How to Apply

Applications will shortly open for a new Doctoral Research Centre in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and should be submitted as soon as possible (see 'Apply' below).

Students on this programme will integrate with the current EPSRC CDT in Data Science, although the programme is formally a separate one. Students with a very strong background in computer science, mathematics, physics, or engineering are particularly encouraged to apply.

The Doctoral Research Centre in Data Science and AI will be a PhD programme at the School of Informatics and the School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh. Three and a half years funding will be provided; this will usually be in addition to a 6 month internship paid for by one of the partner companies (exceptions can be made if student circumstances make this undesirable/problematic; Tier 4 students may have additional restrictions on internships; subject to acceptance by the company). The programme will also allow students to design an individually tailored training programme, with selections from over 50 relevant courses.

Students applying should identify two potential supervisors who match their research interests, and name those two supervisors on the research application.

All students will be involved in industry collaboration through the course of the PhD. There may also be specific industry studentships available with their own funding stream and these will be listed in due course.


Our fully funded PhD places are particularly competitive. We also welcome applicants who are funded from other sources, such as awards from their home country or who are in receipt of industry/grant awards or self-funded. These applications will be considered in addition to the allocated, fully funded places.  If you are able to provide your own funding, it is important that you make sure to state this in your application.


Entry Requirements

Before applying, please read the admissions information at the following links:


Reference letters should include information about an applicant’s ability to undertake a PhD. We have a web page directed to referees to alert them to this. You might wish to send them a link to that page.

Letters of reference should be signed, dated, and on letter-headed paper:

Research Proposal

When you apply, you will be asked to include a personal statement where you can note your reasons for wishing to undertake PhD training in data science and AI. This is separate from the research proposal. In this you should also identify two potential supervisors.

A formal research proposal is required as part of the application process for the Research Centre in Data Science. In the research proposal you should indicate the area you believe would be of most interest to you for a PhD topic. If you are not familiar with the field, the proposal should be indicative of your interests and your background study; your actual PhD project can differ from what you propose during your application. It is possible that you will change your interest during the course of the first year. Nevertheless, the motivation and research proposal are very important in our selection, so please pay attention to it! The research proposal should provide some detail of your technical understanding of the field, and what particular challenges that entails. It is probably easier to attach a file  (either via “Upload a research proposal” or “Upload an unspecified document”) rather than to enter it all on the web form.

Before writing your proposal, you should visit the Research and Supervisor pages of our website. Both of these should give you a background on areas of research as well as current and potential research projects for postgraduate students.

There is no specific guidance for research proposals for applications to the Doctoral Research Centre in Data Science and AI; however, you may find it useful to refer to this document about writing a postgraduate research proposal for the University of Edinburgh.

CV / Résumé

Please include a CV or résumé with your application. You should upload this as a supporting document in EUCLID. This is required.

Research Area

Please provide a statement of your preferred research area if you can (e.g. Machine Learning, Databases etc) at the top of the Research Topic field on the application form, along with two potential supervisors. This helps us in ensuring the right people see your application.


We do ask you to identify (prior contact is not essential) two potential supervisors on your application. You may wish to discuss your application with the potential supervisors.


Applications will open 1 October.

Athena Swan Charter

Athena SWAN awards recognise and celebrate good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in STEMM in academia.  The School of Informatics achieved a Silver Award and the School of Mathematics a Bronze Award.