UCL Engineering


UCL EPSRC Interdisciplinary DTP Studentships - applications open

1 April 2021

The UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences invites applications for three funded EPSRC DTP (Doctoral Training Partnership) PhD studentships for interdisciplinary research via an open competition. Entry year 2021/22, closing date for applications midday (BST) Friday 18 June 2021.

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The EPSRC DTP Governance Board Open Competition is intended to recruit excellent PhD students regardless of their chosen faculty. All studentship projects must be interdisciplinary and lie within the EPSRC remit. Studentships are expected to start on 27 September 2021 unless exceptional circumstances require an alternate start date. Three studentships are available. Successful candidates will be expected to engage with and contribute to a cross-disciplinary and collaborative programme of seminars and activities for the duration of the studentship.


Studentships provide four years fees (UK/EU rate) and maintenance stipend (for eligible students) at the minimum UCL rate (£18,609 in 2020/21, rises with inflation each year). Studentships are automatically renewed each year provided that sufficient academic progress is made. Students also receive an RTSG (Research Training Support Grant) of £4,800 to cover additional costs of training e.g. courses, project costs, conferences, travel. Students are expected to submit their thesis within the four year funded period and the project should be designed and supervised to facilitate this. Thesis submission before four years is possible if all academic requirements are met. 

Student eligibility 

Applicants must fulfil the academic entry requirements for the programme they are applying to. They must have a minimum of a class 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

For the majority of applicants their eligibility can be easily categorised based on nationality and residence:

  • UK nationals are eligible provided they meet residency requirements.
  • EU nationals with settled status are eligible.
  • EU nationals with pre-settled status are eligible provided they meet residency requirements.
  • Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland are eligible.
  • Those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter are eligible.
  • All others are classified as "International" and require an ODA.

Residency requirements for UK nationals:

  • Living in EEA or Switzerland on 31 Dec 2020 (at that time UK was considered part of EEA) and lived in UK, EEA, Switzerland, or Gibraltar for at least three years immediately before the studentship begins.
  • Lived continuously in the UK, EEA, Switzerland, or Gibraltar between 31 Dec 2020 and the start of the studentship.

Residency requirements for EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals with pre-settled status:

  • Living in the UK by 31 Dec 2020 (a requirement to receive pre-settled status). 
  • Living in the UK, EEA, Switzerland, or Gibraltar for at least three years immediately before the studentship begins.

Project eligibility 

The research project must demonstrate interdisciplinarity, and be aligned with a challenge that cannot be addressed with a single disciplinary approach (examples include the UCL Grand Challenges and the UN Sustainable Development Goals). The project must be based in UCL Engineering but can be co-supervised by supervisors in any UCL Faculty. The project must be co-supervised by supervisors from different departments, and possibly different Faculties, and must lie within the EPSRC remit — the EPSRC’s website provides information on EPSRC Themes and EPSRC Research Areas within this remit. The proposed project supervisors must agree to support your application. You can apply for MRes/PhD, MPhil/PhD, or EngD programmes. These studentships may not be used to apply to EPSRC and UKRI CDTs (Centres for Doctoral Training).

How to apply

To apply for a funded interdisciplinary studentship you will need to apply via the department in which you wish to study. All application documents must be submitted to the department by midday on Friday 18 June 2021. A complete application consists of: 

  1. (with the correct degree programme and route code).
  1. Full grade transcript for all degree(s) already obtained, and for all completed modules of currently in-progress degrees. (Make sure the transcript gives details of the scale/structure of all grades possible for the degree).

  2. An academic reference - submitted via this

  1. A reference from the DGT (Department Graduate Tutor) of the primary department you are applying to.

  1. A project summary from the supervisors of the programme/project you are applying for.

  1. If required, an ODA application form (for students who do not meet the residential eligibility criteria).

The completed form (item 1) and the transcripts (item 2) should be emailed to faceng.facultyHR@ucl.ac.uk, with 'UCL EPSRC Interdisciplinary DTP Studentships application' as the subject. All forms must be completed using the relevant template and submitted in pdf format. 

The academic reference (item 3) should be completed by a member of academic staff at the institute of your current (if applicable) or most recent degree. You should send them a copy of the referee template (see item 3) and instruct them to send the completed template, in pdf format to faceng.facultyHR@ucl.ac.uk, with 'UCL EPSRC Interdisciplinary DTP Studentships application' as the subject.

For current students and graduates of UCL, the referee cannot be the proposed PhD supervisor. If the department decides to support this application, it will complete items 4 and 5 (and 6, if required) and submit the complete application to faceng.facultyHR@ucl.ac.uk

You will also need to make a formal application to study at UCL through your primary department for your chosen programme.  

Download application and referee forms

Engineering application email

Please send your completed application form - submitted in pdf format - and full grade transcripts to faceng.facultyHR@ucl.ac.uk, with 'UCL EPSRC Interdisciplinary DTP Studentships application' as the subject. Please also send any queries to this email address. 

Closing date

Midday, Friday 18 June 2021.