Engineering Doctorate (EngD) candidates combine academically-driven research with real-world business requirements. They conduct PhD-equivalent research and undertake taught business and technical courses while working closely with an industrial sponsor.
The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) scheme was established by the EPSRC in 1992 (following recommendations of the 1990 Engineering Doctorate Report, produced by a working group chaired by Professor Parnaby).
The first EngD programmes began in 1992, and, by 2009, schemes were offered by 45 UK universities - either singly or as academic partnerships delivering EngD programmes as industrial doctorate centres (IDCs), of which there were 19.
In a stakeholder survey of the scheme conducted on behalf of the EPSRC by Strategic Marketing Associates in 2006, it was found that the quality of REs' output was perceived to match or exceed that of a PhD, though the two types of qualification are somewhat different (see our EngD/PhD comparison).
A Review of the EPSRC Engineering Doctorate Centres in 2007 recommended the appointment of a number of 'Industrial Doctorate Advocates' to spread best practice in the management, operation and development of centres and act as champions for the scheme (information about operation of EngD programmes has been provided in 2011 EPSRC guidelines). The first three IDC Advocates were all active in the AEngD steering group:
Following the success of its first centres, the EPSRC issued a call in March 2008 to fund around 40 new centres. Seven further IDCs were funded from 2009, bringing the UK total to 26 IDCs.