Record £50 million funding boost will train our next generation of researchers

I have written before on what a fantastic environment Bristol provides for research, innovation and enterprise.

But at the beginning of this week we received news from a major funder that both confirms this and allows us all to celebrate and affirm our research culture.

The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) has announced the outcome of the 2018 funding round for Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)

The excellent news for us here at Bristol is that we have been awarded funding to lead a record nine of these Centres.

This is the largest number for any University in the UK and makes up 12 per cent of the nation’s total EPSRC CDT investment – providing around £50m of support to train our future researchers.

Our CDTs span robotics, data science, quantum engineering, digital health, composite materials, chemical synthesis, cyber security, aerosol science and statistics.

This is an enormous achievement and I am delighted with the confidence and support we have received from key industrial partners to equip our researchers with the skills they need to meet the industry needs.

This sector-leading success speaks to the excellence of our research of course, but also to the expertise and quality of our postgraduate research environment, built up over many years and many funding sources, to create and support these cohort-led centres.

The work of our Research and Enterprise Development team in leading this major funding bid has been vital and of the highest quality.

The Bristol Doctoral College (BDC) has also been key and will play a huge part in supporting the Centres as they set up and progress.

I am incredibly proud of this success and look forward to sharing the contributions from our CDT Research Teams in the coming months.

Celebrating the real difference our universities make

By Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research.

Working at one of the UK’s leading universities, in a role where I regularly meet with students, researchers and peers from across the higher education sector, it’s easy to forget how extraordinary this environment is.

I use the word extraordinary, which is both accurate and perhaps a little misleading. What happens at universities is extraordinary in that they provide unique and far-reaching opportunities for people to discover, learn, collaborate, push the boundaries of knowledge and grow new ideas into ventures that drive world-leading innovation.  But it’s also ordinary in that the challenges that we work on are global and confront us all, in our everyday lives.

In the 25 years that I’ve been with the University of Bristol, I’m continually impressed and inspired by how ideas are taken to fruition, sometimes in unexpected ways and often to levels of success that have surpassed expectations – and made an impact on a vast scale.

I am immensely proud of the work of our academics here at the University of Bristol who are working with fellow researchers in more than 40 countries, improving health, alleviating poverty, driving technological innovation.

This month sees the launch of MadeAtUni, a campaign spearheaded by Universities UK that aims to highlight the enormous impact that UK universities make on our lives.

One of Bristol’s many seminal research projects is included in ‘The UK’s Best Breakthroughs: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life’, produced by UUK as part of the campaign. (more…)

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