The Digital Economy Network (DEN) was a five-year national doctoral training network of 11 EPSRC-supported Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), which was supported by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Digital Economy Theme.  

Logo of the EPSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

DEN was awarded funding from the EPSRC from 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2019 to provide added-value training and development activities for doctoral students studying and carrying out research within the Digital Economy arena. Although activities were focused on the critical mass of doctoral students based within CDTs, it was not compulsory for students to be based within these centres to engage in DEN events.

Throughout the project, DEN was successful in delivering more than 60 events and activities for postgraduate research students around five key themes and objectives, which were:

  • To provide a forum for sharing best practice in CDT delivery and develop a repository of expertise in this area
  • to enhance the student experience by providing practical and financial support for national shared events for Digital Economy research students
  • to increase the impact of postgraduate research in the digital economy by delivering high impact events and specialist entrepreneurial training
  • to develop specialist skills through new collaborative events
  • to support public engagement and research outreach activities from individuals and groups of students.

Examples of events delivered by the Network included:

  • 5 x national Digital Economy Summer Schools for PhD/EngD students, hosted by a different CDT/University each year.
  • Structured and facilitated writing retreats for PhD students at various national locations, to assist with writing up theses and the submission of collaborative research papers.
  • Digital Economy entrepreneurial events, competitions and workshops for PhD students and Early Career Researchers.
  • New collaborative events, to share and develop particular skills and expertise within particular research areas.
  • Annual Meetings for CDT staff, students, funders and key stakeholders to disseminate information on DEN activities and gather input/plan for future Network events.
  • Digital Economy Diversity Network one-day seminars hosted in Southampton, Newcastle and Nottingham.
  • Research showcases and CDT alumni careers events.
  • Online writing and coding challenges delivered via Social Media channels such as Twitter linking research students together via a hashtag campaign.

DEN was funded by the EPSRC under grant reference EP/L011891/1. The Network would like to thank the CDT staff, students, funders, collaborators and other key stakeholders for their engagement and support of DEN over the lifetime of the project.

The Network championed equality, diversity and inclusion to be at the heart of all its activities, and expected our events to accommodate and aim to attract a diverse group of participants as possible.