A nuclear renaissance is underway

More and more people regard nuclear power as the best way to generate electricity in a manner that is safe, secure, sustainable and environmentally-friendly. In the UK, new build of Generation III reactors is imminent, plans for a new generation of small reactors are moving forward, and safe geological disposal of a diverse nuclear waste inventory is being demonstrated and implemented.

Progress in nuclear research will make a positive impact on the environment, economic security and the prosperity of future generations

Founded in 2014 with £4M funding, the EPSRC Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (ICO-CDT) was established to attract talented and diverse cohorts of graduates to take nuclear power forward. The UK needs a new generation of experts in reactor design and operation, materials performance, nuclear safety and security, the nuclear fuel cycle, and waste reprocessing and disposal.

We provide support, choice and flexibility throughout the programme

The ICO-CDT draws upon the expertise of world-leading academics, and partners with major nuclear industrial companies and organisations such as Rolls-Royce, EdF, the National Nuclear Laboratory, Wood, Hitachi, Westinghouse, US National Laboratories, the EC Joint Research Institute ITU and ANSTO. The projects we offer are in close collaboration with companies, research institutions and governments, providing contacts and skills to launch your career.

There is a role for everyone in the nuclear renaissance

Over the years, women have made their mark on the nuclear industry and academia: such as Dame Sue Ion FRS, Chair of EURATOM among many other achievements; Prof Melanie Brownridge Head of Technology at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; and Prof Mary Ryan Professor of Materials Science and Nanotechnology at Imperial College. There are also many rising stars, such as Dr Catrin Davies, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Materials, EdF-sponsored PhD student Rebecca Jeffers, and our own ICO-CDT Cohort 1 student Sophie Morrison, who recently won the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s Outstanding Researcher 2016 £10,000 prize.  More than ever before, the nuclear industry and research programmes are opening up to talented graduates from many different UK and overseas universities.

There are exciting opportunities to travel, receive professional development, and build enriching relationships and networks within and across cohorts

During the four years, you will undertake cohort-building activities, such as trips to Romania and Belgium to undertake experiments, organise an international conference, and receive media, public engagement and entrepreneurship training. Check out our student testimonials, and see what our current cohorts are up at our student-run website www.icocdt.com.

If you are committed, hard-working and conscientious and believe in nuclear power, the ICO-CDT is here to help you make a difference – and have a rewarding time doing so!


What do our students think?


Dhan-Sham Rana, Cohort 2

'So far I have taken part in educational visits to top research facilities such as the The Institute for Nuclear Research in Romania where we saw a TRIGA reactor pulse which was an incredible experience. I have also been lucky enough to attend media training and been in charge of organising the annual nuclear conference which was attended by leaders in the nuclear energy field.'


Sophie Morrison, Cohort 1

'The most beneficial aspect of the CDT is the cohort building that takes place over the years. Students come from such a variety of backgrounds and use their individual knowledge and experiences to ensure a level of consistency amongst the graduates – something which will prove vital in the face of the skills gap within the nuclear industry.'