MRC announces future investment in doctoral training

AI in medical research

MRC has committed £79 million to support doctoral training for the next three years, through its Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) competition.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has announced it will fund 17 DTP awards across 34 UK Research Organisations (ROs) for student intake 2022 onwards. MRC’s vision for these DTP awards is to support high quality doctoral training programmes that take a student-centred approach, focusing on scientific excellence, positive research culture and wider training opportunities.

Doctoral Training Partnerships from 2022

The following DTP awards will be made for PhD studentship intake from 2022:

  • Discovery Medicine North (University of Sheffield, Newcastle University, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, University of York)
  • Imperial College London
  • Institute of Cancer Research
  • GW4 (Cardiff University, University of Bath, University of Bristol and University of Exeter)
  • King’s College London
  • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Lancaster University
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and St George’s University of London
  • Trials Methodology Research Partnership (University of Liverpool, Institute of Cancer Research, Newcastle University, Queen Mary University London, University College London, University of Aberdeen, University of Bangor, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, University of Glasgow, University of Leeds, University of Plymouth)
  • University College London and Birkbeck, University of London
  • University of Birmingham, University of Leicester and University of Nottingham
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Southampton and Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Warwick.

These DTP awards will provide doctoral training for around 200 students per year across MRC’s remit. This includes:

  • skills in data science at the interface of human health and biology
  • whole organism physiology to enable progress towards a cross-level approach to medical research in human health
  • interdisciplinary ways of working.

Investments in doctoral training are an important component of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the MRC’s overarching vision to develop research talent and skills. These investments will provide a breadth of professional development training opportunities to enhance the capabilities of doctoral candidates and develop a world-class, highly skilled workforce for the UK.

About Doctoral Training Partnerships

MRC DTPs provide funding for doctoral training across a broad research range relevant to MRC’s remit, strategic research and skills priorities.

MRC DTPs are awarded for multiple intake years of students and provide ROs with significant flexibility in the use of funds to support doctoral training aligned to the RO’s scientific strategy and strengths. These awards are for three intake years (2022 to 2024), with an additional two intake years (2025 to 2026) subject to a mid-term review.

To maximise the ability and flexibility to achieve MRC’s vision, MRC funding for industrial Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (iCASE) studentships was embedded within this competition, instead of awarding separately. Wider industrial collaborations were also encouraged as part of this call.

For more information about how MRC supports doctoral training, see the MRC website.

Funding for the next generation of researchers

Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair, MRC, said:

We are thrilled to announce our funding for the next generation of MRC PhD researchers through 17 new UK-wide Doctoral Training Partnership awards. Outstanding research is only possible when we invest in people to conduct that research.

Our new awards are student-centred, setting out to increase the diversity of individuals pursuing research careers and providing opportunities for students to widen their horizons during and post-PhD.

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