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PhD training at Reading given £630,000 boost - Minister announces investment in doctoral training – University of Reading

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PhD training at Reading given £630,000 boost - Minister announces investment in doctoral training

Release Date 03 April 2013

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is this year investing £630,000 in postgraduate training at the University of Reading through its annual Doctoral Training Grant Scheme(DTG).

The grant will commence in October 2013 and will be used to support postgraduate research in the University's areas of strategic research importance in the engineering and physical sciences.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: "This significant investment underlines the UK's commitment to top quality postgraduate research and training. It will drive growth and help secure our future as a leading science and engineering nation, with a wealth of skilled people able to tackle global challenges, from infrastructure planning to public health."

At Reading, the grant will fund PhD studentships, bursaries to enable undergraduate students to gain practical first-hand research experience as well as Doctoral Prize Fellowships. The latter are aimed at recruiting the best recently completed PhD candidates in the UK to undertake research Fellowships in order to help them develop their PhD research and further their research career. It will also allow the University to leverage further research funding from industry and other external sponsors and to foster research collaboration.

Jonathan Lloyd, Head of the Doctoral Research Office at the University of Reading, said: "This on-going funding for postgraduate research at Reading is a demonstration of the quality of the world-leading research at the University and the supportive research environment we provide for PhD students.

"There are more than 1,200 students, from countries throughout the world, currently undertaking postgraduate research degrees here at Reading.  An investment of over £400 million in the past decade has created outstanding facilities for students at Reading. Allied to a professional training programme and dedicated support system, it makes Reading an excellent choice for a postgraduate research degree."

Funding from EPSRC DTGs last year has enabled the University of Reading to start PhD studentships in the following areas in 2012/13:

  • Computational and theoretical modelling of self-healable polymer materials
  • Investigation of geometric integration techniques for the ALE method
  • Can current regional innovation systems (RIS) generate and sustain the capabilities and technologies to deliver low and zero carbon homes?
  • Frictional force between two opposing polymer brushes.
  • Pushing the limits of powder diffraction to advance inorganic and organic materials research
  • Building energy management aided by wireless smart sensors and optimum decision system
  • High performance composite materials
  • Classical realizability and quantum representability: truncated moment problems in statistical physics and quantum chemistry
  • Improving the performance of an Archimedes screw hydropower system through CFD modelling
  • The role of informal communication networks in the diffusion of innovation in a parent subsidiary business model
  • Development of ensemble Kalman for infrared radiance assimilation in local atmospheric models
  • Molecular dynamics of entangled polymers and effect of pressure on shear and extensional rheology
  • Virtual Hand - study in body ownership (how the brain models our own body)

Professor David Delpy, EPSRC Chief Executive said: "This year's Doctoral Training Grants (DTGs) demonstrate our commitment to excellence in postgraduate research and training.  The grants will also complement the funding EPSRC is offering for Centres for Doctoral Training. This new investment provides universities with flexible funding to support doctoral students in their own priority areas.

"The grants will enable students to work with world-class research leaders, on innovative, excellent science and develop new technologies to tackle the many global challenges we face as well, as equipping them with the skills and knowledge to further their own career ambitions."

The EPSRC also fund the University's Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments (TSBE) Centre which has cemented the University's status as an international centre of excellence for construction technology, climate modelling and business enterprise research. TSBE specialises in the Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme, providing the skills for industry to respond to the challenges of sustainability and climate change.


Further information from University of Reading press office on 0118 378 8005/7115/7391

Notes to editors:

The University of Reading

The University of Reading is a global University ranked in the top 1% of universities world-wide (THE World University Rankings 2012)


The University of Reading is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities. In the RAE 2008, over 87% of the university's research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.


Standards of teaching are excellent - the University scored highly in the National Student Survey 2012.  88% of Reading students responding to the survey stated they were satisfied with the quality of their course.


Our research and teaching addresses issues of global concern, ranging from understanding the impacts of climate change to the causes and consequences of international conflict.


More information at


The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

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