Our bespoke #Cauldron training programme aims to extend the students’ academic enhancement in the interlinked areas of Scientific Cohesion, Research and Creativity Skills, Social and Societal Challenges, and Innovation. A particular feature of #Cauldron is the mixing of students from different years, and across laboratories which encourages cross-disciplinary idea generation.

#Cauldron draws on the Vitae Researcher Development framework, implementing the Research Concordat of the UK Research Councils informed by the recommendations of the Roberts report “Set for Success”.

#Cauldron comprises cohort-wide and elective activities including guest speakers, seminars, skills sessions, tours, retreats and informal discussions. Students select a training portfolio following a development needs analysis to achieve specific training outcomes aligned with their interests.


Year one

Students study a range of mandatory and optional Masters level courses, supplemented by practical experience in the form of small projects. Training also addresses current issues in Robotics, and Proposal /Paper/Report Writing. Students attend mandatory training in Responsible Research and Innovation, and a bespoke presentation skills programme. The CDT also organises an outward bound weekend to encourage cohort building.



Year Two 

The main focus in year two is the group project intended to promote and encourage cross-disciplinary and co-creation approaches to working.

Specific research and public engagement skills training is provided throughout the year by academic development teams at both universities.


Year Three 

The focus of this year is an academic or industry placement which will expose students to different working environments and cultures, scientific excellence and broaden their horizons considerably. 

Academic development teams at both universities provide specific research skills training throughout the year. 


Year Four

The focus in the final year is on finishing the PhD work but there are also further training opportunities on innovation and industry-readiness.