£3.8m investment to grow Loughborough’s research activity

Loughborough University will receive £3.8m investment in its postgraduate research training as part of major investment in science and engineering research announced today by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson.

The University will use the money – awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through its Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) – to develop research and support researchers in key strategic areas for Loughborough.

These include: 

  • Enabling Technologies – developing a pipeline of new technologies to enhance lives, economies and societies, with a focus on Quantum Systems Engineering.
  • Energy – ensuring a secure, sustainable, clean and affordable energy supply, with a focus on Thermal Technologies.
  • Health and Wellbeing – addressing all dimensions of health and wellbeing through the application of our expertise in design, engineering, sport and manufacturing to regenerative medicine and lifestyle interventions, with a focus on Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering.
  • Secure and Resilient Societies – tackling major potential environmental hazards and human-induced threats.
  • Changing Environments and Infrastructure – tackling the challenges to global economies and ecosystems presented by climate, land use and hydrological change.

Professor Andrew Dainty, Director of the University’s Graduate School which supports Loughborough’s 1500-plus postgraduate researchers, said:

“This substantial investment from EPSRC in doctoral training at Loughborough forms a significant component of our research strategy for engineering and the physical sciences, supporting both interdisciplinary research via our Research Challenges, and our discipline-based research strengths.

“It also provides a platform for exploiting inter-institutional collaborative opportunities afforded by major research infrastructure investments where Loughborough is a key partner.

“Our DTP students will benefit from enhanced cohort-based training and support that is a hallmark of the Loughborough doctoral experience”.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

“We are committed to securing the UK’s position as a world leader in science and innovation, and supporting the vital work of scientists at Loughborough University is key to this.

“This £3.8m funding for Loughborough University will enable them to take on more doctoral students to support their most promising research, leading to new discoveries and commercial partnerships. It will also give more students the chance to study at PhD level, boosting high level skills in Loughborough and supporting jobs and growth.”

Overall, forty UK universities will share in £167 million that will support doctoral training over a two year period,

The DTP funds will support students for the academic years beginning October 2016 and 2017.

EPSRC Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson, said:

“This year we are allocating £167 million to universities via Doctoral Training Partnerships. These will cover a two year period and give institutions greater certainty and increased time to plan their DTP programmes, and support excellent doctoral students.

“These strategic investments will help science push at the boundaries and make discoveries that are taken through into innovations.”

The funding is a part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to UK science, with a record £6.9 billion invested in science labs and equipment up to 2021, and protection of the science budget at £4.7 billion per year in real terms for the rest of the parliament.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/30

Loughborough University 
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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Doctoral Training Partnerships
This year 40 universities will benefit from the Doctoral Training Partnership funding, which ranges from £489,000 to nearly £ 18.5 million.  The DTPs are awarded to universities for the provision of doctoral study and are allocated on the basis of EPSRC research grant income, and fellowships. They were previously known as Doctoral Training Grants.

The flexibility of the DTP allows universities to leverage funds, for example from industry, and potentially support higher numbers of students. Previous use of DTP has resulted in award-winning research papers that have sparked further investment in research from industrial partners and other international funding bodies.

The grants allow institutions to be flexible in terms of student recruitment and retention, and enable them to vary the length of support (between three and four years) dependent on the project.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year 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 economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. www.epsrc.ac.uk



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