strathclyde

University of Surrey

University of Warwick

University of York

 

6 March 2020

University of Warwick press contact:

Peter Thorley
Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)

Email: peter.thorley@warwick.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50868

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863