UA Doctoral Training Alliance awarded €6.5m to fund student mobility


University Alliance’s Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) has been awarded €6.5m by the European Commission. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

Doctoral Training AllianceThe funding will enable student mobility, integrating the DTA’s three disciplinary areas across applied biosciences for health, energy and social policy and creating more than 80 fellowships at 15 participating institutions, developing a cohort of early-stage researchers over two intakes.

University Alliance’s successful bid was the only winning British entry out of five in the funding round and is one of eight programmes across Europe to win support narrowed down from 29 bidders. It scored the highest out of any successful bid in both the ‘impact’, ‘excellence’ and ‘quality and efficiency’ judging categories.

The DTA, which is the UK’s largest doctoral training programme of its kind, was launched in 2015 to create a new model closely aligned to industrial strategy and priority challenges, producing industry-ready graduates. It was set up with the objective of attracting external funding.

Collaboration with industry and civil society is at the heart of the DTA, with business and third sector representatives including the Big Lottery Fund, Philips International and Legal & General providing external quality assurance and monitoring.

The DTA3/COFUND programme will launch on Monday 3 September and details of the opportunities created will be advertised at

Fully-funded PhD opportunities will be available in a wide range of topics across the three disciplines such as ‘the changing role of prefrontal and motor cortices as a function of healthy ageing and ‘cross-cultural interdisciplinary investigation of social media use and addiction and the effectiveness of Virtual Reality (VR) for management of pain.

Commenting, University Alliance Chair Professor John Latham said:

“This major external funding award is a prestigious a stamp of approval for University Alliance’s Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) model and demonstrates its distinctiveness and strengths.

“The DTA programme responds to the needs of industry and the challenges facing society, training independent, highly-employable researchers with relevant skills and expertise to thrive in strategically important sectors. The success of our proposal reflects that.

“As the DTA – the UK’s largest multi-institution partnership of its kind – goes from strength to strength, it is fantastic that this funding will enable the programme to attract talent from overseas and operate internationally. The opportunities being created will add to UK research and innovation ecosystem and help us stay competitive.”

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