The Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) is co-funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and a range of external sponsors to combine rigorous training with research excellence in an integrated four-year doctoral degree programme. This programme combines a one-year MRes programme with a subsequent three-year doctoral research programme.
The aim of the individually tailored training programmes and topical collaborative research projects is to provide highly trained and motivated research leaders for industry, or scientists and engineers who wish to maintain significant links with industry in an academic career. All students on EngD programme will start in late September.
The MRes programme incorporates a number of different training and research activities:
- Dedicated taught courses
- Research project, which comprises about 60% of the MRes degree programme.
- Professional, generic and transferable skills training
Upon successful completion of the first year, the degree of MRes is conferred and the students proceed to the second phase.
Doctoral research programme
The second phase consists of a three-year doctoral research programme, where each student works in collaboration with an external sponsor. The student may be placed with the external sponsor for short or long periods and is sometimes fully integrated in the sponsor's research team.
Students are monitored at regular intervals throughout the second phase. Towards the end of their first year (June), each student writes a short report. The student's second supervisor reads the report and conducts a mini-viva (interview) with the student. This provides the student with valuable insights into how to work towards their thesis, as well as establishing whether the student has the motivation and ability to complete a thesis.
During the second year, students are requested to produce and present a poster outlining the research work already completed. In addition students write a more in-depth report detailing their progress to date. This report is assessed by a small panel who decide whether the student’s progress is suitable to progress to completion of their EngD.
Students are expected to be able to design, initiate and pursue their own investigations without extensive supervision from third year. The thesis must be submitted within four years from the start date of the second phase.
The EngD degree is conferred upon successful completion of novel and high quality research, submission of a written doctoral thesis and viva voce examination by examiners.
Current and future M3S CDT EngD projects are sponsored by a wide range of sponsors from energy providers and catalyst specialists to glass manufacturers, computer hardware and software companies, biomedical implants and national laboratories from UK, USA and France. In terms of the size, both small and medium enterprises and multi-national corporations have been involved in the research activities in the M3S CDT.