Bid to Fund 50 PhD Students in Timber Research
Two of the WTS board members, Dr’s Ormondroyd (Bangor University) and Ridley-Ellis (Edinburgh Napier), along with Prof Peter McDonald of Surrey University have led a bid to fund 50 PhD students in the area of timber research. Whilst the outcome of the bid is still yet unknown the response from industry to provide the support needed has been exceptional, with discussions at our own Timber 2018 conference being pivotal in the development of the bid.
Dr Ormondroyd (Bangor University and vice-chair of the WTS) commented ‘it is great to see the enthusiasm of businesses and the acknowledgement that industry needs research and development to continue to evolve, the discussions that we had at Timber 2018 have certainly influence both the research agenda and the way that the centre will be managed, if the bid is successful’
In terms of the current proposal the EPSRC will fund 70% of the cost of training the students whilst industry has been asked to contribute the extra 30%. “Whilst this represent great value for money, it is still a draw on operating capital of companies and the fact that we have been able to hit our match funding target of over £1.5 million is a testament to the industries attitude to the continuing need for education and research within the sector”
The proposal is now submitted and EPSRC will announce the successful centres in December 2018. The first cohort of 10 students will be expected to start in the summer of 2019.
Whilst this bid certainly shows a commitment to timber by bot the government and industry it is certainly not the only way to get research and development funding and interested parties should contact the WTS to discuss the full range of opportunities available to companies.