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EPSRC Doctoral Prize

Applications for the Summer Call are now open - Deadline June 11th 2017

The EPSRC Doctoral Prize scheme supports fellowships of two years’ duration for exceptional researchers who have recently finished an EPSRC-funded PhD. UCL has approximately 10 awards to make every year. 

These are prestigious fellowships that are intended to provide support for outstanding candidates who are beginning to develop independent research careers. They are not intended as follow-on support to enable recently graduated students to continue working on their PhD project.

We are looking to provide opportunities for candidates who anticipate applying for prestigious fellowships (for example, those offered by the Royal Academy of Engineering, EPSRC or the Royal Society) and would benefit from a further two years’ funding before making such applications.

Calls for applications are held every 6 months with closing dates in December and June. Students from other institutions who meet the eligibility criteria may also apply to join UCL under this scheme.

Doctoral Prize fellowships are 2 years in duration. They cover the applicant’s salary for 2 years as well as research-related costs. Fellows should propose a project which, although can build on their PhD studies, should constitute a new and discrete programme of work. Doctoral Prize awardees are expected to apply for further fellowship funding, from external sources, within the duration of their award. Host Departments should nominate a suitable mentor for each successful fellow, who will be their first point of contact for all matters relating to their personal and professional development as an independent researcher.

Financial Details

The fellow’s salary will be calculated based on the standard UCL starting salary for postdoctoral researchers. Applicants can also request research expenses including travel & subsistence, consumables and facilities costs. Typically, requests of up to £10K/annum will be considered reasonable, although it is recognised that this will vary by domain. All costs, except for the fellow’s salary, need to be fully justified. Note that the funds cannot be used to buy any single piece of equipment costing more than £10,000.

  • Applicants should either be about to submit their PhD, or have submitted their PhD no more than 6 months before the closing date;
  • The proposed project must be primarily within the EPSRC remit;
  • The candidate must have the support of their host Department, who will nominate a suitable mentor for the applicant;
  • The project mentor must not be the candidates' PhD Supervisor
  • The proposed project must be 2 years in duration;
  • The candidate must have received EPSRC PhD funding prior to the award;
  • The candidate must have submitted their PhD before the fellowship can commence;
  • Candidates must have the right to work in the UK;
  • If unsuccessful, applicants are not allowed to reapply for this scheme unless they have been specifically invited to by the panel.

Proposals should be led and submitted by the fellowship candidate. The application should consist of a:

  • 3-side Case for Support
  • 2-side CV
  • 1-side Host Department Letter of Support

All documents should be written in font size 11 or above (Arial or Times New Roman) with 2cm margins all around.

The Case for Support (no more than 3 sides) should give details of the applicant’s name and host department, the start and end date, the project title, and the proposed mentor. It should also describe the background, aims and objectives, methodology and work plan for the project, and include a brief statement of the applicant’s career goals. It should also detail and justify all non-salary costs. Applicants are encouraged to consider the review criteria in preparing their proposal.

The Letter of Support (no more than one side) should be signed by the relevant Head of Department. As well as detailing the personal qualities of the applicant, it should detail the fit of the proposed project to the Department’s research strategy, and the support the candidate will receive if successful (including mentoring).

Proposals should be submitted to the Doctoral Training Manager, Miss Emma Grant via email (emma.grant[@]ucl.ac.uk) by 11.59pm on June 11th 2017

Applications will be considered by a small panel of academics, chaired by Professor Des McMorrow, Vice-Dean for Research, UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS). As part of the assessment, applicants will be asked to attend a short 15-minute interview during which they will also provide a 3-minute presentation about their proposed project. Interviews will be held at UCL on July 4th 2017 (exact location TBC). For external candidates, to minimise travel requirements, it will be possible to join this interview virtually (via Skype). Depending on demand, it may be necessary to pre-select a subset of candidates for interview based on the documents submitted.

The criteria used by the panel to select successful candidates will be as follows:

  • Track record of the applicant (in research as well as related duties such as supervision, teaching, public engagement, knowledge transfer, and so on);
  • Quality of the proposed project (including perceived novelty, planning and methodology);
  • Appropriateness of the resources;
  • Independence, leadership potential, and long-term career plans of the applicant.
  • Successful applicants will be granted up to one calendar year to commence their fellowships. Where there is a delay, awards will be reduced or withdrawn. 
  •  Successful applicants can commence the fellowship prior to their viva, however fellowships may be withdrawn should candidates fail the viva or receive substantial corrections
  • Successful applicants are expected to deliver outreach as part of their award
  • Successful applicant's project and personal details will be reported to EPSRC for monitoring purposes. 
  • On completion of their Fellowship, successful candidates will be asked to report on their Fellowship, including details of outputs, impact, benefits etc. which can be reported to EPSRC as required.

Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment - Heads of Department

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) Prof Andrew Hudson-Smith
Bartlett School of Environment, Energy, & Resources Prof Tadj Oreszczyn
Bartlett School of Architecture Prof Bob Sheil

 Faculty of Engineering - Heads of Department

Biochemical Engineering Prof Gary Lye
Chemical Engineering Prof Marc-Olivier Coppens
Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Prof Stuart Robson
Computer Science Prof John Shawe-Taylor
Electronic & Electrical Engineering Prof Sarah Spurgeon
Mechanical Engineering Prof Yiannis Ventikos
Medical Physics & Bioengineering Prof Jem Hebden
Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy Dr Jason Blackstock
Security & Crime Science Prof Richard Wortley

Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MAPS) - Heads of Department

Chemistry Prof Claire Carmalt
CoMPLEX Dr Guy Moss
Earth Sciences Prof Lars Stixrude
London Centre for Nanotechnology Prof Andrew Fisher
Mathematics Prof Robb McDonald
Physics & Astronomy Prof Jonathan Butterworth

The above list is not extensive and candidates can therefore approach Heads of Departments not listed if they so wish.

2016-2017

Dr Lai Li (Physics & Astronomy) The development of a prototype whispering gallery mode inertial sensor
Dr Gibril Kallon (Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering)  Fast and cost-effective x-ray phase contrast tomography for image guided therapy
Dr Ciarán Lee (Physics and Astronomy)  Perfectly secure communication over large scale quantum networks
Dr Bethan Morgan (School of Construction and Project Management (SCPM)) Value creation through technology in use:innovative applications of Building Information Modelling in the construction industry
Dr Gui Zhen Teoh (Surgery & Interventional Science) A 2-in-1 Scaffold-Bioreactor for Paediatric Airway Tissue Engineering
Dr Alexandra Young (CMIC/Computer Science) Data-driven screening tools for dementia

2015-2016

Dr Thomas Bartlett (Statistical Science) Modelling time-varying network structure, with genomics applications
Dr David Buckley (Chemistry) A Novel Solution-based Approach for the Incorporation of Carbon Nanotubes into Developing Technologies
Dr Andrada Ianus Savickas  (CMIC/Computer Science) Quantitative diffusion MRI for prostate cancer grading
Dr Simon Myerson (Mathematics) New applications of the circle method to Diophantine problems
Dr Aisling O'Kane (UCLIC) Empowering Adults to create bespoke T1 Diabetes self-care technology through community based knowledge transfer and DIY maker culture
Dr James Robinson (Chemical Engineering) Improving the understanding of Lithium ion battery safety and aging using a correlative metrological approach
Dr Gregorio Rodriguez (Biochemical Engineering) Engineering principles underpinning the large scale manufacture of cell-based therapies
Dr Edward Parsons (LCN) Nanoscale Self-Assembly to Combat Bacterial Infection
Dr William Peveler (Chemistry) Rapid point-of-care diagnostics for hepatic disease using fluorescent nanoparticle arrays
Dr Alaric Taylor (Chemistry) Low-cost, up-scalable strategies for nanostructuring functional materials via lithographic, nanosphere self-assembly
Dr Fabio Vittoria (Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering)  A novel approach to CT and mirco-CT for phase-based x-ray imaging  and beyond

2014-2015 

Dr Patrick Cullen (Chemical Engineering) Driving 2D nanomaterials into commercial electrochemical applications
Dr Aaron Eveleigh (Mechanical Engineering) A Novel Isotope Technique to Understand the Fundamental Chemistry of Pollutant Formation During Combustion
Dr Henry Lancashire (Institute for Orthopaedics) Engineering a multichannel interface with the peripheral nervous system
Dr Garyfalia Palaiologou (Bartlett School of Architecture) Delineating Historic Urban Landscapes
Dr Alice Pyne (LCN) Atomic Force Microscopy of DNA Minicircles: Biophysical Mechanisms by which Supercoiling Affects Gene Regulation

How do I apply?
I’ve not submitted my PhD yet, can I apply?
I’ve submitted the final version of my PhD, can I apply?
I’ve not studied my PhD at UCL, can I apply?
My PhD wasn’t funded by EPSRC, can I apply?
Can my co-supervisor be my mentor?
What is the role of the mentor?
I’m a current UCL student, should my mentor be from my current department?
Can my project include a collaboration with another Institute or Industry?
When will I hear if I have been invited to interview?
If I'm successful, how soon do I need to start?
Do I need to have completed my viva before I start the Fellowship?

For further information, please contact the BEAMS Doctoral Training Manager, Miss Emma Grant at emma.grant@ucl.ac.uk