FAQs for Applicants

Our most frequently asked questions are answered below.

How will my application and I be assessed?

Your application will be assessed by the academic supervisory team of your top two preferred projects.  If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be invited to attend two interviews with both supervisory teams. 

When and where will the interviews take place?

You can follow our expected timelines for recruitment activity by viewing our application timelines. You will be notified if you've been shortlisted and sent interview dates within 2 weeks of the application deadline.  The interviews are being held online using MS Teams.  Please familiarise yourself with the virtual meeting tool in advance. 

What should I prepare for the interview?

Please review our CDT Interview Guidance for Applicants for tips on preparing for your interview.  You will be asked to present a 3 minute video at the beginning of your interview.  Review the Video Requirements for CDT Interview for guidance.

When can I expect to know the outcome of my interviews?

Once all interviews have taken place, the applicants will be notified.  We aim to send informal offers within 1 week of the last interview (normally no longer than 2 weeks after your interview).

What can I expect with a CDT cohort experience?

It’s traditional to think of a PhD as a ‘solo’ endeavor: you pursue your project, with your research, leading to your thesis. All of that still happens within a CDT, but you’ll be working alongside a cohort of other PhD students.

This provides a more collegiate atmosphere with an informal support structure and opportunities for collaboration.

A cohort-based approach also enhances your networking opportunities. Like you, your fellow students are looking to become part of the next generation of leading data scientists and researchers. It’s worth getting to know them.

How will I make connections with industry?

Not all Science and Engineering PhDs lead to a career in academia. CDTs have been set up to recognise this fact. And to make the most of it.

As well as supporting you to earn a PhD, your CDT will make sure that PhD is worth earning (and worth funding) whatever you go on to do with it.

Much of this is done through the additional training and skills development described above.

The DA CDT takes a more direct approach with opportunities to take up placements beyond the university. These will be designed to contribute to your research and give you the opportunity to see how that research is applied in the real world.

Can I apply for my own research topic?

No. The topics have been co-created by academics and non-academic partners who are part-funding the PhDs. That said, there will always be scope within a PhD to refine the topic to be well aligned with an individual’s interests and achievements. The topics are therefore relatively broad and so there is likely to be scope to pursue your specific interests within that broad topic area.

What if I want to apply and no projects are advertised?

Please submit a generic application form at any time and follow the DA CDT Application Instructions. If your application meets the eligibility criteria, you will be sent a list of projects (once they are confirmed) and you will be asked to return a ranked list of your top 3 projects. 

What should I include in the “research proposal”?

Please cut-and-paste the content of the project advert: the research proposal won’t be assessed for any of the CDT’s studentships. DA CDT Application Instructions.

Based on my nationality, am I eligible to apply?

Any prospective doctoral student wishing to study at the Centre, including prospective international students, can apply for a UKRI studentship. All UKRI-funded doctoral students (like the DA CDT studentships) will be eligible for the full award - both the stipend to support living costs and fees up to the UK/Home student fee rate. However, UKRI international studentships are limited to 30% of the total cohort and places will be competitive.  

How do CDTs recruit students?

The DA CDT recruits cohorts of PhD students each year – similar to undergraduate programmes. The exact number of places (and studentships) depends on the CDT’s annual intake. Generally, the DA CDT looks to recruit up to 15 students each year.

Are fees and stipend covered?

The funding covers PhD tuition fees (up to UK/Home student rates) and a generous (tax-free) stipend for four years.

Is the stipend enough to live in Liverpool?

This is the standard EPSRC stipend which many PhD students have in Liverpool and it is widely perceived to be sufficient by current PhD students.

Is there an initial MSc or MRes year?

No. You will start the PhD on day one. The training will be integral to the PhD and tailored based on both your specific previous experience and the requirements associated with the specific PhD topic.

How long does the PhD last?

The DA CDT PhD starts on day 1.  You do not undertake a taught component in your first year like many other programmes.  University regulations dictate that you must submit within four years of starting. Most students submit at some point after the end of their third year and that is the anticipation for students in the CDT.

Why research at Liverpool?

Every project within the centre is offered in collaboration with an external partner who, as well as providing co-supervision will also offer the unique opportunity for students to be embedded within the organisation, accessing large amounts of complex data to work on developing non-trivial solutions to complex, real world problems.

A large number of events and training sessions are undertaken as a cohort of PhD students, allowing you to build personal and professional relationships that we hope will lead to research collaboration either now or in your future.

Graduates from this CDT will have the essential skills needed to become future leaders in data science, be it in academia, government or industry.

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