The University of Manchester

University granted £30 million to educate future scientists and engineers via four new Centres for Doctoral Training

Four Centers for Doctoral Training (CDT) have been granted over £30 million in funding to educate more than 350 doctoral students. The CDTs will play a crucial role in enhancing the UK’s skills base in vital technologies by training students to address key challenges such as achieving net-zero targets through advanced materials, nuclear energy, robotics, and AI.

Manchester ranks among the top three most awarded institutions for CDTs, alongside the University of Bristol and University College London, and on par with the University of Edinburgh.

The University of Manchester has secured £30 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for four Centers for Doctoral Training as part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) £500 million investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills across the UK.

Building on Manchester’s longstanding commitment to doctoral training, the new CDTs will enhance UK expertise in critical areas such as advanced materials, AI, and nuclear energy.

The CDTs include the EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training in 2D Materials of Tomorrow (2DMoT), the EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training Developing National Capability for Materials 4.0, the EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training in Robotics and AI for Net Zero, and the EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training in SATURN (Skills And Training Underpinning a Renaissance in Nuclear).

Manchester received joint-third most awards across UK academia and will collaborate with several other institutions to prepare the next generation of researchers, specialists, and industry experts in various sectors.

In addition to leading these four CDTs, The University of Manchester is also collaborating as a partner institution on several other CDTs based at different universities across the UK.

All CDTs work with industrial partners to provide students with real-world experience and prepare them to tackle industry challenges effectively.

Professor Scott Heath, Associate Dean for Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers at The University of Manchester, expressed delight at the funding awards and highlighted the importance of equipping the next generation of researchers with necessary skills to address complex issues.

The funding, announced by Science, Innovation, and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, is the largest investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills to-date, totaling more than £1 billion.

These CDTs join the UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Decision Making for Complex Systems, which aims to train the next generation of AI researchers in developing AI methods for scientific discoveries in various fields.

Recruitment for the first cohort of students in the AI CDT, SATURN CDT, and Developing National Capability for Materials 4.0 CDT will begin shortly, with the first cohort expected to start in the 2024/2025 academic year.

For more information about the University of Manchester’s Centers for Doctoral Training, please visit their website.

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