EPSRC opened their latest call for Centres of Doctoral Training (CDTs): https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/epsrc-centres-for-doctoral-training/

For the first time, EPSRC explicitely states that they welcome managers who are integral to developing the CDT bid as co-investigators. (See "Who can apply?" section.)  I.e.: If you are (or work with) a current or aspiring CDT manager who is already heavily involved in the development of the bid and will be key to its delivery (if the proposal is scucessful), here is your chance to recognise this role formally as part of the investigator team.

We hosted a workshop for PRISMs on this topic (watch the workshop recording) and collated responses to the questions that were raised by the community.


1. JeS
  • Do I need a JeS (https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk) account to be listed as a Co-I?  -->  Yes, these are approved at institutional level

2. Co-I requirements
  • Does the CDT Manager have to be a Co-I? --> No, it depends on the individual preference and the requirements of the role e.g. some CDT managers may be more focussed on day-to-day running and administration of the centre and not want to be involved in the strategy and shaping the vision and therefore, it is not required for the Manager to be a Co-I.
  • Is having a PhD a requirement for being a Co-I?  --> No. All investigator team members need to provide a track record of their experience that provides confidence in their ability to lead this grant though.
  • If successful can the named Co-I be changed at a later date if the colleague leaves or moves? --> Yes. Requires a justification and request to EPSRC. The process is usually facilitated by the pre-award office.
  • If a PI leaves, does the CDT move with them? --> No, CDTs they stay with the institution and therefore the PI would need to be replaced.
  • Is it expected that all grants will be open to having PRISMs as Co-Is from now on? --> We certainly hope so, but this is not confirmed as yet.
3. Contract issues
  • Does a Co-I have to be permanent member of staff? --> No, the Co-I contract just needs to be as long as the grant duration.
  • My contract ends before the application process will be complete, am I still eligible to be a Co-I?  --> Guidance from EPSRC: PIs either have to be permanent or have a fixed term contact extending beyond the grant end date, but this final restriction doesn’t apply to Co-Is. Technically, Co-Is’ contracts do not have to be as long as the grant duration, especially considering the long duration of CDT grants.    (PRISM Network comment: That said, if this role is key to the delivery of the grant, it may be worthwhole discussing with the institution as to how the PRISM is being supported and provided with security to ensure this critical role does not leave the grant prematurely.)

4. Costings
  • Are CDT managers 1.0FTE? --> CDT Managers can be any FTE %, it depends on what is required to support the grant.
  • Are overheads and FEC considerations a barrier? --> For CDTs, leadership & management are paid at 100%FEC, therefore do not generate estates and indirect costs for any job family.
  • If CDT Manager is Co-I, can we still cost other management & administration costs?  --> Yes. All requested resources would need to be justified.
  • Can we include training/professional development budget for the CDT Manager in the grant application? --> Yes. This needs to be justified, i.e. well explained why this training is essential to the success of a grant and why it would not be provided by the institution.
  • The PRISM Network committee would also suggest to consider costing in travel/meeting budget to enable knowledge exchange and networking across the CDT managers, i.e. creating synergies with other CDTs at a governance level by enabling a CDT Manager Network formation.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with Susie Douglas and Rachel Sparks and we will try and find out the answer for you!
Last edited: 15 Dec 2022

Susie Douglas