Osborne praises doctoral training centres

George Osborne has predicted that 22 new Centres for Doctoral Training will “inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers”.

March 29, 2014

The centres will train 1,100 postgraduates in engineering and science subjects.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will fund the centres for the most part. But eight of them include joint funding from other funding and research councils.

The latest tranche of CDTs brings the number of EPSRC-funded centres announced since last November to 103.

In the budget earlier this month, the chancellor revealed that a further £106 million would be invested in the network. 

Mr Osborne unveiled further details at the University of Manchester, which will host one of centres. 

He said: “A forward looking, modern industrial strategy is part of our long term economic plan to deliver security, jobs and growth to all parts of the UK.”

The chancellor added: “Our £500 million investment in Centres for Doctoral Training will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, ensuring Britain leads the world in high-tech research and manufacturing.”

When the initial list of centres was announced last year, the EPSRC said that many high quality bids remained unfunded. Subsequently, the EPSRC negotiated funding cuts of up to 15 per cent with successful bidders to plough more funds into additional centres. 

As a result of these discussions, David Willetts, the universities and science minister, announced a further 19 centres in January. The EPSRC said that some funding for the latest set of centres has come from negotiations with universities, industrial partners and the Scottish Funding Council.

Professor David Delpy, chief executive of the EPSRC, said: “We have been working hard with universities and partners to ensure that as many Centres as possible can be supported.”

“The CDT model has proved highly popular with universities and industry and these new centres will mean that the UK is even better placed to maintain the vital supply of trained scientists and engineers,” he added.


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