B4 - Policy developments in doctoral education: Doctoral Training Centres in strategy and practice

Day 1 at 16:15 - Doctoral Training Centres can be incredibly complex, difficult to engage academic colleagues with and significantly more expensive to deliver than traditional training models. At the same time student engagement in them is strong, feedback is positive and the majority of research council funding in the future will be directed through them. In a year that sees a major phase of renewal for EPSRC-funded centres and with NERC and AHRC equivalents in the pipeline, this workshop looked at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats created by Doctoral Training Centres. It gave specific examples of delivering a Doctoral Training Centre with other universities; and across multiple disciplines within a single institution. It also presened a case study of building an institutional strategy for Doctoral Training Centres. Strand - Postgraduate researcher.
Day Day 1
Session B
Start time 16:15
Strand Postgraduate researcher
Code B4
Presenters Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin - Doctoral Training Partnership Manager, University of Nottingham


The workshop covered:

  • a  SWOT analysis of Doctoral Training Centres including: issues in creating a 2-tier system, cost, complexity, staff engagement, balance between training and research, quality assurance, cross-institutional working and diversity in cohorts
  • case studies from a EPSRC CDT and a BBSRC DTP
  • key issues arising from building an institutional strategy for Doctoral Training Centres
  • experiences from other institutions.

Workshop outcomes:


  • developed a greater awareness of the challenges and opportunities created by Doctoral Training Centres - at the level of individual centre set-up and delivery and in the context of an institutional strategy development
  • explored and shared a range of approaches to Doctoral Training Centre development and delivery.


Information, interaction and discussion. Participants were prepared to share examples from their own institutions during discussion.