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EPSRC finds cash for 19 extra doctoral training centres

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has secured enough additional funding for a further 19 centres for doctoral training to open in October 2014.

The announcement, made by science minister David Willetts on 9 January, brings the total number of EPSRC CDTs opening in 2014 to 91. Research areas covered by the additional CDTs include sustainable civil engineering, financial computing, fusion energy, synthetic biology and quantum technologies.

The first batch of 72 CDTs was announced in November. At the time, chairman Paul Golby expressed an interest in finding further funding to support good quality proposals that had not made the original cut.

The original 72 centres are scheduled to share £350 million in EPSRC funding, plus a further £250m from industry and other partners. Willetts said today that the extra 19 centres will bring the government’s investment in EPSRC CDTs up to £390m, while an additional £174m had been leveraged from universities, industry, charities and other partners bringing the total investment in all 91 centres to £764m.

Commenting on the extra centres, EPSRC chief executive David Delpy said, “The support of the academic and industrial communities has been tremendous and we would not have been able to fund these new centres without their cooperation.”

The 19 additional centres include three each at Imperial College London and University College London. Both colleges will now each host 10 of this round of EPSRC CDTs. Two extra centres have also been awarded to the University of Oxford, bringing its total to eight.

Willetts announced the extra centres during a visit to Imperial College London on 9 January. As part of his visit he also announced £13.3m for a national wind tunnel facility for aerodynamics and fluid mechanics research.

This facility will include seven wind tunnels, to be housed at City University London, Cranfield University, Imperial College London and the universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Oxford and Southampton.

The EPSRC is to provide £10.7m for the facility, with £2.6m coming from the UK Aerodynamics Centre, a joint government and industry initiative.