Information on the current GWR " Doubling-up" scheme

The Opportunity


Discussions with several Research Councils have indicated that one method to continue the very successful GWR studentship

model would be to allocate Doctoral Training Account (DTA) awards (i.e. quota studentships) to part fund GWR studentships.

In effect the DTA would replace the “GWR 50% funding” in the original model, provided that the standard Research Council

terms and conditions are met, and in particular the condition that for any individual studentship no less than 50% of the funding

comes from the DTA. As all of the Research Councils have common terms and conditions, funding from any Research Council

can be used in this way, and indeed in discussions with GWR both EPSRC and NERC have indicated that they view this as a

very positive use of their DTAs.

Thus a single DTA award from a Research Council to Exeter could be used to 50% fund each of 2 GWR studentships with the

other 50% of the funding source from a suitable business partner.

GWR is therefore able to offer use of its existing studentship mechanism to effectively “double-up”Research Council

PhD quota studentships.

The model can of course be equally be applied to University or School-funded PhD studentships.


Schools, Departments and indeed individual academics holding Research Council DTAs, or studentship funds

from their University/Department/School can therefore elect to allocate these funds to the GWR studentship model, and

thus create 2 studentships from a single DTA or University scholarship.

For each one funded studentship equivalent allocated to the scheme, GWR will then assist the academics and

Business Support Offices at the University to identify potential business partners to award two GWR studentships back to the donor.

GWR will also handle the contracting process, allocation of monies and management of the joint-supervision set-up.


Worked Example

A School at Poppleton (e.g. Biosciences &Theology ) has been awarded 4 BBSRC studentship DTAs for September

2010 start. The Head of the School agrees to allocate 3 of these DTAs to GWR studentships. Working with the School GWR

then advertises to Poppleton academic staff in the School that 6 GWR-BBSRC PhD studentships are now available to them

for September 2010 start, and calls for project proposals from academics, which meet the general GWR scheme requirements.

As all GWR PhD project proposals require a business partner to provide the matched funding, and a second supervisor at a

South West University, GWR will work closely with academics developing proposals to identify suitable partners. As in the

existing scheme the submitted project proposals will be assessed by the Director of GWR for economic benefit, benefit

to the business partner and overall impact, and by a GWR theme panel for academic quality and supervisory arrangements,

and then the top 6 projects from Biosciences& Theology will be approved for funding.

Once awarded to individual projects these GWR-BBSRC Studentships will then be advertised both by the School/University

as normal, and also by GWR through their website and in the press as part of the overall publicity for GWR studentships,

in order to attract suitable graduate candidates. Contract arrangements will remain the same as for the exiting GWR

scheme in that the business partner will enter into a contract with the University to provide funds to support the studentship project,

the contract will specify how any IPR generated will be handled and GWR will facilitate the contractual and financial arrangements.


Thus the Poppleton School of Biosciences &Theology which originally had 4 DTAs can now recruit 7 new PhD students, 6 of which

will have strong links to business and be  involved in projects of direct value to both the academic community and the business

community, with positive implications for the REF and the impact agenda.


GWR Capacity


GWR is currently planning to manage around 60-80 new studentship starts per year with its existing staffing, which means it

could potentially accept 30+ DTAs per year for doubling-up under the above scheme, from Universities across the South West.

At present it is not envisaged that individual Universities will be capped in the number of DTAs they can allocate to this GWR scheme.

GWR is also currently seeking public funding to support blocks of studentships which will be available in competition to all

Universities in the South West, in addition to the DTA allocation from the individual Institutional approach outlined above.


Value of studentships

As individual Research Councils have slightly different DTA values, the value of the GWR studentships will reflect this.

As a guide if the DTA has a cash value of 62K then GWR will use this to fund 2 studentships, seeking a business partner for

each who will provide 31K of matched funding, thus producing 2 studentships each worth 62K gross, or £57K net to the

University after deduction of the GWR admin cost of £1660 pa. The host HEI will be expected to cover costs incurred above

this figure and all costs of accommodation and other overheads.

The students will be registered at the Lead University and this University will receive the Fee income etc, but will be free

to make arrangements with the second partner for redistribution of eg fee income if this is deemed appropriate.


Scheme rules

The overall scheme rules will be basically the same as the original GWR scheme as regards supervisory arrangements,

Business partner contributions, student eligibility, contractual arrangements, reporting, etc.

One key exception is that as the scheme is no longer reliant on the SW-RDA, Business partners can now come from anywhere

in the UK, and International partners can also be considered on a case by case basis.


Contact Details

Should you wish to discuss this opportunity, please contact:

Dr David Billington DSc                                                                                                  Dr Paul Hudson  

Executive Director GWR                                                                                                 Project manager GWR                                                                                   

Tel: 01392 269 105                                                                                                          Tel: 01392 269 104



As the South West Regional Development Agency is no longer a funding partner in these studentships,

business partners can now come from anywhere in the UK (not just the south west region) and international businesses

may also be eligible on a case by case basis.


When Research Council DTAs are used in the scheme, the Research Council requirements as to the supported students

qualifications and nationality/residence requirements will still apply to the joint GWR-RC studentship.


The overhead required to support the GWR infrastructure will be notionally charged to the business partners’ contribution

to the studentship.