PhD Research

The starting point is to identify a member of academic staff whose research interests are related to yours. You can find about more about our academic staff on our ‘people pages’.You should send them an email containing:

1.  A clear statement that you are interested in studying for a PhD, including when you hope to start, and how you’re hoping to fund the research.

2.  An outline of your research question, and the methods of investigation you think appropriate to carry it out.

3.  A brief CV.

4. Any questions you might have about doing a PhD in UCLIC.

Our academic staff welcome approaches like this. UCL has produced a guide to help applicants with choosing a suitable supervisor, contacting academic staff and with producing a good research proposal.  You can download it here. The potential supervisor may give you feedback to help you better frame your personal statement prior to you applying formally to UCL.

Students in a meeting

Before making an application, you should also meet the eligibility requirements as below. You should:

  • Have or expect to have a relevant first degree or Master's degree of 1st class or 2.1 standard in UK system, or equivalent for overseas degrees. You can check equivalent qualifications by country on the International Students pages.
  • Have a commitment to and demonstrated ability in research. Often your previous experience and performance, such as in an undergraduate or a Master's research project, will show whether research is right for you and you are right for research.
  • Applicants with other qualifications and sufficient relevant experience and background knowledge may be considered.
  • Overseas applicants also need to satisfy the English Language requirement. Please see the guide for more information.
Student wearing testing kit Building interactive floor

How to apply

Because UCLIC is an interfaculty centre, some of our research students are registered in Computer Science and some through Psychology and Language Sciences. There is more information about the structure of the MPhil/PhD programme for potential Psychology students on the PALS pages and for potential Computer Science students on the CS pages. There is little difference between these programmes, except in training requirements at different stages of the programmes.

In deciding which department to formally apply through (you specify this in a box on the first page of the application form), you should take the following into account: your own academic background and research proposal might mean that you 'fit' more naturally into one department than the other. To apply through Psychology, you must use the online UCL system. To apply through Computer Science, you must apply through a separate system through their website.

Psychology students all start at the beginning of the academic year; Computer Science prefer students to start then, but will accept new students at other times of the year.

Computer Science students have regular research workshops, but no formal courses. Psychology students must complete the Statistics OR Qualitative Methods and 2 modules from one of the MSc courses in Psychology or Computert Science, but we do encourage those registered in Computer Science to undertake these courses as well. All students must present their work (as a poster or talk) in the PhD Showcase Day. [Note: all UCLIC students are welcome to participate in courses in the 'other' department, as well as ones offered by the Graduate School and externally, but are only required to take those in their parent department.]

Research on department socilability

Please note that the Personal statement/Research Proposal is an extremely important part of your application.  It should be 1-2 pages in length.  It should clearly state the research question, and its importance.  It should state the approach to be applied in the research.  Logical thinking, clear design of research studies, and relevant methodological knowledge are all key parts of a good research proposal.  Where appropriate, the research proposal should explain how initial studies will lead on to further questions and studies in a coherent progression.  The research proposal should be your own work. You should also give any details on why you think you are particularly suited for your chosen area of research. PLease check out the UCL graduate degrees pages, where hopefully most of your questions should be answered, but please don't hestitate to contact us if you have any other queries.

Please email our postgraduate administrator, Louise Gaynor, when you have submitted your application so that we are aware of your application - this must include your full name and the reference number supplied to you in the confirmation email from Admissions.

Another point to note is that we never make offers of places without receiving an official application and conducting a formal interview (which will involve the UCLIC postgraduate tutor, Dr Paul Marshall, or equivalent from the relevant parent department). This holds however urgently you need a letter of support to submit with a funding application. Sorry!

You must apply to UCL formally online if applying through Psychology and through Computer Science system if applying through this dept. For applicants wishing to be considered for UCL scholarships (expected start: September 2015), the closing dates for applications are:

30th November 2015 - via Psychology and Life Sciences

Applicants seeking other sources of funding, applying for studentships or who have their own funding can apply outside these deadlines, but ideally before:

4th January 2016 - via Computer Science - see http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/degrees/phd_programme/applying/ for more info.

OR no later than

30th June 2016 - via Psychology and Life Sciences

Please note that applications to be considered for the above funding streams will ONLY be accepted before the earlier deadlines.

Occasionally there may be funded studentships advertised that have their own deadlines. Applicants normally apply for such funded studentships to the department directly using a specialised form, which is accessible from the advert or on our home page. Please check regularly on our Opportunities pages (also see next tab) if you are interested in applying for one of these. Successful candidate(s) going through Psychology then apply formally to UCL using the online system as above. All applications going through Computer Science must be through their PRISM system.

All other applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible, especially if you wish to be considered for other funding.  Late applications have very little chance of getting funding from departmental or central college sources.

Overseas students must also notify us of any external funding or visa deadlines when applying so we can take these into account.

Student building a prototype

  • We are recruiting to 2 PhD studentships at the UCL Interaction Centre!

    The first project is on ‘Online support for self-testing and early stages of care for HIV’ and the supervisory team are Prof. Ann Blandford, Prof. Rachel McKendry, Dr Pam Sonnenberg and Dr Jo Gibbs. Novel HIV diagnostic tests combined with advances in digital health provide new opportunities for people to self-sample, self-test, receive a diagnosis and be managed online without accessing traditional health care services. Early studies with users and potential users suggest that HIV self-testing could have considerable public health benefits by increasing access to testing to those at high risk and reducing barriers to testing in some of the estimated 25,000 people in England who are HIV positive but unaware of their diagnosis. However, there are many unanswered questions and design opportunities for future online support for self-testing and, where needed, subsequent engagement with healthcare services. Please see more information and how to apply through the PRISM system at https://www.prism.ucl.ac.uk/#!/?project=169. The deadline for applications is 4 April 2016.

  • We are also inviting applications for a Funded PhD Studentship on HCI in the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC), funded by an EPSRC DTP grant for up to 4 years from October 2016. The PhD project can be on any area of Human Computer Interaction, although it is anticipated that the student will contribute to one of UCLIC's existing research themes: interactions in the wild, collaboration and communication, physical computing, ubiquitous computing, health and wellbeing, affective computing, persuasive technologies, educational technologies, designing future interfaces. Details of faculty research interests can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/uclic/people. Interested candidates are advised to approach potential supervisors to discuss project ideas before applying. The deadline for applciations is 15th June 2016 and interviews will be around 27th June 2016. Please see more information about the position and how to apply on PRISM.
  • There is also a Funded Studentship available in the UCL School of Pharmacy on Hospital electronic prescribing as a transformational tool to support quality improvement - Prof. Ann Blandford and Dr Dom Furniss are on the supervison team. The deadline is MOn 23 May 2016 - please see more information at the advert.
  • If you are interested in the design of security systems from a user-centred perspective, you may apply for a studentship in SECReT, the national centre for PhD training in security and crime science, with a view to being supervised by a member of UCLIC staff. You should discuss your application with a member of UCLIC staff. Note deadlines and eligibility criteria on the SECReT website.
  • If you are interested in user-centred design for financial systems, you may apply for a studentship in the UK PhD Centre in Financial Computing. Again, you may discuss being supervised by a member of UCLIC staff, and should discuss your application before you submit it. You should note application deadlines and eligibility criteria on the FC website.
  • If your interest is in Virtual Environments, you may apply for an Engineering Doctorate in Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation. EngDs involve an industrial supervisor; we will work with you to identify a suitable organisation and develop your research proposal. You should note application deadlines and eligibility criteria on the EngD website.
  • When there are not specific funding opportunities, we will work with well qualified students to identify possible sources of funding. Most of these are highly competitive, and require application by the end of the calendar year prior to admission. For these opportunities, it is necessary to apply and be interviewed and offered a place before applications for funding can be made, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible if you wish to pursue this possibility. There is information about some of the possible sources of support on the Registry site, and for overseas students there are often sources of funding from the home country.
Student at conference

Our current students are listed on the “people” page. Since UCLIC was founded in 2001, the following PhD students have successfully graduated:

  • Simon Li moved to a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Centre for Health Informatics, University of New South Wales, Australia.
  • Suziah Sulaiman returned to the University of Petronas, Malaysia, as a Senior Lecturer.
  • Brock Craft moved to a post-doctoral position at the London Knowledge Lab.
  • Dominic Furniss had a short post-doctoral position at IFE Halden (Norway) then returned to UCLIC as a post-doctoral researcher on the CHI+MED project.
  • Sarah Faisal  is currently a visiting research associate.
  • Stephann Makri returned to UCLIC as a post-doctoral researcher working on the Serena project and is now a lecturer at City University in London.
  • Eduardo Calvillo-Gamez returned to a lectureship at the Universidad Politécnica de San Luis Potosí.
  • Charlene Jennett stayed at UCL, working with Professor Angela Sasse as a post-doctoral researcher and then returned to UCLIC to work as a post-doc on the Citizen Cyberlab project.
  • Andrea Kleinsmith moved to a post-doctoral position at Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Maartje Ament went on to study medicine at Imperial College, London.
  • Stephen Hassard is currently splitting his time between his teaching duties at the University of Winnipeg and his job as the Research Co-ordinator for New Media Manitoba.
  • Abdi Diriye moved to the HCI institute of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, US as a post-doctoral researcher.
  • Chris Janssen interned at Microsoft Research after graduation and then received a personal fellowship for a post-doc position at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, USA.
  • Amir Kamsin returned to Malaysia to continue his previous job lecturing in the University of Malaya.
  • Rose Johnson and Bernardino Romera-Paredes both recently completed their PhDs at UCLIC.
Music jacket for training violinists

Page last modified on 03 may 13 12:53 by Louise M F Gaynor