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Doctoral Training Programmes

GW4 institutions host over 40 externally funded Doctoral Training Centres and Partnerships, including 14 active Doctoral Training Programmes (DTPs) led by and involving at least one other GW4 institution.

These programmes are highly collaborative, involving a range of academic and non-academic partners, such as national research organisations, industry, business, government and third sector partners.

Current GW4 Doctoral Training Programmes

AHRC South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) SWW DTP is a partnership of 9 universities, including Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, and other organisations providing ground-breaking research training in the Arts and Humanities.

Studentships are across a broad range of disciplines including history, law, modern languages, music and philosophy. Students have access to an extensive and rich body of research resources, and work with a range of non-academic partners.


BBSRC South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership

This doctoral training partnership has benefited from a major investment by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with a £18.5 million funding award. SWBio DTP is led by the University of Bristol, together with the Universities of Bath, Cardiff and Exeter, alongside the world-renowned agricultural institute Rothamsted Research and associate partners to provide access to expertise and facilities across the South West and Wales.


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science (CAS) offers multidisciplinary doctoral training bringing together leading academic teams across a range of schools and faculties at seven UK universities with industrial and public-sector partners in areas of healthcare, material science, energy and transport, environment, consumer products and agrochemicals.


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Catalysis

This specialist centre is a partnership between the universities of Cardiff, Bath and Bristol, and is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The centre addresses some of society’s biggest challenges through catalysis: clean energy generation, environmental clean-up of air and water, and sustainable manufacture. Students develop an advanced knowledge of traditional and emerging catalysis disciplines, as well as an understanding of industry and global contexts.


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics

Based at the Universities of Bristol and Bath, this EPSRC CDT trains students across a broad range hard condensed matter physics, encompassing experiment, theory, fundamental physics and device applications. It also emphasises a strong engagement with industrial, academic and large facility partners.


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security

The University of Bristol, in partnership with the University of Bath, has launched the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Cyber Security, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). With the number of connected devices due to outnumber humans by 5:1 in the next few years, the ‘Trust-Identity-Privacy-Security in large scale infrastructures’ (TIPS-at-scale) CDT will train the next generation of leaders to tackle the TIPS challenges faced by large scale, hyperconnected infrastructures.


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics: Science and Engineering (WISE)

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC), this centre has received £5.2m and has recruited 84 studentships. A partnership of all the GW4 universities, research areas include water informatics, and water science and engineering. Continuing GW4’s support for interdisciplinary research, WISE links with disciplines that would not typically be thought of in relation to sustainable water management including social sciences, psychology, and economics. The centre is also working closely with a high number of industrial partners.


ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP)

The Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) has funded more than 600 studentships at the SWDTP, a partnership of 8 South-West universities, including the GW4 universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. The centre offers 18 specialist research training pathways in the social sciences, including 13 in established ESRC disciplines and another five innovative interdisciplinary areas, two of which are in strategic areas to help fill a national skills deficit – Advanced Quantitative Methods, and Digital and Data Skills. Studentships fund social science researchers through their PhD research, including funding placements, fieldwork and overseas institutional visits. Furthermore, students have a broad range of collaborative opportunities with external organisations.


MRC GW4 Biomed Doctoral Training Partnership

The Medical Research Council (MRC) GW4 BioMed DTP is a collaboration between GW4 Universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter).

This partnership aims to develop the next generation of medical researchers by offering almost 100 studentships over 5 years to both medical and non-medical UK and EU students across three strategic research themes: Infection, Immunity and Repair; Neuroscience and Mental Health; and Population Health.


MRF National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance

The Medical Research Foundation (MRF) has invested £4m to create the only national PhD Training Programme that will train new researchers to explore ways to tackle antimicrobial resistance, one of the greatest emerging threats to human health.


NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership

This National Environment Research Council (NERC) funded doctoral training partnership is training the next generation of environmental scientists with almost 200 studentships. The collaborative training partnership is formed of the GW4 Alliance Universities plus five unique and prestigious Research Organisation partners. The programme represents an investment of some £11.8 million by NERC and an additional £3.4 million by GW4, resulting in a £15 million programme of collaborative training across disciplines and sectors.


NERC GW4 FRESH Centre for Doctoral Training

From October 2018, the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Freshwater Biosciences and Sustainability (GW4 FRESH CDT) has provided a world-class doctoral research and training environment, for the next generation of interdisciplinary freshwater scientists equipped to tackle future global water challenges. GW4 FRESH harnesses freshwater scientists from the GW4 universities plus world-class research organisations the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and British Geological Survey (BGS).


STFC Data-Intensive Science Centre for Doctoral Training

This Centre for Doctoral Training in data intensive science (CDT) has been created as part of a £10m UK-wide investment from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Cardiff University’s Data Innovation Research Institute will lead the CDT, in collaboration with the University of Bristol and Swansea University.


Wellcome GW4 Clinical Academic Training PhD Programme for Health Professionals

The Wellcome funded GW4 Clinical Academic Training PhD Programme for health professionals (GW4-CAT HP) brings together the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter in developing the next generation of clinical academics.
Within the programme, exceptional early career medical, veterinary, dental and other registered health professionals will have the chance to undertake an interdisciplinary PhD training in one of over 50 world-leading biomedical research groups.

Previous GW4 Doctoral Training Entities

  • EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems (University of Bristol and Bath)
University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter