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Durham University


Doctoral Training Partnerships

To help meet global demand for highly qualified people, Durham University has teamed up with private and public sector organisations to establish doctoral training partnerships and centres that provide outstanding training and research opportunities for postgraduate students.

To apply or find out more, select from the following:

Durham Global Challenges Centre for Doctoral Training

Tropical diseases, water security and flooding are some of the issues being tackled by this training centre dedicated to global challenges.

We are training postgraduate students from around the world who will work on projects in developing countries alongside our researchers in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities. Each project is supervised by a multidisciplinary team, with the aim of solving a specific global challenge aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Contact: CDT Administrator Abir van Hunen

Visual Culture

The Durham Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships in Visual Culture build upon the University’s international excellence in vision and perception, analysis of the social significance of images and ways of seeing, and the attentive interpretation of visual objects. Scholarships, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, are open to applicants from any discipline with a strong interest in this subject area.


Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2)

A wide choice of research topics including polymers, gels, surfactants, colloids and biomaterials is offered by the SOFI Doctoral Training Centre, which provides Industrially-integrated, funded postgraduate training for future leaders in the soft matter sector. This Centre is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


Molecular Sciences for Medicine CDT

Our CDT in Molecular Sciences for Medicine (MoSMed) is an EPSRC funded joint venture between Newcastle University and Durham University. We deliver a comprehensive research and training programme focussed on science at the interface of molecular and medical sciences, business skills, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Our CDT also benefits from partnerships, which include small local biotech companies, large pharmaceutical companies and societal stakeholders. The MoSMed four year fully funded PhD programme runs as a single research programme across both Newcastle and Durham Universities to form an extended campus. Therefore students benefit from the complementary research expertise of both institutions in an innovative training environment.

Contact: CDT Manager (Durham) Emma Worden -

Environmental and Earth Sciences

Named after the ancient ocean that once separated England and Scotland, the IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership provides funded PhD scholarships for the next generation of environmental and Earth scientists. Research programmes address the most critical issues affecting our planet. This Centre is supported by the Natural Environment Research Council. 


Arts and Humanities

Excellent facilities support funded postgraduate training in the arts and humanities, in the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, established by Durham University and partners including The Sage Gateshead, Durham Cathedral and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. This Centre is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.



A centre of excellence for postgraduate social science scholarship, the ESRC NINE DTP (Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership) works with employers to ensure that doctoral training and research provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in real world settings. This Partnership is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.



The University has three Doctoral Training Centres in Energy:

The NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas. Putting environmental science at the heart of responsible management of the planet’s resources is a key aim of the Centre, which provides postgraduate training to the next generation of geoscientific and environmental researchers in collaboration with the energy industry. This Centre is supported by the Natural Environment Research Council. For further details see NERC CDT

Contact at the NERC Centre for Oil and Gas: (Dept of Earth Sciences)

a magnetically confined plasma

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy provides postgraduate training in related disciplines and access to fusion energy facilities across the UK (a magnetically confined plasma is pictured). The Centre is a partnership of EPSRC, leading universities, research institutes and industries, and is partly supported by the UK Atomic Energy Authority For further details see Fusion CDT

Contact at Fusion CDT: (Professor Ray Sharples)

The EPSRC-funded Multidisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy. The University and industrial partners established the Multidisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy with funding from EPSRC. The Centre trains researchers to understand energy in its broadest context, from engineering to social aspects focusing on the implementation of renewable energy technologies in society. This is crucial for future energy professionals in meeting the energy challenge. For further details see...Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy

Contact at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy: (Dr Douglas Halliday, CDT Director)

Aura is a collaboration between major companies in the offshore wind industry, leading academic institutions and government and non-governmental organisations. It aims to act as a catalyst for collaboration and innovation to support the sector’s growth. Durham’s involvement in the Aura CDT goes beyond the Engineering Department including researchers from the Earth Sciences & Geography Departments, led by Prof Peter Talling. The University will lead 15 PhD projects through the CDT and more than 20 academics from the University are engaged in developing projects and forming supervisory teams to lead the PhD studies.


An exceptional programme of research training in the biosciences, involving the use of cutting edge technologies, is offered by the University and its partners in the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. Support is provided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Islamic Finance

A long tradition of research at the University underpins the Durham Doctoral Training Centre in Islamic Finance, which offers postgraduate training to equip people with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in this dynamic and expanding sector. 



The Arctic Research Centre for Training and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (Durham ARCTIC) is funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust that is supporting 15 doctoral students at Durham University, with cohorts entering in 2018, 2019, and 2020. DurhamARCTIC students are admitted into any doctoral programme, in any of the University's three faculties: Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences & Health to pursue a research project that contributes to and benefits from a blend of disciplinary expertise and interdisciplinary enquiry.