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UCL EPSRC Doctoral Training

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EPSRC Doctoral Training at UCL - Prospective Students

This site aims to provide information, resources, and opportunities for students considering applying for EPSRC-funded Doctoral Training at UCL.

Recruiting Now

The UCL EPSRC DTP is currently recruiting for studentships to start in 2022/23. Visit the application page for more information.

What does a studentships provide?

All studentships are fully funded for 4 years. They provide:

  • 4 years fees (Home rate)
  • Maintenance stipend at the UCL EPSRC DTP enhanced rate (£19,062 in 2022/23, rises with inflation each year)
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £4,800. This is to cover additional costs of training eg courses, project costs, conferences, travel
  • For overseas fee status students, a UCL award to cover the fee difference between the Home and international fee rate

Students will be initially registered for 4 years and are expected to submit their thesis within the 4 year funded period. The project should be designed and supervised to facilitate this.
 

Am I eligible for a studentship?

Student eligibility:

  • You must fulfil the academic entry requirements for UCL.
  • You must fulfil any additional academic entry requirements for the department programme you will be hosted by.
  • These studentships are open to those with Home and International fee status (including EU); however, the number of students with International fee status which can be recruited is capped according to the EPSRC terms and conditions so competition for International places is particularly strong.

An official fee status assessment by UCL admissions will be required for all successful candidates. However, the following guidance is provided to help you determine whether you will be Home or International category for EPSRC funding:

  • UK nationals are Home category, provided they meet residency requirements.
  • EU nationals with settled status are Home category.
  • EU nationals with pre-settled status are Home category, provided they meet residency requirements.
  • Irish nationals living in UK or Ireland are Home category.
  • Those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter are Home category.
  • All others are classified as International category.

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 3 years immediately before the studentship begins
  • lived continuously in 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 UK by 31-Dec-2020 (a requirement to receive pre-settled status)
  • living in UK, EEA, Switzerland, or Gibraltar for at least 3 years immediately before the studentship begins

Note: studentships are open to those with Home and International fee status (including EU); however, the number of students recruited with International fee status which can be recruited is capped according to the EPSRC terms and conditions.

Project eligibility

Program of study: Your project can be within an MPhil/PhD, MRes + PhD (1+3), or EngD programme in any of the eligible host departments, listed below. However, you cannot apply for a studentship to be hosted in one of the Centres for Doctoral Training which are already funded by EPSRC or UKRI-AI. To join one of these programmes, you should apply directly to those schemes using their own application process

Remit: Your proposed research project must lie within the EPSRC remit — the EPSRC’s website provides information on the Themes and Research Areas within their remit. Host departments and supervisors can advise on available projects that are within EPSRC remit, and on remit considerations if you wish to devise your own project.

What are the terms and conditions of a studentship?

The Terms and Conditions of a studetship are contained in the offical studentship offer letter. They are reproduced here for reference only

1. Provision of award
1.1. Recipients of an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Studentship must abide at all times by the present rules, regulations and statutes of UCL and the UCL Doctoral School Code of Practice.
1.2. The studentship is funded by EPSRC (a part of UKRI) and is subject to their Training Grant Terms and Conditions. You should ensure that you read and understand them.
1.3. The award is linked to your official offer letter from UCL Admissions Office and is only for the program of study and start date printed on your official UCL offer letter and your studentship offer letter. You must accept your official offer of study at UCL and accept the terms and conditions associated with it for this studentship offer to be valid.
1.4. The offer of the studentship is made on the understanding that you will be enrolled at UCL by the start date printed on the studentship offer letter. The studentship cannot be deferred to a later start date, nor can it be transferred to another institution. Funding cannot be applied retrospectively and will only be effective from your first day of enrolment from the start date specified in your studentship offer letter.
1.5. The EPSRC Doctoral studentship is normally awarded for up to 4 years of full-time doctoral study (or the equivalent pro-rata time period for part-time study as specified in the studentship offer letter). If the awardee is already enrolled on an MPhil/PhD, MRes/PhD, or EngD program at the time of their selection for the studentship, the value and duration of the studentship will be reduced pro rata.
1.6. Recipients of an EPSRC Doctoral studentship are expected to submit a doctoral thesis for examination within the funded period of the studentship. If the recipient submits a thesis before the end of the studentship period, they may be able to continue to receive stipend for a limited period subject to meeting the requirements for TGC 6.2 of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions.
1.7. In accepting the Terms and Conditions of this studentship the award-holder is aware that the award is subject to the Terms and Conditions as set out by UKRI in their Training Grant Terms and Conditions and Training Grant Guidance documents, and that UKRI reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions.
1.8. In accepting the Terms and Conditions of this studentship the award-holder is consenting to share their personal data with the EPSRC and/or UKRI and/or its constituent Research Councils. Details of UKRI’s data collection and processing are contained in the UKRI use of grant proposal and training grant information addendum, the UKRI data protection policy, and the UKRI privacy notice.
1.9. In accepting the Terms and Conditions of this studentship the award-holder is aware that they are authorising:
• UCL to disclose to EPSRC and/or UKRI and/or its constituent Research Councils any information that UKRI or the Research Council requests regarding the progress of their studies, the submission of their thesis (where appropriate), and the completion of their studies.
• UCL to disclose student contact details to EPSRC and/or UKRI and/or its constituent Research Councils. This is to allow UKRI and/or Third Parties acting on the UKRI’s behalf to contact Students both during and beyond the duration of their Studentship for evaluation purposes. Correspondence is likely to be about funded courses or placements, or asking for views about funded postgraduate training. Students may also be invited to events or conferences that UKRI or Research Councils fund.
• UCL to provide data on equality and diversity to allow EPSRC and/or UKRI and/or its constituent Research Councils to help assess how effective policies and procedures are in eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equal opportunities. This information may be used anonymously for statistical purposes. It will be treated in confidence and in line with the UKRI data protection policy.
• UCL to provide any such information requested on EPSRC’s and/or UKRI’s behalf to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) or any other organisation or agency empowered to act on the Research Council's and/or UKRI’s behalf, including UK Shared Business Services (SBS) Ltd.
• UCL or a third party on behalf of the EPSRC and/or UKRI and/or its constituent Research Councils, to contact a studentship holder beyond the life of their studentship for evaluation purposes.
1.10. In accepting the Terms and Conditions of this award the award-holder understands that information about their research, including data submitted through the Je-S Student Details Portal (SDP), will be made available on the EPSRC’s and/or UKRI’s and/or its constituent Research Councils’ web sites and other publicly available databases, including Gateway to Research[3], and in reports, documents and mailing lists. This will include the following data:
• Student name
• Name(s) of project partner organisations and supervisors
• Project titles and topics
• Project summaries
• Registration and expected submission dates
• Numbers of students in particular regions, universities or departments in context of the Training Grant funding announced.
• Aggregated information regarding demographics, student numbers, stipend levels, qualifications, age at start, migration levels (from first degree university to another) and so on.
[3] Gateway to Research (GtR) is a website that publishes information about funded research that can assist businesses and other interested parties to identify potential partners in research organisations to develop and commercialise knowledge, and thereby increase the impact of publicly funded research.
2. Additional or alternative sources of funding
2.1. This studentship may not normally be held alongside any other studentships or awards except where it is jointly funded.
2.2. If you are successful in obtaining an offer of funding from an alternative source, you must immediately inform your department. You would normally be expected to accept the alternative award for some or all of your studentship duration. Depending on the value of the alternate funding, your EPSRC studentship may be enhanced, reduced, temporarily suspended, or terminated.
2.3. You must inform your department of any other funding you are receiving. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal or termination of the award.
3. Funding and payments
3.1. Your department will arrange payment of your fees and stipend from your studentship.
3.2. Stipend payments will only be made to a student’s UK bank account
3.3. Your first stipend payment will only be processed once you are fully enrolled and you have provided your bank details in the Portico system.
3.4. Once your payments have been approved, notification of the Payment Schedule will be sent to your UCL email address. If you do not receive this email within one month of your enrolment, you should contact your Departmental Administrator.
3.5. Stipend payments are made monthly in advance. You will be required to refund any advance payments made should your studentship be terminated or withdrawn.
3.6. Your studentship will be renewed by your department annually until the end date, subject to you making sufficient academic progress, completing the expected amount of skills training as outlined in the UCL Doctoral School Code of Practice, and re-enrolling with UCL.
3.7. Your studentship provides a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) up to the value printed on your studentship offer letter. Any expenditure charged to the RTSG must be eligible within UKRI’s Terms and Conditions. Your department will advise on how to access this funding and eligibility of expenditure.
4. Changes to study or attendance
4.1. The studentship is linked to the program of study printed on your UCL offer letter and your studentship offer letter. If at any time before or during the studentship you wish to change your program of study you must inform your department immediately. This may affect your entitlement to the studentship and it may need to be withdrawn.
4.2. The studentship is for the mode of study (full-time or part-time) printed on your UCL offer letter and your studentship offer letter. A single change in mode of study may be approved, subject to it complying with TGC 7.1.1 of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions. If you wish to apply for a change in mode of study you must inform your department.
4.3. Interruptions of study may be approved for extended periods of illness; maternity/adoption/shared parental leave; or internships/placements subject to complying with the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions. Stipend payments will continue for absences covered by a medical certificate for up to 13 weeks in a 12 month period, subject to complying with TGC 8.2 of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions. EPSRC studentship holders are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity/adoption/shared parental leave, subject to complying with TGC 8.1 of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions. Full stipend will be paid for the first 26 weeks, statutory maternity pay will be paid for the next 13 weeks, and the final 13 weeks will be unpaid. Applications for interruption must be approved by the Training Grant Holder or their delegated authority. If you wish to apply for interruption you must inform your department at least 8 weeks in advance (excluding UCL closure periods) except in cases of genuine emergency. Any advance over-payment made covering the period of interruption will be recovered by requesting you to return the over-payment to UCL.
4.4. If you wish to permanently withdraw or terminate your studies, you must inform your department immediately. Your studentship will cease immediately and you will be required to refund any advance payments made for the period beyond the date of termination.
5. Student obligations
5.1. Recipients of an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Studentship must abide at all times by the present rules, regulations and statutes of UCL and the UCL Doctoral School Code of Practice.
5.2. You are expected to publish the results of your research (excluding the thesis) in accordance with normal academic practice and UKRI’s policy on Open Access. UCL’s Library Services provides advice and support on Open Access publishing.
5.3. You must acknowledge the support received from EPSRC in publications and other forms of communication, including but not limited to conferences, media appearances, and press releases. Acknowledgement should include the EPSRC grant reference printed on your studentship offer letter where appropriate, and should follow the guidance for the standard format agreed between funders and publishers. For articles published in journals  or deposited in institutional or subject-based repositories, the acknowledgement of funding should take the form:
• a sentence with the funding agency written out in full, followed by the Training Grant number in square brackets (as in example 1).
• multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space (as in example 2).
• Where the research (and/or co-authors) was supported by more than one funding agency, the different agencies should be separated by a semicolon, with "and" before the final funder (as in example 2).
Example 1: “This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant number xxxx].”
Example 2: “This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Wellcome Trust [grant number XXXX].”
5.4. Recipients of an EPSRC studentship must record outcomes and impacts of their research via UKRI’s Researchfish system. Students are expected to complete the annual submission exercise from the third year of their studentship until 3 years after the end of the studentship. Annual submission to Researchfish is a mandatory requirement for all EPSRC funded students. UKRI have provided guidance and FAQs on Researchfish for students. Students will receive an email from Researchfish inviting them to create an account and will be expected to input and submit outputs during the annual submission period (a 6-week period, normally February to March).
UKRI have a responsibility to demonstrate the value and impact of research and training supported through public funding. UKRI uses information that researchers and students provide on the outputs, outcomes and impact of their Research Council-funded projects to report to and engage with both the Government and the public. Further information can be found on UKRI’s webpage on outcomes.
5.5. Where there is an additional sponsor for the studentship, you may be required to sign a collaboration agreement with the partner. You may be invited or required to spend time working on a placement at the partner’s premises. This may be a single placement or a series of placements. You will be required to comply with the partner’s procedures and policies, including safety policies, whilst at the partner’s premises. You are expected to consider your obligations to the partner in planning annual leave.

Alternate clause 5.5 for DTP-CASE studentships:

5.5. Recipients of an EPSRC DTP-CASE studentship must spend at least 3 months on a placement at the CASE partner’s premises. This may be a single 3 month placement or a series of shorter placements. You may be required to sign a collaboration agreement with the partner. You will be required to comply with the partner’s procedures and policies, including safety policies, whilst at the partner’s premises. You are expected to consider your obligations to the partner in planning annual leave.

Alternate clause 5.5 for I-CASE studentships:

5.5. Recipients of an EPSRC Industrial CASE studentship must spend at least 3 months on a placement at the CASE partner’s premises. This may be a single 3 month placement or a series of shorter placements. You may be required to sign a collaboration agreement with the partner. You will be required to comply with the partner’s procedures and policies, including safety policies, whilst at the partner’s premises. You are expected to consider your obligations to the partner in planning annual leave.

Past Opportunities (archival information for reference only)

  • UCL EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowships - for recently finished or due to finish PhD students who received funding support from EPSRC during their PhD studies. Closing date: 12:00 on 20-January-2022.
  • UCL EPSRC DTP studentships for 2021/22 - fully funded (fees, stipend, training fund) 4-year PhD studentships for study in any UCL department. Closing date: 14:00 on 27-Apr-2021
  • UCL EPSRC funded studentships in Mathematical Sciences for 2021/22- fully funded (fees, stipend, training fund) 4-year PhD studentships for study in the Mathematical Sciences subject area. Closing date: 25-Apr-2021