Doctoral Training Programmes

GW4 leads on over 30 externally funded Doctoral Training Centres and Partnerships and is involved in a further ten hosted by other universities. Including four Wellcome Trust funded programmes, GW4 is involved in 39 DTEs.

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.


From October 2018, the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Freshwater Biosciences and Sustainability (GW4 FRESH CDT) will provide 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 four of the UK’s most research-intensive universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) plus world-class research organisations the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and British Geological Survey (BGS).

Wellcome Trust GW4 Clinical Academic Training Programme

The Wellcome Trust-funded GW4 Clinical Academic Training programme (GW4-CAT) is a new scheme that brings together the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter in developing the next generation of clinical academics.

Within the programme, exceptional early career medical, veterinary and dental graduates will have the chance to undertake an interdisciplinary PhD training in one of over 50 world-leading research groups in population health, cardiovascular sciences, neuroscience, mental health, infection, immunity & repair, cancer or molecular cell biology.

MRC GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Partnership

The Medical Research Council (MRC) GW4 BioMed DTP will train the next wave of researchers to tackle mental health, infection, immunological health, regeneration, and population health. The DTP will fund 54 postgraduate research students over the next three years.

The MRC have invested £3.3 million of funding in the programme, with an additional £1.3 million by GW4, representing a vital boost of £4.6 million to biomedical research in the UK.

BBSRC South West Bioscience (SWBio) Doctoral Training Partnership

This doctoral training partnership has benefited from a major investment by the Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), who have committed £8 million to fund 114 PhD studentships over five years.

We are working with the world-renowned agricultural institute Rothamstead Research to provide specialised training that focuses on two high-priority areas: food security and world-class biosciences. Funding of this new programme reflects the internationally-renowned strength of biosciences research within GW4.

NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership

We are training the next generation of environmental scientists through the largest National Environment Research Council (NERC) funded doctoral training partnership in the UK with almost 200 studentships.

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. The programme engages a broad spectrum of academic and non-academic partners.

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

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC), this centre has received £5.2m to fund 40 studentships. 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 also working closely with a high number of industrial partners.

AHRC South, West, and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership

This partnership was awarded £14.2m over five years from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This equates to around 200 studentships across eight partner universities including GW4, Aberystwyth, Bath Spa, Reading, and Southampton.

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.

ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC)

The Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) has funded more than 200 studentships at the SWDTC, a partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter.

The centre offers 17 specialist research training pathways in the social sciences, including 12 in established ESRC disciplines and another five innovative interdisciplinary areas. Furthermore, students have a broad range of collaborative opportunities with external organisations.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Catalysis

This specialist centre is a partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol and Cardiff, 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.