UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence and Music (AIM)

Fully-funded PhD studentships to start September 2020
Call open to applicants ordinarily resident in the UK since September 2017
Covers fees and a stipend for four years
Application deadline: 15 April 2020

Why apply to the AIM Programme?

  • 4-year fully-funded PhD studentships available
  • Extensive choice of projects, drawing on a supervisory team of over 30 academics
  • Access to cutting-edge facilities and expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and music/audio technology
  • Comprehensive technical training at the intersection of AI and music through a personalized programme
  • Partnerships with over 20 companies and cultural institutions in the music, audio and creative sectors

For more information on the AIM Programme structure click here.

Who should apply?

We are on the lookout for the best and brightest students interested in the intersection of music/audio technology and AI. Successful applicants will have the following profile:

  • Hold or be completing a Masters degree at distinction or first class level, or equivalent, in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Music/Audio Technology, Physics, Mathematics, or Psychology. In exceptional circumstances we accept applicants with a first class Bachelors degree who do not hold a Masters degree, provided that applicants can provide evidence of equivalent research experience, industry experience, or specialist training.
  • Programming skills are strongly desirable; however we do not consider this to be an essential criterion if candidates have complementary strengths.
  • Musical training (any of performance, production, composition or theory) is desirable but not a prerequisite.

For this round of applications we are only offering scholarships to applicants who are ordinarily resident in the UK, i.e. have lived and studied/worked in the UK for at least the last three years by September 2020. This includes UK and EU nationals who are studying or working in the UK and international applicants who are working in the UK.


We have a number of fully-funded 4-year PhD studentships available for students starting in September 2020 which will cover the cost of tuition fees and will provide an annual tax-free stipend (£17,009 in 2019/20). The CDT will also provide funding for conference travel, equipment, and for attending other CDT-related events. For more information on external PhD studentships and self-funded please visit .

How to apply

To apply for the AIM PhD Programme, complete the online application form which can be found at:

The deadline for applications is on 15 April 2020 (23:59 GMT). Interviews are expected to take place in early May. Decision notifications will be sent in the coming weeks following the interviews.

What you should include in your application:

  • Fully complete application form, transcripts of your previous degree(s), and a Curriculum Vitae PDF document. Overseas applicants from non-English speaking countries must include a proof of English language ability (see details on English requirements below).
  • A two page A4 “Research Proposal” – a PDF document in which you provide a description of your top choice of PhD topic. You can either: (i) Select a PhD topic from the list of suggested AIM PhD topics; or (ii) Propose your own PhD topic, which will have to fall in the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Music. In your research proposal, we strongly encourage you to list up to 3 PhD topics in order of preference, either from the list of suggested AIM topics or based on your own suggested topic(s). You should describe only one topic in detail in your research proposal document. You should use 11pt fonts in the document; references do not count in the page limits. We encourage you to contact your chosen supervisor for an informal chat – this will also help you to put together your research proposal, which is an integral part of your application. Note: submission of a research proposal is mandatory, irrespectively if you are choosing a topic from the pool of suggested PhD topics or if you are proposing your own topic; applications without a research proposal will not be considered.
  • A one page A4 “Personal Statement” – a PDF document in which you set out your previous academic or other experience relevant to your proposed research interests, why you wish to undertake this research at QMUL, and why you want to do the AIM PhD – think of it like a covering letter to explain why you want to apply for the AIM PhD.
  • Two references are required – either two academic, or one academic and one work related reference. Your academic referee must be able to comment on the standard of your academic work and suitability for postgraduate level study. Where appropriate, a second referee can provide comment on your professional experience (if you are unable to obtain references prior to submission please send/ask your referee to send it to the following email address, including the application number in the subject:
  • Select a supervisor – in case you have chosen a PhD topic from the list of suggested AIM PhD topics, this would be the topic’s respective supervisor. In case you are suggesting your own topic, have a look at the list of academics at the School of EECS: and the research groups in the School: Make sure to contact possible supervisors in advance and agree who would be you supervisor and what the topic would be.
  • (not applicable in this call) In the box “How do you intend to finance your studies at Queen Mary” – if you are not looking for a scholarship and you will be self-funded please state “self-funded”. If you have another source of funding such as China Scholarship Council please state this.

Additional tips for completing your application:

  • The online application link above will take you directly to the “PhD FT Artificial Intelligence and Music – Semester 1 start” application form (Course reference RFQM-G4ZG-09). Please use that link to complete your application.
  • Note that each new PhD cohort starts in September, you cannot start at any other time of the year.
  • Please note: We will share the application details you submit to Queen Mary with the AIM programme industry/academic partners (when the proposed or selected project you have applied for involves an external partner) since it will be necessary for admission selection and the performance of any contract between you and Queen Mary/AIM CDT. Please refer to the privacy notice for applicants and our Data Protection Policy for further information.
  • (not applicable in this call) If you are an overseas student there is helpful advice on our International pages and on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.
  • The standard requirement for English at the School of EECS is IELTS 6.5 overall or an equivalent certificate. More details about language requirements for postgraduate research students in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science can be found in the international students section.
  • If you have a serious problem with the online application form please email For informal enquiries related to the AIM Programme and application process please email any questions to
  • We strongly encourage you to list in your application more than one PhD topic, preferably 3 topics (this information should be stated in the research proposal document).
  • In the online application form, under section “Other Information”: for question “How do you intend to finance your studies at Queen Mary University of London?” please use the “I am a QMUL PG Research Studentship applicant” response.
  • The AIM PhD Programme is a four year full-time programme and you must be able to commit full-time to the programme. In exceptional circumstances the programme allows for part-time study at 50% minimum; if you wish to be considered for part-time study, please include your justification for part-time study in a cover letter submitted with your application.