Loughborough Doctoral College

Centres and partnerships

A view of an indoor cricket lab analysing a bowler's action.

Loughborough University is involved in a number of Centres and Partnerships.

Research Councils primarily fund studentships in the UK through two mechanisms; Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs)

DTPs which can be awarded to a single insitution or consortium of Universites, are generally multidisciplinary, covering a variety of research areas concerning a particular research council. Loughborough is currently part of 4 DTPs;


Loughborough EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

Loughborough currently holds a £3M training grant from the EPSRC to support postgraduate research in Engineering and the Physical Sciences. This investment supports PhD studentships, Post-Doctorate Doctoral Prize Fellowships and Vacation Internships starting in 2018/19 and 2019/20.

Further information →

Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA)

The Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA), is a consortium of research intensive Universities and research institutes that are working together to provide excellence in doctoral research training. CENTA encompasses research activities within four broad themes:

  • Anthropogenic Impact
  • Evolution & Ecosystems
  • Dynamic Earth
  • Biogeochemistry

CENTA aims to develop well-rounded students confident in a wide range of scientific, research, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Such individuals will go on to become future sector leaders, equipped with not only specialist and technical expertise in their research fields, but also the ability translate research into impact and to address the complex and shared environmental challenges facing society.

Search our Studentships page for 'CENTA' to find out more.

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ESRC Midlands Graduate School

Loughborough University is part of a Midlands consortium to receive funding to train the next generation of world-leading social scientists.

The Midlands Graduate School (led by the University of Warwick, and including Loughborough, Nottingham, Birmingham, Aston and Leicester universities) has been awarded a Doctoral Training Partnership by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Loughborough University offers research training and doctoral supervision in five pathways:

  • Business, Management and Finance
  • Communication and Media
  • Education
  • Social Policy
  • Sport and Exercise Science

Collaborative studentships involving research or other activities with external public, private or third partner organisations may also be available.

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techne AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership

techne supports outstanding students pursuing the 'craft' of research through innovative, interdisciplinary and creative approaches across the range of the arts and humanities.

Loughborough University London is one of nine partners from London and the South East of England. Opportunities may exist for students interested in Design Innovation or Media and the Creative Industries.

Adverts will be published on the Loughborough London website

Contact us for further information

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)

CDTs have been established to support Doctoral Researchers at a single insitution, or group of Universities, under a specific research theme in order to address a specific skills gap in the current market. Usually these programmes are 4 years in length which takes into account additional training provision. Students who are part of a CDT enjoy a cohort-based training experience.

 CDTs currently recruiting

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Propulsion and Power

The CDT in Future Propulsion and Power is a four year programme which comprises of year one study at the University of Cambridge for an MRes in Future Propulsion and Power. The MRes provides a platform to the PhD phase in years 2 to 4, where students undertake an industrially-focused PhD project.

The three-year industrially-focussed PhD project at Loughborough University will be based within the Rolls-Royce Technology Centre (UTC).

For further information on the CDT, visit the UTC website 

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water and Waste Infrastructure Systems Engineered for Resilience

In partnership with the University of Leeds and Cranfield University, the WATER-WISER PhD offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the generation of new knowledge about sustainable water, sanitation and waste management services to improve infrastructure and services for the poorest and most marginalised members of our global community.

The 4-year PhD programme of trans-disciplinary training with integrated studies, will develop the requisite skills to solve complex problems and engineer solutions to infrastructure and service delivery challenges in the global south.

For further information, visit our website 

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EPSRC CDT in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment

This centre brings together established energy research centres at Loughborough University (LU) and University College London (UCL) together with the ROI-based MaREI Research Centre. Loughborough and UCL will train at least 50 PhD students through a programme of energy demand research in a whole energy system context, while MaREI will train at least 18 PhD students.

Our new, integrated 4-year programme is co-created with partners in industry and government, and our students. It is research-focused from the start but incorporates interdisciplinary taught courses and skills training. This structure ensures that students build up a firm foundation of skills and knowledge they can immediately apply in their research.

Visit our website for further information 

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Hydrogen

This CDT is a collaboration between the Universities of Nottingham, Loughborough, Birmingham and Ulster. The SusHy CDT has four overarching centre objectives:
1.Deliver high quality transdisciplinary training, covering fundamental science, applied engineering, and systems issues and build an appreciation of societal barriers to innovation.
2.Through innovation opportunities, build initiative and stimulate an entrepreneurial mind-set.
3.Deliver “industry ready” doctorates who have a comprehensive skill set and experiences.
4.Co-create research ideas and undertake in partnership with our stakeholders, cutting edge investigations of hydrogen-based solutions to deep decarbonisation of the energy system.

The centre is seeking to train at least 67 PhDs across five years of intake to achieve the mass uptake of hydrogen technologies in the UK and beyond.

For further information visit our website  

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence

This Centre, the first of its kind in Europe, addresses priority areas such as autonomous products, functional materials, high performance connected systems, data-to-knowledge solutions (e.g. digital healthcare), and engineering for industry, life and health. The Centre delivers commercially aware graduates in these thematic areas: design; packaging and interconnection; intelligent software; system services; advanced manufacturing solutions and applications engineering. Students also benefit from EPSRC’s acclaimed “Transition Zone” Training and Development programme comprising:

  1. Leadership, enterprise, innovation management, personal development, and social responsibility, facilitating the transitions into the Centre and eventual exit as a high-value graduate;
  2. Cohort-forming and personal research ‘Foresight’ activities including specialist industrial, and student-led seminars and directed Reading Club;
  3. Industry-led projects and industrial training packages: group and individual industrial projects and personalised on-the-shop-floor training activities;
  4. Core and elective technical training packages that will see students become conversant in all aspects of Embedded Intelligence.

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EPSRC funding for this CDT closed in 2018-19, however funding opportunties still exist through industrial investment

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The following CDTs are active but are no longer recruiting

EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre for Regenerative Medicine

The Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) initiative has been welcomed by leading scientists in the field as "an internationally competitive consortium comprising star UK players in the fields of Engineering, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. The track record of the consortium and proposed collaborators and advisors is outstanding with a breadth of multidisciplinary research that will ensure effective delivery of the DTC programme."

This CDT comprises Loughborough University, Keele University and the University of Nottingham.

The Centre aims:

  1. To grow a capacity of at least 50 engineers and physical scientists with the fundamental, multidisciplinary, and translational skills to become leaders in the emerging industry of regenerative medicine.
  2. To create a training programme geared to the needs of the Doctoral Students integrated with both their individual research aspirations and the requirements of the emerging regenerative medicine industry as a whole.
  3. To encourage students to undertake a strategic and coherent research programme that brings together centres of expertise in academia, industry, and healthcare to further the UK world class position in regenerative medicine.

Find out more 

Contact us: Email Dr Karen Coopman

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fuel Cells and their Fuels

The fuel cell and hydrogen (FCH) sector is rapidly expanding and offers many opportunities for R&D and for job creation as new markets are opened. This Fuel Cells and Their Fuels Centre for Doctoral Training aims to place the UK at the forefront of R&D and commercialisation of these new energy technologies.

The complementary nature of the expertise within the consortium, from the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough, Nottingham, Imperial College London and University College London, gives access to a wide range of FCH research areas, offering students an unparalleled range of projects addressing the whole of RCUK’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cells priority area. Research projects will cover the following fields: electrochemistry, materials and components for low and high temperature fuel cells, fuel cell systems, use of various hydrocarbon fuels, hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, development of low and high temperature electrolysers, integration of hydrogen systems including hybrid fuel-cell-battery, degradation phenomena, socio-economic factors and other cross-cutting topics.

The Centre for Doctoral Training aims to attract students from a diverse range of disciplines from chemistry and engineering through to social scientists. Fostering the differing intellectual qualities, backgrounds, and cultures and nurturing the student partnerships during this 4 year programme, with the aim to produce future industry energy leaders.

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AHRC Doctoral Training Centre Design Star

The Design Star DTC brings together leading design departments at the University of Brighton; Goldsmiths, University of London; Loughborough University; The Open University; and the University of Reading.

It aims to develop future intellectual leadership in design: research leaders of the future who are equipped to make a difference to contemporary social concerns, knowledge production and creative practices. This requires an approach to research training that places diversity and interdisciplinary at its core.

Design Star brings together world-class research in

  • design for industry
  • interaction design
  • design process
  • communication design
  • sustainable design
  • design history
  • curation
  • creative practice

Its spread of design disciplines is linked by a common approach to design that encourages the integration of history, theory and engagement.

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics

This centre brings together three leading universities, Loughborough, Cambridge, and Oxford, who together have the expertise to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to take on senior roles within academia and industry.

The four-year CDT programme (MRes + PhD) enables students to be exposed to a wide range of theoretical, experimental and numerical techniques applicable to the design of different components of a gas turbine engine (the emphasis being placed on a more integrated and multi-disciplinary design philosophy). Students will be exposed to cutting-edge research being undertaken at each University and will have the opportunity to work on a high impact and innovative research project inspired by industrial collaboration with a range of companies spanning the gas turbines products range, such as; Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi, Siemens, and Dyson.

Funding for this CDT was recently renewed (2019) and the title amended to 'Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Propsulsion and Power' (see section above)

Find out more 

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Demand (LoLo)

Energy demand reduction has assumed new importance as the scale of the transforming energy demand and supply has become clear.

The London - Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand is the premier centre for energy demand research in the built environment in the UK. It brings together two energy research universities, Loughborough and UCL.

The Centre provides a unique, vibrant, student-focused environment. At Loughborough, MRes and PhD students train alongside large multi-disciplinary teams conducting world class research into: domestic energy systems and controls, new and renewable energy technologies, human factors in energy use, and advanced energy modelling for design of domestic and non-domestic buildings.

The Centre will produce a new generation of multi-disciplinary thinkers and innovators that understand the engineering, psychology, sociology, politics and economics affecting energy demand. They will go on to engineer our smart, low-energy future.

Funding for this CDT was recently renewed (2019) and the title amended to 'Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment' (see section above)

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Carbon Capture and Storage and Cleaner Fossil Energy

The prime objective of the Centre is to produce research leaders to tackle the major national and international challenges over the next 15 years in implementing new power plant to generate electricity more efficiently using fossil energy with near zero emissions. These challenges involve the successful demonstration of CO2 capture and technologies to reduce CO2 emissions more generally from coal utilisation, including iron making and smokeless fuel production.

This CDT comprises Loughborough University, and the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham.

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in New and Sustainable PV

The purpose of the Centre is to create a leadership group in advanced Photovoltaics who will go on to shape the future agenda for photovoltaics research and development. We will train a total of 70 PhDs who will be engaged in state of the art research programmes at leading UK universities working on PV.

There are seven university members of the national research programme funded by EPSRC, the SUPERGEN SuperSolar Hub. The Hub co-ordinates research actions and runs a UK-wide network of researchers in the field. The CDT is run by the Universities of Liverpool and Bath, and includes Loughborough University, and the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Sheffield and Southampton.

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EPSRC Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering

The Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE) was established in April 1999 following an expansion of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) prestigious Engineering Doctorate (EngD) scheme and had its first intake of Research Engineers (REs) in October 1999. Since then, the Centre has supported over 130 innovative EngD research projects in partnership with more than 75 different sponsoring companies throughout the built environment sector under the following research themes:

  • Innovative Construction Technologies
  • Construction Business Processes
  • Advanced Information and Communications Technologies
  • Sustainable Design
  • Transport and Infrastructure

The Centre has seen its training provision and subsequent impact expand beyond core design and construction subject areas, supported by leading engineering companies, to the provision of cutting-edge research and innovation that spans and influences the entire life-cycle of construction and transport in the built environment.

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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing is a new nucleus of research activity focused on next generation multifunctional Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology. Based at the University of Nottingham, the fundamental and translational research carried out within this world-class Centre will help shape the future national and international AM research agenda. This CDT also includes Loughborough University, and the Universities of Liverpool and Newcastle.

The focus of the Centre’s activity is to work closely with businesses to tackle major research challenges, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of AM and its application in industry. The successful commercial exploitation of the Centre’s research in order to meet industrial and national need for cutting edge, low carbon manufacturing technologies is a key priority.

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Other partnerships and networks

Loughborough is also involved in a number of key research programmes and networks;

East Midlands Doctoral Network (EMDoc)

The EMDoc consists of nine universities within the East Midlands region. Together we are united in our missions to share best practice, resources and insights into postgraduate research, as well as providing opportunities for collaboration and networking amongst the organisations’ students.

Every year EMDoc provides the opportunity for students from all organisations to participate and attend an EMDoc conference. The conference is a real highlight of the academic year, and an important opportunity for research students from across the region to share ideas and celebrate the quality of their research. Regional partnerships are very important; they make us both individually and regionally stronger, and there are already many collaborations between the universities represented at the conference.

Find out more → 

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Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) is a cross-disciplinary and multi-partner research programme which focuses on the development of innovative low-carbon energy generation, distribution and storage solutions. ERA brings together world leading experts from Aston University, the University of Birmingham, Leicester University, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham, the University of Warwick and the British Geological Survey.

The ERA doctoral training programme is designed to provide scholars with a solid grounding in their research area during their PhD. This programme will enable high quality PhD students to address industry-led research challenges and is designed to broaden horizons and empower and support them in developing contacts and links within the broader energy environment.

ERA can offer you:

  • Access to additional specialist training modules across 6 university partners and the BGS
  • A programme of specially tailored events, workshops and joint conferences
  • Field trips to other Institutions and ERA demonstration sites
  • Industrial and academic placements
  • Focus on industry-led research challenges
  • A network of like-minded researchers and entrepreneurs

ERA is supported in its first phase of development by £60 million funding from Innovate UK, with an additional £120 million of co-investment secured from industry and academic partners.

ERA is playing a key role in building a sustainable and secure energy landscape in the UK. It is working in partnership with industry to push the boundaries of energy innovation through research, skills development and by demonstrating the potential of new technologies.

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Further information