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

12 fully-funded PhD studentships starting in September 2020
Application deadline: 31 January 2020
Covers fees and a stipend for four years

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.
  • Formal music training is desirable, but not a prerequisite.

For this round of applications we are offering a number of scholarships to applicants who are ordinarily resident in the UK (i.e. have lived and studied/worked in the UK at least the last three years – this includes EU nationals) and a smaller number of scholarships to international students.

Funding

We have a large number of 4-year PhD studentships available for home, EU and international 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.

External PhD studentships
The AIM programme welcomes applications from students who have sponsorship for PhD study from numerous international funding agencies including:
China Scholarship Council (CSC)
Commonwealth Scholarships
CONACYT (Mexico)
Higher Education Commission, Pakistan
Islamic Development Bank

Please see the international PhD scholarships page for full details of Queen Mary’s international funding partners, including other schemes not listed here.

Important information for CSC applicants: the AIM programme is able to offer tuition fee waivers to applicants who receive PhD studentships from the China Scholarship Council (CSC). Applicants who would like to be considered for funding through the CSC would need to submit their application by 12th January 2019 (please note the different deadline). Applications must state on their application form that they intend to apply for CSC funding. Following the PhD offer acceptance, applicants will then need to submit a separate studentship application to the CSC between 10-31 March 2020. Following a change in CSC regulations, applicants should ensure that they have met the English language requirements by the point of offer in order to be eligible for CSC funding.

Self-Funding

It is always possible to apply to the AIM programme as a self-funded student or with funding from another source. Please be aware that you will need to be able to prove that you have the funding to cover the tuition fees, living costs, and the additional travel and accommodation costs required for this course.

Tuition fees vary according to your fee status. To discuss living costs, tuition fees and additional programme costs, please contact us at aim-enquiries@qmul.ac.uk

Visa fees and healthcare surcharge

Please note that for international students on a Tier 4 visa, the AIM programme is not able to cover any visa application fees and/or the healthcare surcharge (currently at £400 per year).

How to apply

To apply for the AIM PhD Programme, complete the online application form which can be found at:
https://mysis.qmul.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RFQM-G4ZG-09&code2=0002

The deadline for applications is on 31 January 2020. Interviews are expected to take place from the middle of February.

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: research-admissions@qmul.ac.uk).
  • 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: http://eecs.qmul.ac.uk/people/academic/ and the research groups in the School: http://eecs.qmul.ac.uk/research/research-groups/. Make sure to contact possible supervisors in advance and agree who would be you supervisor and what the topic would be.
  • 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.
  • 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 research-admissions@qmul.ac.uk. For informal enquiries related to the AIM Programme and application process please email any questions to aim-enquiries@qmul.ac.uk
  • 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.