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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L015307/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Analytical Science
Principal Investigator: Unwin, Professor P
Other Investigators:
MacPherson, Professor J Blindauer, Dr CA Smith, Professor CJ
Costantini, Professor G Rodger, Professor A Brown, Professor SP
Van Den Berg, Dr HA
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AstraZeneca Bruker Crystal Precision Optics
Diamond Light Source Jasco JEOL
Linear Diagnostics Ltd Lubrizol Ltd Omicron NanoTechnology GmbH
Pfizer Scanwel Ltd SGS M Scan Ltd
Syngenta Unilever Uniscan Instruments Ltd
Univ Hosp Coventry and Warwick NHS Trust University of Warwick University of Warwick Science Park Ltd
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 22 September 2014 Ends: 30 November 2023 Value (£): 4,172,107
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Healthcare
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel M Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form

Analytical science is key to the success of any fundamental or applied science research programme, and underpins industrial progress and production in a wide range of areas in which the UK is traditionally strong but where it faces increasing challenges globally. Warwick has an extensive track record both in the highest quality student training through CDTs and in creative instrumental and theoretical analytical science, which forms the background to this proposal for a Molecular Analytical Science Centre (MASC). MASC will focus on developing and applying molecular analytical science methods to problems in 6 themes

1. Measurement, sensing, and extraction in complex matrices

2. Advanced quantitative analysis

3. Molecular structure and stability in complex systems

4. New techniques for Quality by Design in pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, agri-science, personal care

5. Characterising and exploiting functional biomolecular assemblies

6. Analytical science for optimising and understanding dynamics in complex systems


Many reports can be quoted to support the national importance of high quality cross-discipline molecular analytical science training. For example:

* The "Health of disciplines: annual report 2008 to the UK research base funders' forum" reported a shortage in physical and analytical scientists as well as shortages in statistics/mathematics and biotechnology.

* The 2009 "International Review of UK Chemistry Research" stated that bioanalytical research in the UK is internationally recognised and well-placed to tackle society's greatest challenges, emphasising the continued importance of this area.

* A 2006 report for the RSC "Analytical and Measurement Sciences Platform Knowledge Transfer Plan - Survey Findings" noted that "not only are the analytical and measurement sciences extremely diverse and far-reaching in their nature but they are also a massive economic activity in [their] own right. ... analytical sector has £7bn turnover and employs 200,000 people".

A driver for this CDT proposal is that the need is not simply for training in existing techniques but also for developing new techniques that will allow us to solve currently open challenges (e.g. the difficulty of proving that a potential generic biopharmaceutical is indeed 'biosimilar'). The Warwick analytical science community embraces the challenge of technique development, as evidenced by a track record in novel instrument and theoretical method development and application.


The new CDT will benefit from the well-established cross-discipline cohort-based training culture, developed and refined over the 10-year life of the MOAC DTC and the long-running Warwick analytical science MSc programmes, and will be embedded in the research community created by the RCUK Science and Innovation funding that formed the virtual Warwick Centre for Analytical Science in 2008.

The MASC students will undertake a cross-discipline MSc programme in year 1, concluding with 2 mini research projects in different disciplines, including both theoretical and experimental research. In years 2-4 they will perform a multi-disciplinary, multi-sector analytical science PhD research project, at a world-leading level, complemented by transferable skills training. Each project will involve technique development and application, with integrated industrial involvement.

Students will enjoy the benefit of opportunities during both MSc and PhD to work in an industrial environment and also to experience an international laboratory to enhance their understanding of the scientific process in different contexts. The international secondments will either be to strategic partners of Warwick or to targeted collaborators of the supervisors.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk