UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has revealed that its research councils are preparing to commit over £500 million to support doctoral studentships in 2024.

In November 2023, the organisation announced that, as part of its new doctoral training investment framework, all UKRI-funded doctoral training would be delivered through two new focal and landscape awards, replacing the nine different schemes through which it currently supports doctoral training. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Science and Technology Facilities Council are among those preparing to announce funding opportunities and it is expected awards will be ready to support students from October 2025.

In addition to these awards, the UKRI has announced a new ‘core offer’ which will apply to all UKRI-funded students regardless of council, award type or funding exercise through which the investment was made. As a first step towards this, the UKRI has launched a new statement of expectations which will apply to all funding opportunities launched from January 2024.

There are also new UKRI good practice principles in recruitment and training at a doctoral level, which will apply to new funding opportunities, from across all the councils, launched in 2024 onwards. The principles build on the pre-existing Natural Environment Research Council expectations for doctoral recruitment and training, setting out the minimum considerations for training grant holders in implementation, monitoring and reporting.