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Centres for Doctoral Training

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) are centres in universities, or groups of universities, for research students to undertake their PhD study, funded and supported by the EPSRC, NERC and AHRC funding councils.

PhD research undertaken in a CDT differs from a typical PhD in that they are studied over four years instead of three, and bring together diverse areas of expertise.

Loughborough University is involved in a number of CDTs, and seeks to provide a supportive and exciting environment for students by creating new working cultures, emphasising transferable skills, and forging lasting links with industry. 

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 will deliver commercially aware graduates in these thematic areas: design; packaging and interconnection; intelligent software; system services; advanced manufacturing solutions and applications engineering. Students will 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 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 Prof. David Williams

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 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.

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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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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 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.

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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 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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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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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). A variety of awards are available (1+3, 3, and 3+).
Loughborough University offers research training and doctoral supervision in five pathways:
• Business and Management
• Communication and Media
• Education
• Social Policy 
• Sport and Exercise Science
Contact: Sandie Duddle (

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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