Doctoral Training Centre

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Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs; also called Centres for Doctoral Training[1] or Doctoral Training Partnerships[2]) are centres for managing the Research Council-funded PhD degrees in the United Kingdom. Typical UK PhD students take three years to complete their doctoral research under the guidance of an academic supervisor or small supervisory team and tend to be located within an existing research group. By contrast, each DTC involves a UK university (or a small number of universities) in delivering a four-year doctoral training programme to a significant number of PhD students organised into cohorts. Each Centre targets a specific area of research, and also emphasises transferable skills training.[3] The model has been adopted by all seven Research Councils.


Initially, DTCs were regarded as a strategic mechanism for increasing capacity in interdisciplinary research activities such as the life sciences interface and complexity science, areas that were difficult to locate within a traditional University's departmental organisation. By 2009, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) had widened its focus, announcing funding for 50 new DTCs spanning its entire remit.[4][5][6] In 2011, following the lead of the EPSRC, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) announced doctoral studentships will be exclusively allocated to a network of 21 accredited DTCs.[7]

By 2012 the model was adopted by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in their second call for Block Grant Partnerships, ultimately funding 11 Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and a further 7 Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) established with a first intake of students in October 2014.


  1. ^ Centres for Doctoral Training Archived 18 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, from EPSRC site
  2. ^ "Doctoral Training Centres/Partnerships". University of Southampton. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Doctorate with a difference". New Scientist. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  4. ^ New Centres for Doctoral Training - 2009 Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, from EPSRC's site
  5. ^ Research gears up for 21st-century trials, the Guardian, 3 February 2009
  6. ^ Jump, Paul (7 June 2012). "Eyes front in the 'top-down' centres". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  7. ^ Map of Doctoral Training Centres, from ESRC's site

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