The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) announced last week a £250 million investment in 44 doctoral training centers across Britain. The move will generate more than 2000 new Ph.D. students in areas such as climate change, sustainable energy, and global security.
Britain needs "scientists and engineers with the right skills to find answers to these [21st century] challenges, build a strong economy, and keep us globally competitive," U.K. Minister of Science Paul Drayson said at a press conference announcing the program. "EPSRC’s doctoral training centers will provide a new wave of engineers and scientists to do the job."
The centers, which will be located at 22 universities across Britain, will include formal taught coursework designed to develop a broad set of skills combined with research in a multidisciplinary environment. Seventeen of the new clusters will be industrial training centers where students will also acquire business and entrepreneurial skills.
The project is funded with £250 million from the EPSRC training and education budget. The centers will receive funding for 5 years, with a review after the first 3 years. Each center will take in around 10 students a year starting in 2009.