Multi-million-pound investment in the future of UK science

Economy & Politics | Funding | South East | Technology

The next generation of world-leading scientists across the UK will benefit from a multi-million-pound government package of investment, the government announced today.

Marking the start of British Science Week, Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced funding to support up to 11,000 students through 41 Doctoral Training Partnerships, as well as encourage more young people, particularly girls, to study STEM subjects at school and university, and pursue a STEM-related career.

The investment includes:

  • £179m for PhDs, formally known as Doctoral Training Partnerships, at over 40 UK universities in physical sciences, maths and engineering to develop the skills for ground-breaking research and high-tech industries like cybersecurity and chemical manufacturing. Part of the investment will go into pilots looking at how best to attract and support those from non-academic backgrounds to undertake this type of training.
  • £8.9m to continue funding science education programmes including Science Learning Partnerships and Stimulating Physics Networks, which aim to improve science teaching and increase the take up of science at GCSE level and A level and ultimately encourage young people to pursue a STEM-related career.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “From Ada Lovelace to Stephen Hawking, our scientists and the discoveries they have made have pushed the boundaries, improving our healthcare and transforming the way we live, work and travel.

“Today’s funding will support the talented people we have in this country to study these vital subjects, develop technologies for the future and support the UK’s status as a science superpower.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Making sure that the next generation has the scientific skills to meet the world’s needs – from developing green technologies to curing illnesses – couldn’t be more important. That’s why we continue to invest in science programmes in our schools and ensure that anyone, regardless of their background, can participate.

“Girls now make up just over half of A level entries for the three core science subjects but there is more we can do so we will fund research to better understand how we can improve girls’ physics A level participation.”

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