SATURN Nuclear Energy Centre for Doctoral Training

Discover the Centre

Take your place in the next generation of nuclear experts by joining our Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in SATURN (Skills And Training Underpinning a Renaissance in Nuclear).

This collaborative CDT involving the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Strathclyde will work towards building the skills base needed to support the UK’s Net Zero targets.

Programme structure

The first year serves as a comprehensive training period, tailored to accommodate students from diverse academic backgrounds. This begins with a 3-month taught course, led by subject experts from our partner institutions and industry, offering you a broad introduction to nuclear energy.

Following this, you will engage in two successive 3-4 month research skill training rotations, preparing you for independent research. Throughout the year, regular cohort and CDT-wide events provide a community and facilitate networking opportunities across academia, industry, and other CDTs.

In Years 2-4, you will conduct doctoral research, which will be impact-led with enhanced industry engagement. This will also include lectures, site visits, and problem-solving exercises facilitated by interdisciplinary, specialist teams. Additionally, students are encouraged to undertake industry secondments, enriching their research experience.

For added flexibility, SATURN offers workplace-based PhDs, as well as a part-time route. These options accommodate students already employed in the sector seeking to pursue a PhD for Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

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The primary aim of SATURN CDT is to provide high quality research training in science and engineering, underpinning nuclear fission technology. As nuclear will continue to be a vital part of our energy mix, and with the nuclear sector facing a skills crisis, this CDT will create a highly trained pool of postgraduate researchers ready to take on real industry challenges.

Professor Scott Heath / CDT Director

Available projects

If you are interested in applying for any SATURN CDT projects, please email for information on the application process.

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Being part of a CDT means that you never really feel alone. You’re learning alongside fellow students who you can share the experience and have fun with. All you really need is a passion for science, technology, engineering or just learning!

James Mansfield / Nuclear CDT student

Get in touch

If you're interested in starting your application, finding out more about our available projects, application information or collaboration opportunities:

Our partners