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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S022953/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Functional Nano (i4Nano)
Principal Investigator: Hofmann, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Keyser, Professor UF Reisner, Professor E Baumberg, Professor JJ
Ducati, Professor C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Aixtron Ltd Applied Materials ARM Ltd
Britvic Soft Drinks Cambridge Display Technology Ltd (CDT) Centre for Process Innovation CPI (UK)
Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Deregallera Ltd Eight19 Ltd
Emberion Limited Fluidic Analytics Ltd High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult
Hitachi Europe Ltd IBM UK Ltd Johnson Matthey
Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd Mursla Ltd National Physical Laboratory NPL
Nokia Oxford Instruments Plc Oxford Nanopore Technologies
Regents of the Univ California Berkeley Sabic Europe Samsung R&D Institute UK
Schlumberger Sorex Sensors Ltd SuNAM Co. Ltd
Talga technologies ltd The Technology Partnership Plc (TTP) Toshiba
TWI Ltd Xiamen University
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 6,298,762
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Energy
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel I – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Topic of Centre:

This i4Nano CDT will accelerate the discovery cycle of functional nanotechnologies and materials, effectively bridging from ground-breaking fundamental science toward industrial device integration, and to drive technological innovation via an interdisciplinary approach. A key overarching theme is understanding and control of the nano-interfaces connecting complex architectures, which is essential for going beyond simple model systems and key to major advances in emerging scientific grand challenges across vital areas of Energy, Health, Manufacturing (particularly considering sustainability), ICT/Internet of things, and Quantum. We focus on the science of nano-interfaces across multiple time scales and material systems (organic-inorganic, bio-nonbio interfaces, gas-liquid-solid, crystalline-amorphous), to control nano-interfaces in a scalable manner across different size scales, and to integrate them into functional systems using engineering approaches, combining interfaces, integration, innovation, and interdisciplinarity (hence 'i4Nano'). The vast range of knowledge, tools and techniques necessary for this underpins the requirement for high-quality broad-based PhD training that effectively links scientific depth and application breadth.

National Need:

Most breakthrough nanoscience as well as successful translation to innovative technology relies on scientists bridging boundaries between disciplines, but this is hindered by the constrained subject focus of undergraduate courses across the UK. Our recent industry-academia nano-roadmapping event attended by numerous industrial partners strongly emphasised the need for broadly-trained interdisciplinary nanoscience acolytes who are highly valuable across their businesses, acting as transformers and integrators of new knowledge, crucial for the UK. They consistently emphasise there is a clear national need to produce this cadre of interdisciplinary nanoscientists to maintain the UK's international academic leadership, to feed entrepreneurial activity, and to capitalise industrially in the UK by driving innovations in health, energy, ICT and Quantum Technologies.

Training Approach:

The vision of this i4Nano CDT is to deliver bespoke training in key areas of nano to translate exploratory nanoscience into impactful technologies, and stimulate new interactions that support this vision. We have already demonstrated an ability to attract world-class postgraduates and build high-calibre cohorts of independent young Nano scientists through a distinctive PhD nursery in our current CDT, with cohorts co-housed and jointly mentored in the initial year of intense interdisciplinary training through formal courses, practicals and project work. This programme encourages young researchers to move outside their core disciplines, and is crucial for them to go beyond fragmented graduate training normally experienced. Interactions between cohorts from different years and different CDTs, as well as interactions with >200 other PhD researchers across Cambridge, widens their horizons, making them suited to breaking disciplinary barriers and building an integrated approach to research.

The 1st year of this CDT course provides high-quality advanced-level training prior to final selection of preferred PhD research projects. Student progression will depend on passing examinable components assessed both by exams and coursework, providing a formal MRes qualification. Components of the first year training include lectures and practicals on key scientific topics, mini/midi projects, science communication and innovation/scale-up training, and also training for understanding societal and ethical dimensions of Nanoscience. Activities in the later years include conferences, pilot projects, further innovation and scale up training, leadership and team-building weekends, and ED&I and Responsible Innovation workshops
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk