FAQs for potential industry partners

If you are interested in partnering with the University of Liverpool on Distributed Algorithms you may find the information below helpful.

I work for a non-academic organisation which is not currently a partner for Distributed Algorithms. Can I engage?

Yes. The focus of the CDT is on two application domains where Distributed Algorithms appears to resonate most: defence and security and manufacturing. If you are working in one of these two domains, it will be straightforward to work towards co-creating and co-supervising a studentship. If you work in other domains, we’re still keen to engage, particularly if you think Distributed Algorithms could make a difference to you.

What are the key benefits of supporting studentships?

The primary purpose of the CDT is to train a new generation of people who are adept at Distributed Algorithms, i.e., who can work effectively at the interface between “Next-generation Data Science” and “Future Computing Systems”. The key benefit of being involved is to have access to a stream of potential recruits with skills and experience that align with your organisation’s needs for Distributed Algorithms.

The research comprising the PhD project may also be of direct relevance to your organisation, but it’s really the trained person that is the primary benefit. Additionally, we will provide an environment that enables you to engage with the broader cohort of students (aka potential recruits) and provide access to the training material that will be used to train the students and which may also be of use to support CPD for your existing staff.

How do we go about co-creating a studentship?

There are a number of mechanisms that all stem from an initial email or discussion. Options include being involved in workshops we will run to collaboratively explore the utility of Distributed Algorithms in the context of your organisation. If it appears that a studentship is the right option for you (which is likely to be the case if your primary aim is to recruit excellent staff who have been well trained in Distributed Algorithms), we can find supervisors who can help develop a studentship. There are also other ways to engage and we can, for example, undertake low-level consultancy or longer-term research projects.

What’s the financial commitment for a new partner?

Each studentship is associated with £30,000 cash (not in-kind) from the partner. This is spread over the four years of the PhD so is £7,500 per year. The intent is that this is very similar to the commitment associated with an EPSRC ICASE award.

What non-financial commitments are involved in supporting a studentship?

Before each studentship starts, the expectation is that partner organisations will be involved in co-creating the studentship’s scope (as defined in an advert), shortlisting candidates and interviewing them.

After the student has started, the partner organisation will be involved in co-supervising the student. There is also an expectation that each student will spend approximately 3-6 months working at the partner organisation’s premises. Again, this is very similar to the activity associated with an EPSRC ICASE award.

Does the organisation have to be based in the UK?

No. We would welcome interaction with global organisations. There may be implications in terms of the practicalities of supervision due to time-zone differences and/or affordability of the placements due to the costs of international flights, but those are issues that we can work to resolve.

When will the students be graduates we can employ?

The students will start their PhDs on day one. There is no separate year for an MSc or MRes. The students will need to submit their thesis before the end of their fourth year. They will, at that point, be marketable graduates who you could seek to recruit at that time.

Back to: Centre for Doctoral Training in Distributed Algorithms