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Glossary of terms

There are a number of acronyms, abbreviations and specific terms associated with postgraduate research and funding. We have summarised the most common in the glossary below.

Research councils

  • AHRC – Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • BBSRC – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • EPSRC – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • ESRC – Economic and Social Research Council
  • MRC – Medical Research Council
  • NERC – Natural Environment Research Council

AHRC Block Grant Partnership 2 (BGP2)

The BGP2 scheme will be the AHRC’s main route for providing postgraduate research and training from 2014.

BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

The University is home to one of 14 BBSRC DTPs across the country. The DTPs work with BBSRC to ensure PhD students are trained in areas aligning with the BBSRC Strategic Plan, and that strategically important skill areas are addressed.

BBSRC Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS)

PIPS are intended to help students understand how their research and professional skills can be used in a more broadly relevant context. Internships should not be directly related to student’s PhD projects. These three-month placements could include working in science communication roles, in local government on policy development, in schools or in a science publishing company.

Engineering Doctorate (EngD) and Industrial Doctorate Centres (IDC)

An EngD is an alternative to the traditional PhD for students who want a career in industry. A four-year programme combines PhD-level research projects with taught courses, and students spend about 75% of their time working directly with a company.

Students on four-year Industrial Doctorate programmes undertake technical and management training, assessed as part of the degree, to help their professional development. They carry out PhD-level research projects, jointly supervised by the University and a company, which aim to help the performance of the company. Like the EngD, around 75% of students’ time is spent working within the company.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training

Students at these centres undertake a four-year PhD course or equivalent where the first year allows time for exploration before deciding on a project; a formal, assessable programme of taught coursework (up to 25% of the time and broadly equivalent to a master’s in level and content) to develop technical interdisciplinary knowledge and broaden skills; activities to develop breadth of knowledge plus transferable skills training including public engagement.

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

These centres provide a high-quality and coherent postgraduate training infrastructure across a broad range of social science disciplines. Manchester has a DTC in collaboration with Lancaster and Liverpool.

NERC Doctoral Training Partnership

These partnerships place a strong focus on collaboration between DTPs which allows partners to pool their experience to create rich training environments for students and encourage knowledge-sharing and interconnectivity, which benefits environmental science researchers.

The University of Manchester, in partnership with the University of Liverpool and the National Oceanography Centre, hosts a DTP which is designed to train the next generation of environmental research, focusing on the themes of atmosphere, ocean, earth and environmental sciences.