Doctoral Training Centres

Today’s global challenges require the world’s top research talent. Southampton’s has a number of Doctoral Training Centres which rise to this challenge, providing a revolutionary learning environment for tomorrow’s leading researchers.

Doctoral Training Centres give students the skills they need to address some of society’s biggest challenges, including climate change, energy, our ageing population and hi-tech crime.

The University hosts and participates in a number of Centres which are funded by one or more of the Research Councils. Each Centre offers a four-year multidisciplinary postgraduate programme. The taught first year includes short courses and project work tailored to students’ backgrounds and research interests. This is followed by three years of challenging and original research at PhD level.

If you choose to do an integrated PhD at one of our centres, you will be honing the skills you need to address some of society’s biggest problems, including those related to climate change, energy, our ageing population and hi-tech crime. You will benefit from the support of staff and peers, throughout your PhD and beyond. Fully-funded research studentships are available at each Centre. Multidisciplinary research is at the heart of our ethos. Sharing ideas with other students and researchers from across many disciplines will give you a broader view of your topic and prepare you for working in a research team when you graduate.

EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training

CDT in Next-Generation Computational Modelling
Principal Investigator and Director: Professor Hans Fangohr

Computational modelling is a critically important driver for new technology (from the Airbus 380 to MRI 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.

CDT in Web Science Innovation
Principal Investigator: Professor Dame Wendy Hall
Director: Professor Leslie Carr

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.

CDT in Energy Storage and its Applications
Lead University: University of Sheffield
Southampton Lead: Prof Andy Cruden

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 ground-breaking CDT in Energy Storage and its Applications 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.

CDT in Theory and Modelling in Chemical Sciences
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.

CDT in New and Sustainable Photovoltaics
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.

CDT Integrated Magnetic Resonance
Lead University: University of Warwick
Southampton Lead: Professor Malcolm Levitt

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.

DTC in Complex Systems Simulation
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Essex
Directors: Seth Bullock and Hans Fangohr

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 & computing.

Southampton Industry Doctoral Training Centre
Director: Professor William Powrie

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.

ORCHID Doctoral Training Programme
Lead and Principal Investigator: Professor Nick Jennings

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.

CDT in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems
Principle Investigator: Professor William Powrie
Director: Dr Paul Kemp

The ability of our planet to support a human population of 7 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 world-wide 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

Southampton ESRC DTC
DTC Director: Professor Pauline Leonard

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, supported by a first class research training infrastructure and a reputation for excellence in research methods and advanced methodological techniques. Offering 18 fully funded studentships per year, the growing DTC cohort is tackling research on a wide range of social and economic issues aiming to positively impact society and the economy, and benefits individuals, organisations and nations.

NERC Centres for Doctoral Training

NERC CDT in Oil and Gas
Lead University: Heriot-Watt University
Southampton Lead: Dr Justin Dix,

Postgraduate training in geological and environmental research into oil and gas activities has received £8 million funding for a new country wide training centre. The new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and led by Heriot-Watt University, includes 19 UK institutes including Ocean and Earth Science Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton 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. GSNOCS will be offering nine fully funded 4-year PhD's as part of the CDT, three per year for the next three years.

The Graduate School of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (GSNOCS), a joint venture between the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton 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

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

DTP in Food Security
Lead University: University of Reading
Southampton Lead: Professor Guy Poppy

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 £1.8 million for 18 PhD students who will address the challenges of feeding the globe's 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 foster greater sharing of good practice to ensure the next generation of bioscientists develop the skills that the UK needs.

AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership

South, West and Wales 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

The South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the AHRC, brings together eight universities internationally recognised for the excellence of their research and postgraduate supervision in the humanities, in languages and the creative arts, and a network of prestigious international, national and regional organisations representing the arts, heritage, media and government sectors.


Public Policy @Southampton

Bringing together world-leading researchers and key policy-makers to address issues of social, cultural, economic and political importance.

Find out more

Transport and the Environment

Transport and the Environment

Combines advanced technical and management training with PhD level research in collaboration with an industry partner/sponsor. Projects cover a wide range of topics in the interrelated, and globally critical, areas of transport and environment.

"It has been an excellent learning environment, opening doors to collaboration and using ideas from other fields and disciplines."

Angela Watkins, Postgraduate student, DTC for Complex Systems Simulation