UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


£40m awarded to UCL Centres for Doctoral Training

We are delighted to announce that UCL has been awarded funding from EPSRC for three Centres of Doctoral Training (CDTs) within the healthcare engineering remit.

The CDT in Intelligent, Integrated Imaging in Healthcare (i4health) led by Dr Gary Zhang (UCL Computer Science) and the CDT in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership (Complex Biological Products Manufacture) led by Professor Gary Lye (UCL Biochemical Engineering) will be UCL led, while UCL is a key partner in another CDT led by University of Nottingham - the CDT in Transformative Pharmaceutical Sciences.


In total, UCL has been awarded more than £40m funding for seven CDTS by EPSRC and is a leading partner in four more CDTs. The funding will be used to train at least 500 doctoral students at UCL over five years across a range of areas including medical imaging, quantum engineering, cyber security, geometry and energy resilience.

EPSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), announced the new investment at a special launch event, held at the London Stock Exchange today. In total 75 CDTs across 31 universities will benefit from funding.

The investment will see £446m invested in skills development across the UK, with £2.2m of that coming from The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Industry partners – totalling 1,400 – including Tata Steel, Proctor & Gamble and charities including Cancer Research UK are contributing a further £386m either in cash or in-kind.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), said: World-leading research relies on world-leading researchers, and this investment is central to the ambitions of the 2019 UCL Research Strategy, to inspire and empower research leadership, cross boundaries to increase engagement, and deliver impact for public benefit.

“We are proud to have partnered with EPSRC over more than a decade to establish the cohort-based model for research training. Through our next generation of Centres for Doctoral Training, UCL will continue to pioneer cutting-edge PhD training that emphasises innovative skills training, world-class interdisciplinary supervision and engagement with policy and practice.”

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “As we explore new research to boost our economy with an increase of over £7 billion invested in R&D over five years to 2021/22 – the highest increase for over 40 years – we will need skilled people to turn ideas into inventions that can have a positive impact on our daily lives.

“The Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country will offer the next generation of PHD students the ability to get ahead of the curve. In addition, this has resulted in nearly £400 million being leveraged from industry partners. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, ensuring all corners of the UK thrive with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

“As Science Minister, I’m delighted we’re making this massive investment in postgraduate students as part of our increased investment in R&D.”

EPSRC-funded CDTs bring together diverse areas of expertise to train engineers and scientists with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle today's evolving issues and future challenges. 

The new funding awarded to the seven UCL CDTs will allow them to continue their work bringing together academics and industry to train doctoral students, equipping them with the skills and experience necessary to advance change in their areas.

Professor Lynn Gladden, EPSRC’s Executive Chair, said: The UK’s research base makes the discoveries that lead to innovations and these can improve lives and generate income for the UK.

“Centres for Doctoral Training have already proven to be successful in attracting the world’s brightest minds and industry support to address the scientific and engineering challenges we face. This new cadre will continue to build on previous investment.”

The importance of developing STEM skills is a key part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, ensuring that all areas of the UK embrace innovation and build the skills the economy needs to thrive.

The EPSRC has supported more than 50,000 doctoral students over the last 25 years. During this time it has reviewed and evolved the support it provides to ensure it meets the needs of the research and innovation community.