About DTA


Developing Talent

“As institutions with diverse student bodies, Alliance universities have an important role to play in expanding the diversity of R&D talent pipelines, and are committed to embedding equality, diversity and inclusion across their research programmes.”

 Research & Innovation: Meeting challenges, making a difference, shaping the future, University Alliance 2021


We nurture talented PhD researchers from across the globe by bringing people together through the delivery of the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) programmes. Our supportive and inclusive cohort environment empowers our students as part of the enhanced training, which ensures DTA graduates are highly skilled and achieve their full potential. Professional, personal and academic development is at the heart of our programmes. In partnership with DTA members, and expert external trainers, we deliver a wide variety of discipline specific training and a broad range of key professional skills training. Our nationwide Alliance fosters student connections across the UK and further afield, we create rich professional networks that bring together academics and professional staff across disciplines, countries, industry and beyond.


The DTA builds upon the applied research strengths, industry-focus and collaborative ethos of our members. University Alliance established the centrally coordinated DTA initiative to develop the next generation of independent, highly-employable researchers with expertise and skills in strategically-important areas. DTA partners shared vision is the future-proofing of research and innovation through an open and sustainable approach by developing a national research ecosystem that maximises complementary strengths, is responsive and relevant to society and industry, and nurtures future capability within the high-quality research activity found in Alliance universities.


Centrally coordinated by the University Alliance team on behalf of its partners, the DTA is one of the largest nationwide doctoral training initiatives in the UK. We deliver structured PhD training in collaboration with 19 Alliance universities and partner institutions. While benefitting from the nationwide network of universities, the DTA research communities drive connectivity across the membership through facilitating cross-institutional collaborations.

“The ambition at Alliance universities is to power research and innovation which is both cutting edge but also practical. It is focused on real-world issues and using it to make a concrete change in communities, improving the quality of life in local areas.”

Powering the UK, University Alliance 2021


The DTA supports four interdisciplinary research programmes in Applied Biosciences for Health, Energy Social Policy and Future Societies. The success of our open, collaborative and cohort based approach is supported by Horizon 2020 Marie Curie-Skłodowska Action funding.

About DTA


The enhanced training programme provides doctoral researchers with a comprehensive understanding of the range of career pathways open to them within and beyond academia, alongside the development skills required to access those pathways. With a proactive, outward-looking mindset, DTA graduates will be ready to translate their high-level skills into practice in the work place. DTA programmes develop professional skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, problem-solving, engagement and provide access to enhanced and tailored post graduate researcher specific careers guidance. In recent years, DTA alumni have embarked upon a diverse range of careers including shaping policy through government bodies to consultancy for emerging start-ups as well as becoming healthcare professionals and engineers working across different areas of industry.


About DTA