Government confirms 150-plus Leeds PhD places

More than 150 fully-funded PhD researcher places are being created in Leeds after the University secured funding to train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Leeds will lead three EPSRC centres for doctoral training, bringing more than £15m in postgraduate research funding to the campus. The centres launch this month and the first cohort will join the University in September.

They will all be cross-disciplinary, building upon strengths across the University’s faculties of Engineering, Environment, Mathematics and Physical Sciences and beyond.

The centres are supported by partnerships with 57 external partners, ranging from industry to the NHS, the Met Office and charities.

Announced by Universities and Science minister Chris Skidmore as part of a package of 75 centres across the country, the centres represent a £446m investment by government in research.

Calling new researchers 

Leeds is now inviting expressions of interest from the brightest junior researchers in the UK and European Union to join the three centres.

Successful applicants will all become members of the University’s Doctoral College. The centres are:

Leadership in interdisciplinary studies

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, said: “This investment in doctoral training centres at Leeds is welcome confirmation of our academic expertise and leadership in three high-profile areas of interdisciplinary research, which are essential to both the UK and the wider world.

“We’re proud to host them, and look forward to new PhD researchers learning from and collaborating with our academic staff and external partners and having access to some of the best facilities in the country to build their careers.”

In addition to the centres Leeds will lead, the University is also collaborating with three further centres:

The University’s strengths are in our breadth of research expertise...the quality of the equipment we have available and the diversity of our staff and students.


Professor Jimack, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “The University of Leeds’ strengths are in our breadth of research and development expertise, our collaborations with other universities, industry and organisations around the world, the quality of the equipment we have available, and the diversity of our staff and students.

“All of this will be a huge benefit to PhD researchers building their careers in a supportive environment where they will be challenged to stretch their ideas as far as possible.”

Collaborative working 

The University has just launched the Bragg Centre for Materials Research and is currently constructing its new Sir William Henry Bragg Building, which will bring together engineers, computer scientists, physicists and chemists to foster highly interdisciplinary research and education.

The Bragg Centre is also home to the Royce Institute at Leeds, the UK’s centre for research and innovation in advanced materials.

Among many other centres of research excellence, it is home to the Centre for Global Development, of which Professor Evans is a co-director and water@leeds, one of the largest interdisciplinary centres of water-related research in the world.

The EPSRC-funded centres will also benefit from funding from the University and our industry and external partners.

* This centre already exists but has received new funding via this announcement to recruit a new cohort of PhD researchers.

Further information

Media contact: Peter Le Riche, University of Leeds press office, 0113 343 2049 or