£350m funding to train tomorrow’s scientists

22nd November 2013

News

Wadham’s Darren Dixon is to co-direct a new training programme in chemical synthesis which will enable up to 100 DPhil students to work collaboratively with industry on some of the 21st century’s toughest problems.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Synthesis for Biology & Medicine, will be located at the Department of Chemistry within the University of Oxford and will be directed by Professor Darren Dixon, Fellow and Tutor in Organic Chemistry at Wadham, and Dr Martin Smith, University Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, from Univ. The team has created a network with 13 partner organizations to address significant and long-term research challenges across areas including catalysis, antibiotic resistance and the chemistry of the brain. The centre will operate an IP-free model, allowing unrestricted flow of knowledge, and ensure that research results will be freely available for the benefit of society.

“Chemical synthesis is behind many of the medicines, agrochemicals and chemical products that we take for granted in our everyday lives,” said Professor Dixon. “This programme is all about getting the next generation of scientific leaders trained up in the science of building functional molecules to apply to challenges in biology and medicine."

This programme is all about getting the next generation of scientific leaders trained up in the science of building functional molecules to apply to challenges in biology and medicine.

Professor Darren Dixon

The Centre is one of more than 70 new centres, spread across 24 UK universities, funded by a £350million fund to train over 3,500 postgraduate students in engineering and physical sciences, announced by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts.

This is the UK's largest investment in postgraduate training in engineering and physical sciences. The funding, targeted at areas vital to economic growth, has been allocated by the EPSRC.
 
Science Minister David Willetts said: “Scientists and engineers are vital to our economy and society. It is their talent and imagination, as well as their knowledge and skills, that inspire innovation and drive growth across a range of sectors, from manufacturing to financial services.

“I am particularly pleased to see strong partnerships between universities, industry and business among the new centres announced today. This type of collaboration is a key element of our industrial strategy and will continue to keep us at the forefront of the global science race.”

A total of 1000 partners will be involved in the Centres, leveraging in around £250 million worth of support. Many of the Centres will involve research that connects to key industries and important technologies which will aid innovation and growth.

  • Professor Darren Dixon

    Professor Darren Dixon, Fellow and Tutor in Organic Chemistry at Wadham