Westminster Higher Education Forum

Next steps for postgraduate research policy - new models of delivery, funding and the Industrial Strategy

Morning, Wednesday, 13th June 2018

Central London


This timely seminar will examine the next steps for delivering postgraduate research (PGR) in the UK.

Key policymakers and stakeholders will discuss funding for universities and the loans system for students, as well as the future for new models for providing doctoral study and the role of research councils.

It comes with a new Doctoral Loans system set to be launched for the 2018/2019 academic year and follows the publication of Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper which included commitments to additional funding for doctoral study in STEM fields.

Areas for discussion include:

  • The new Doctoral Loans system - assessing key issues for the implementation of the loans, including the extent to which the new finance will support widening participation efforts, how universities will respond in planning capacity for PGR study and the opportunity to lever private finance such as employer sponsorship to ‘top-up’ the loans;
  • The wider PGR funding landscape - opportunities for universities to utilise increased government research spending and the Industrial Strategy;
  • Changes to the shape of PGR delivery - including the growing use of alternative models for delivering doctoral study such as Centres of Doctoral Training (CDTs) and Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) as well as the future for Professional Doctorates; and
  • Research Councils - their strategies for existing CDTs and DTPs and potential for further waves.

We expect attendees to include Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with university Vice-Chancellors and Pro Vice-Chancellors for research and enterprise, university research, commercialisation and business liaison services, research-intensive businesses, local enterprise partnerships and economic development advisors within local government.


Daniel Zeichner MP

Vice-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Life Sciences and Vice-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research


Dr David McAllister

Associate Director, Research and Innovation Talent, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UKRI

Dr John Fulton

Director of Postgraduate Research, University of Sunderland

Dr JD Hill

Research Manager, British Museum

Dr Billy Bryan

Policy Consultant in Science and Innovation, Technopolis Group

Anila Siraj

Executive Vice President, Research and Applied Data Sciences, Kalibrate

Professor Grahame Blair

Executive Director, Programmes, Science and Technology Facilities Council

Mark Bennett

Head of Content, FindAUniversity

Professor Andrew McRae

Dean, Postgraduate Research and Exeter Doctoral College, University of Exeter

Dr Vivien Easson

Head of Postgraduate Research Service, University of East Anglia