How to apply

On this page we provide an overview of how to apply, and documents should be submitted as part of your application to the CDT.

Where to submit:

All applications need to be submitted via the University of Edinburgh EUCLID application portal. This link should take you to a page to apply for the programme named “PhD with Integrated Study Natural Language Processing – 4 Years” starting in 2024 – although the title for the programme is slightly different here, this is the correct programme to apply for to be considered for this CDT.

When to submit by:

The deadline for applications submitted via the above link is 11th March 2024. There is a chance we will also do an additional round of advertisement and recruitment later in the year, but we strongly advise applicants submit for this deadline.

How to complete your application:

When you go to the application portal and start a new application, you will be guided through a series of tabs with questions for you to complete. We advise you read the information alongside this detailed document provided by the School of Informatics – but keeping in mind the requirements for applying to the CDT, outlined below, are slightly different:

Tabs 1 and 2 ask for your personal and contact details. Complete these as you would for any application.

Tab 3 will ask you to complete several mandatory or optional boxes related to the Programme you are applying for – such as Personal Statements and Relevant Training / Skills. When applying to our CDT programme, in most of these boxes you just need to enter “Not Applicable – see uploaded documents” (the attachment requirments for the CDT are explained below).

The exception on Tab 3 is the box named “Name of proposed supervisor (if known)”. In answering this question, please list a minimum of two, and a maximum of five, potential supervisors you have identified from the list of potential supervisors on the CDT website. Please note: that contact with potential supervisors prior to application is not necessary.

Should your application be successful the supervisory team will be confirmed through discussions with the CDT management team.

Tabs 4, 5, 6 and 7 ask for additional information on your Qualifications, Previous Employment, Finance and for you to indicate two Academic Referees. Please complete these parts of the form as requested. Regarding Finance, we assume applicants to the CDT will be applying for our funded studentships.

The final tab before submitting is to Upload Documents. Here there are several documents you need to upload, including documents that are specific to the CDT programme application process. These are all explained below. All documents should be uploaded to the University of Edinburgh applicant portal as part of your application as separate files. You can use any software of your preference to develop these materials, but we ask that they are exported and uploaded as PDF files.

We will be unable to consider an application for the CDT if any of these files are missing.

1. Degree Certificate(s) and transcript(s)

We require you submit official documents that confirm any degrees or qualifications you have been awarded.

A degree certificate is the official document which you usually receive at your graduation ceremony and confirms that the degree has been awarded to you.

A transcript is an additional document which comes with your certificate and details the grades you have achieved per course/module per semester/academic year. Please ensure that your transcript includes information for the total duration of your studies.

Please also provide additional transcripts from Institutions you have studied in as a visiting student or as part of an exchange programme. If you wish, you can upload additional documents to explain any other gaps in your studies.

There is detailed guidance on providing official certificates on the University of Edinburgh website, here:

2. Statement of Intent and Alignment with the CDT

Instead of a traditional Research Proposal and Personal Statement, we want you to submit a Statement of Intent and a Statement of Alignment with the CDT. This should be submitted as a single PDF document, but divided into two sections. This should be uploaded in the “Research Proposal” section on the application portal, instead of the traditional research proposal document.

The Statement of Intent should tell us a little bit about your background and interests, and should convey to us why you are interested in studying for a PhD and how this might fit into your longer term career ambitions and goals. We recommend that your Statement of Intent covers the following content:

  • Your educational background
  • Any work or volunteer experience that is relevant to the PhD
  • Your academic and research interests
  • Your long-term goals and how you see the PhD and CDT in supporting you to achieve those.

This section of this document should be a maximum of 1000 words long (and shorter than this is fine).

The Statement of Alignment with the CDT should tell us how well you align with the topics and ethos of the CDT. Unlike more traditional PhD programmes, we are not assessing you based on a well-defined research proposal, but assessing applicants based on their alignment to (a) the five skills domains of the CDT, (b) their interest and aptitude for collaborating with researchers in different disciplines, and (c) their research interests and ideas in relation to these. The Statement of Alignment with the CDT is the document where you can express your research interests and ideas and how you see them aligning with the ethos and vision of the CDT.

We recommend that your Statement of Alignment covers the following content:

  • Which of the Skills Domains you feel you most align to, and why. This could be the Skills Domain you’d like to focus on developing your expertise in most during the CDT.
  • What ideas you have for a topic for a research project that is relevant to this Skills Domain, and why it would be novel and of relevance to the CDT. You could include references here to research that inspires or motivates your own ideas, or refer to your own prior work that is relevant.
  • Which of the other Skills Domains you would like to develop new skills in, and why. This could be areas you’d like to develop some more rounded skills, and grow your expertise slightly beyond just a single area.
  • How you would work with students from disciplinary backgrounds different from your own, and / or work with industry partners, as part of your training.

This section of the document should be a maximum of 1500 words long (again, shorter than this is fine).

3. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Applicants are required to provide an up-to-date CV, which details information on their education (including all degrees completed and in progress), experience, skills and interests, achievements, etc.

4. English language certificate(s)

If your degree was not recently completed in a majority English-speaking country (as defined by the UK Home Office, Visa & Immigration) – see details of what is acceptable at the following website

5. Academic references

You need to include two academic references, which should be written by academics and teachers that can provide good quality and authentic assessments of your academic skills, achievements and potential.