Though based across five universities, the CDT structure ensures that students feel part of the network as a whole, and gives them chance to build strong links across cohorts and subject areas.
One of the first events of the academic year is a teambuilding day, which brings students together for a day of group activities and challenges, giving the cohort chance to get to know each other and discover their preferred working styles. Students then work closely during the initial training modules at York, before beginning their research project at their home university. All cohorts meet together annually for the Frontiers and Interfaces of Fusion Workshop in May, and a student-run conference.
The CDT strongly encourages students to work collaboratively throughout their PhDs, to give them an understanding of how their individual research can be relevant to other areas. First-year students are required to investigate potential areas of collaboration with each other, and encouraged to follow up any links they find, both with students at their own university and others in the network. In their second year, students have the opportunity to plan and carry out a collaborative mini-project.