NZTC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)

The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Net Zero Technologies at the National Subsea Centre is aimed at creating high-quality doctoral graduates working in industry, accelerating the energy transition through our strategic research programmes. The CDT has been formed as part of a five-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the University of Strathclyde (UoS) and Robert Gordon University (RGU) to collaborate in research and technology development.

Students will achieve an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) which is an alternative to the traditional PhD, designed for those who wish to undertake research whilst continuing a career in industry. The degree programme combines PhD-level research projects with taught modules and enables students to spend approximately 75% of their time working directly in a company.

Who Can Apply?

The EngD is a four-year doctoral-level research and training programme, equivalent in academic standing to a conventional PhD, but achieved through research and innovation that is much more industrially focused. The students will be recruited across the following disciplines: Engineering, Computing and IT, Science and Technology, Physics, and Mathematics.

Why Apply?

Once qualified, graduates will have expertise in the key advanced technologies and innovative approaches necessary to enable the global transition to net zero, in particular within the emerging Blue Economy and the marine environment.

Programme Structure

Students will undergo a 48-month programme of study and research. This includes 12 months of training in core advanced technologies and research skills and then 36 months of research driven by strategic technical challenges faced by an industry partner. Students will be based full-time in their companies, with 25% of their time dedicated to research. All students on the programme will be managed as a cohort supported by participation in a Net Zero Technology research community, offering workshops and training sessions, interacting across RGU and UoS.

In the first year of the programme, the Integrative Studies (run by the NSC) and Researcher Development (run by the Graduate School at RGU) modules will ensure all students have sufficient training in work-related disciplines, as well as in research and innovation.  In later years, the study programme focuses on problem-based learning and is designed to develop practical, team working, leadership and transferable skills, alongside technical and innovation expertise.  

Research Project 

In the final years of their studies, the students will undertake a project that tackles a genuine technological problem in a real-world environment, offering the chance to develop both research and innovation skills.  Projects are proposed by industry partners in areas agreed between the sponsoring companies and the CDT management to ensure that the scope and difficulty levels meet the standards needed for the award of an EngD.  The topics of research projects will be specified at the beginning of the second semester of the teaching programme to provide sufficient time to make an informed choice. 

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