2018 CDT Exercise - Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be updated throughout the duration of the call.

CDT Call Logistics

Q: When will the call be launched?
A: The call is expected to be launched in January 2018.

Q: Will new and existing CDT bids be treated the same?
A: All applications will be treated the same.

Q: How many CDTs are EPSRC likely to fund?
A: We are expecting to fund 90-120 CDTs, but this is subject to final confirmation of the budget for the call, and the leveraged funding secured by applicants.

Call Details


Q: What expectations are there on leveraging?
A: All applications will need to have secured additional support but the level and nature of this leverage is still being finalised and will be communicated as soon as possible.

Q: Does the requirement for leveraging favour CDTs in more applied areas?
A: Leveraging will be expected to be whatever is appropriate for the specific CDT.

Q: How can SMEs engage in CDTs?
A: Current CDTs use a number of models to engage with SMEs. CDT applicants should consider what the benefits of the partnership are, and what model would best support this.

Demand Management

Q: Will Demand Management apply to lead institutions only?
A: Yes, there will however be no restrictions on the number of applications that eligible institutions can partner on – further information on the Demand Management approach can be found on the Demand Management page.

Priority Areas

Q: When will the priority areas be decided and communicated to the community?
A: Priority areas are currently being developed with oversight from Council. We do not expect to announce these ahead of the call being released.

Q: Will all applications have to contribute towards at least one priority area?
A: The call will have both a Priority Area stream and an Open stream. Applications which do not fit a priority area may be submitted in the Open stream.

Q: Can I be in more than one priority area, and how will this affect assessment of the CDT?
A: CDTs may span priority areas, and this will not affect how the CDT is reviewed. It should be noted that CDT applications under the priority area stream should significantly contribute to vision/s for the priority area/s applied against and take account of the specific training requirements identified within the area description. It is therefore expected that CDTs will apply against one to two priority areas only.

Q: Are applications that span the remit of other Research Councils permitted, and how will they be assessed? Are other RCs involved in co-funding?
A: The developing priority areas have been shared with other Research Councils to consider and provide input. Individual applications will be shared with other Councils where appropriate to enable co-funding to be considered. CDTs must support research training of students at a minimum of 50% EPSRC remit.

Q: Does fixing priority areas limit the flexibility of a CDT to the dynamic research landscape?
A: The priority areas are broad, cross-EPSRC areas which require a breadth as well as depth of training. CDTs will need to significantly contribute to the delivery of a priority’s vision and a range of approaches and focusses for individual centres will be appropriate to achieving that vision.  


Q: How will the balance of CDTs within and across Priority Areas and Open streams be handled?
A: The balance of funding between the Priority Area and Open streams has not been finalised yet but will be indicated in the call document. It is expected that the majority of funding will be committed through the priority area stream with a smaller but still significant amount of funding available through the Open stream. Within each stream it will be up to the applicants to make the case for cohort-based training and the importance of addressing the UK skills needs. All funding decisions will be subject to the overall quality of applications, and therefore EPSRC cannot guarantee the balance between the streams or that a CDT in every priority area will be funded.

Q: Is there a correct size and shape of CDT in order to be funded?
A: It is up to the bidding teams to decide the size and shape of the CDT within any constraints in the call on minimum cohort size or overall number of students in the CDT.

Q: How do we ensure CDT Directors can support the CDT appropriately?
A: It is important that the CDT has the appropriate leadership and that universities think about the need for the Director to have the appropriate skills, support and time to deliver training through an investment of this size. It will be for the applicant team to decide how best to appropriately support the CDT. For example, applicants may wish to provide separate roles for the lead scientific 'advisor', the CDT director/s, and the CDT manager.

Q: Will multi-institution bids be encouraged or discouraged in the call?
A: There is no intention to either encourage or discourage a certain configuration of CDT. It needs to be right for the CDT, and right for the students.


Q: How much flexibility will there be – can CDTs add in more partners during the lifetime?
A: CDTs need to ensure that they have appropriate expertise and partnership, however it is reasonable that the team may need to evolve over the lifetime of the Centre. Appropriate mechanisms should be in place to recognise and manage any changes.

Q: How will IDCs/EngDs be included/handled?
A: EPSRC expects to continue its support of a range of CDT type. It is up to the applicants to consider what student experience is most appropriate for the skills being developed, and what qualifications will be offered. EPSRC welcomes equally, centres that offer only one type of doctoral award such as PhD or EngD, or a mixture, providing it is appropriate for the students. Some qualifications require particular criteria to be met and it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure individual student experiences are designed in a way that students can meet these.

Q: What capital can be requested on this call?
A: No capital funding is available through this call.