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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
Durham Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships in Visual Culture
Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI)
Environmental and Earth Sciences
Arts and Humanities
Molecular Sciences for Medicine CDT
Islamic Finance
Pro:NE Studentship(s)


The NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy
The Multidisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy
Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU)

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Planet EarthDurham 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 

Website: Durham Global Challenges Centre for Doctoral Training  

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Purple SpiralDurham Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships in 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. 

Website: Durham Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships in Visual Culture 

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AtomsSoft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI) 

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. 

Website: Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2)

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Molecules floating above a computerised hand

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 

Website: Molecular Sciences for Medicine CDT 

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Globe resting in handsEnvironmental 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.  


Website: Environmental and Earth Sciences 

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Philosophy HeadArts 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. 

Website: Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership 

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Social and Economic GraphsNINE DTP 

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. 

Website: NINE DTP

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Pro:NE Studentship(s) A group of students

Full-time Doctoral Research Studentship applications for UK-HOME candidates from racially minoritised ethnic backgrounds. Four PhD studentships are on offer under the Office for Students: Postgraduate Research Opportunities for the Northeast/Network for Equity (pro:NE).


Website: Pro:NE Studentships

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The University has three Doctoral Training Centres in Energy. 

Oil and gas refinery with two workersThe 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 geoscientifics and environmental researchers in collaboration with the energy industry. This Centre is supported by the Natural Environment Research Council.  

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

Website: NERC CDT 

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Magnetically Confined PlasmaEPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy 

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   

Contact at Fusion CDT:Professor Ray Sharples

Website: Fusion CDT 

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WindfarmThe 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 is now supported by the University and 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   

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

Website: Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy 

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Aura logoAura  

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 Dr Will Coombs. 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. 

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Solar panels and windfarmRenewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) 

Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is an EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training that incorporates Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities and focuses on the materials innovations that will enable our net zero future. Our CDT benefits from a comprehensive training programme that runs alongside and supports research, including modules on renewable energy fundamentals, researcher skills, and whole energy systems to name a few. A key element of the training is giving you the broader skills outside your subject area that needed to succeed in industry, including a Mini-MBA and innovation training. As a ReNU student you will become a member of a community of researchers who are undergoing the same process of becoming independent leaders in your field, giving you a supportive and invigorating environment in which you take your next career step.  

Contact: Chris Groves, Institution Director Durham  

Website: Renewable Energy Northeast Universities 

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Student in a bioscience laboratoryBiosciences 

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. 


Website: Biosciences 

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Finance graphs and two business peopleIslamic 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. 

WebsiteIslamic Finance 

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Artic wildernessDurham ARCTIC 

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. 

Website: Durham ARCTIC