The University hosts and participates in a number of centres for doctoral training (CDTs) which give research students the skills they need to address some of society’s biggest challenges, including climate change, energy, our ageing population and high-tech crime.
Our UK research council-funded CDTs reflect Southampton’s reputation for world-class research and cutting-edge facilities.
As a CDT researcher you’ll benefit from the wealth of training and development opportunities offered by our Doctoral College, enabling you to excel in your chosen field and achieve your career aims.
Apply for a doctoral training centre studentship
CDTs invite applications from talented students interested in its fully funded four-year studentships.
If you are successful in gaining a place you will undertake a taught first year, which includes short courses and project work tailored to your research interests, followed by three years of challenging and original research at PhD level.
Find out more about our postgraduate research degrees and the unique opportunities on offer for postgraduates at Southampton.
More about our doctoral training centres
Select from the list below for more information and links to CDT websites.
- Southampton Partnership for Innovative Training of Future Investigators Researching the Environment (SPITFIRE)
EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Centre) Centres for Doctoral Training
Principle Investigator: Professor Anne Bowling
The Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Southampton will create a range of rich opportunities for aspiring researchers to develop leadership skills in understanding and finding solutions to complex care situations related to patient safety, risk enablement, and promoting the welfare and rights of individuals and families living with dementia, and communicating this new knowledge to those who need to know.
Principal Investigator and Director: Professor Hans Fangohr
Visit the NGCM website.
Computational modelling is a critically important driver for new technology (from the Airbus 380 to MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] scans), new science (from climate change to drug design), and new policy (from infrastructure to finance). Students will train to exploit cutting edge new hardware technology and develop innovative simulation methods, which go beyond the state-of-the-art in order to address the most pressing scientific and engineering challenges of the 21st century.
Principal Investigator: Professor Dame Wendy Hall
Director: Professor Leslie Carr
Visit the web sciences DTC website.
Web Science offers the insights necessary to understand the flow of data and knowledge around the globe, and the social and technical processes that turn raw data and into valuable new applications or evidence-based policy. It also helps us appreciate the threats to our online identities and the opportunities of allowing our personal digital avatars to participate in new kinds of online businesses, politics and social engagements. Students will be trained to innovate in the shaping of Web growth, practices and policy to lead UK industry and government to reap the maximum economic and social value from its emerging digital economy.
Lead University: University of Sheffield
Southampton Lead: Professor Andy Cruden
Visit the energy storage CDT website.
Energy storage is a rapidly developing topic that will be essential in the delivery of a global low carbon economy, and will directly impact key sectors such as our national grid system, renewable energy generation and will be integral in ‘greening’ our transport system through hybrid and more electric drivetrains. This groundbreaking CDT in Energy Storage – which is run in collaboration with the University of Sheffield – will continue the UK’s prominent position in this sector, bringing together world leading research and training expertise in the fields of electrochemical energy storage, thermal storage, superconducting magnetic energy storage and mechanical energy storage.
Lead University: University of Oxford
Southampton Lead: Professor Jonathan Essex
Theory and computer modelling play an increasingly central role in chemical and allied sciences, providing the means to understand, predict and design new molecules and materials. This CDT will combine the expertise of leading groups in Southampton, Bristol and Oxford universities, to transform graduate-level training in computational and theoretical chemistry. Students will receive integrated, in-depth training in the core activities of fundamental theory, software development, and application to contemporary research challenges.
Lead University: University of Liverpool
Southampton Lead: Professor Pavlos Lagoudakis
This CDT will support the transformation of photovoltaics in the UK that will in turn aid the country to achieve its renewable energy obligations, and will generate jobs in the technology sectors as well as local manufacturing and installation. The CDT is a multicentre team of seven institutions – Southampton, Liverpool, Bath, Sheffield, Oxford, Loughborough and Cambridge – that will train highly-skilled students capable of transforming state-of-the-art research and development across the sustainable energy and photovoltaics sectors and, in so doing, contribute to the production and implementation of improved photovoltaics products and systems.
Lead University: University of Warwick
Southampton Lead: Professor Malcolm Levitt
Visit the Integrated Magnetic Resonance CDT website.
This Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Integrated Magnetic Resonance (iMR) involves internationally-leading researchers at the Universities of Warwick, St Andrews/Dundee, Southampton, Nottingham and Aberdeen as well as all the major industrial Magnetic Resonance companies. It draws together the full range of technology-driven research and training activities in magnetic resonance (MR). The combination of expertise and infrastructure provides the environment for training of a new generation of PhDs who have a deep appreciation of how science and technology drive each other.
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Essex
Directors: Jonathan Essex, Seth Bullock and Hans Fangohr
Visit the Complex Systems Simulation DTC website.
Southampton's DTC in Complex Systems Simulation combines complex systems ideas and tools with computational methods in order to address challenges within key application domains spanning climate, pharma, biosciences, nanoscience, medical and chemical systems, transport, the environment, engineering and computing.
Director: Professor William Powrie
Visit the IDTC website.
The Industry Doctoral Training Centre (IDTC) in Transport and the Environment is one of 44 centres for doctoral training established by the EPSRC. The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) Programme research in the IDTC focuses on avoiding, reducing or mitigating the environmental impacts of transport, through resource and energy efficiency, pollution minimisation and ecosystem management.
Lead and Principal Investigator: Professor Nick Jennings
Visit the ORCHID website.
The ORCHID Doctoral Training Programme is looking for the brightest computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers, economists and physicists to build the next generation of intelligent information systems – Human-Agent Collectives (HACs). There are opportunities for a placement with industrial partners such as BAE Systems, Secure Meters UK and the Australian Centre for Field Robotics.
Principle Investigator: Professor William Powrie
Director: Dr Paul Kemp
The ability of our planet to support a human population of seven billion and rising depends largely on built infrastructure. Traditionally, infrastructure has been considered by sector in isolation. However, the interdependencies between sectors and infrastructure systems are increasingly recognised, as is the crucial role of human behaviour in how society uses infrastructure and the global nature of the problems posed. A new type of professional engineering leader is needed to address the multifaceted challenges posed by a worldwide requirement for integrated and sustainable infrastructure systems. Students will receive interdisciplinary training in an international context so they can develop the diverse skill-set required to meet present and future global infrastructure challenges.
ESRC Doctoral Training Centre
DTC Director: Professor Pauline Leonard
Visit the ESRC DTC website.
The Southampton ESRC DTC is one of a network of 21 ESRC funded DTCs across the UK, funding research and training in social and economic issues.
The DTC is uniquely placed to offer supervisory expertise across the full breadth of the human and social science disciplines. It is supported by a first class research training infrastructure and has a reputation for excellence in research methods and advanced methodological techniques. Through our 18 fully funded studentships per year, this DTC is tackling research on a wide range of social and economic issues and is aiming to positively impact society and the economy – bringing benefits to individuals, organisations and nations.
NERC Centres for Doctoral Training
Lead University: Heriot-Watt University
Southampton Lead: Dr Justin Dix,
Visit the NERC CDT website.
Postgraduate training in geological and environmental research in oil and gas activities has received £8m funding. The new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) includes 19 UK institutes who will focus on creating a highly skilled workforce with expertise that can be used across the wider energy and environmental sectors, as well as filling skills gaps in the oil and gas sector. This workforce of the future will help equip the industry with the skills needed to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas exploration and extraction. The Graduate School of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (GSNOCS) will be offering nine fully funded four-year PhDs as part of the CDT, three per year for the next three years.
The Graduate School of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (GSNOCS) is a member of this consortium that also includes seven core partners and a further 10 associate partners.
NERC Doctoral Training Partnership
Southampton Partnership for Innovative Training of Future Investigators Researching the Environment (SPITFIRE)
Principal Investigator and Director: Dr C Mark Moore
Visit the SPITFIRE website.
SPITFIRE is a NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) creating an innovative multi-disciplinary experience for the effective training of future leaders in environmental science, engineering, technology development, business, and policy. SPITFIRE students are registered at the University of Southampton and undertake their PhD project research within the University or one of the hosting partner organisations. Unique features of SPITFIRE include opportunities for placements at a range of prestigious international research organisations or industrial and policy partners.
fBBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
Lead University: University of Reading
Southampton Lead: Professor Guy Poppy
Visit the food security DTP website.
The University of Southampton is part of the consortium with the universities of Reading, Surrey and Lancaster and Rothamsted Research. The consortium has been awarded approximately £1.8m for 18 PhD students who will address the challenges of feeding the global population healthily and in a sustainable way. This initiative, funded by the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC), builds on the excellent research training offered by universities, and fosters greater sharing of good practice to ensure the next generation of bioscientists develop the skills that the UK needs.
AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership
Lead University: University of Bristol
Southampton Leads: Archaeology: Dr Joanna Sofaer, English: Dr Will May, Film: Dr Michael Williams, English: Professor Clare Hanson, History: Dr James Jordan and Dr Joan Tumblety, Modern Languages: Dr Glyn Hicks and Professor Marion Demossier, Music: Dr Francesco Izzo, Philosophy: Professor Chris Janaway, Theology and Religious Studies: Dr James Jordan
Visit the SWW DTP website.
The South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership brings together eight universities internationally recognised for the excellence of their research and postgraduate supervision in the humanities, in languages and the creative arts. This centre also brings together a network of prestigious international, national and regional organisations representing the arts, heritage, media and government sectors.