UCL Centre for Digital Innovation


AWS Scholarships

Applications for the AWS Doctoral Scholarship in Digital Innovation for entry year 2023/24, have now closed. The next call for applications will open in September 2024, please register your interest below.

About the AWS Doctoral Scholarship in Digital Innovation 

The UCL Centre for Digital Innovation (UCL CDI) has been awarded an unrestricted donation from AWS to support Doctoral Scholarships aligned with the mission of the Centre: to develop solutions to complex problems facing higher education and healthcare organizations through the application of innovative digital technologies. 

The AWS Doctoral Scholarship in Digital Innovation is intended to support excellent PhD students regardless of their chosen faculty. 

Awards are structured as unrestricted gifts to UCL and as such, Amazon retains no intellectual property rights to the resulting work of the awarded students. Recipients are encouraged to publish outcomes and commit related digital assets to open-source repositories. Recipients are assigned a technical contact who offers consultation and advice along with opportunities to participate in Amazon events and training sessions. 

The UCL CDI is committed to fair and transparent allocation of these funds and information to empower applicants to be successful can be found below. 

Register your interest


Applications for the scholarships must be supported by the student’s supervisor. Only one application is allowed per supervisor per academic year. 

Eligible students must already be enrolled in a Doctoral programme at UCL.  

Alignment with one of UCL’s CDTs (Centres for Doctoral Training) is preferred but not necessary. 


This Scholarship will provide a 1-year award of £20,000 for full-time / £10,000 for part-time.  This can be used as either a contribution to tuition fees or as a student stipend; where fees are less than the award, the remaining award will be paid as a maintenance stipend.  For students who receive funding or scholarships from other sources, this amount can only be paid as a stipend. 

The award is made for one year.  Subject to a supporting statement from the student’s supervisor, awarded applications will automatically be entered into the selection process to the programme for a second academic year. Automatic re-application will be reviewed against all submitted applications and does not guarantee an award will be granted.   Each applicant will only be eligible for a maximum of two awards under this programme. 

Students may also receive in-kind funding from AWS in the format of AWS cloud credits to be used to conduct experiments or develop digital solutions supporting their PhD workplan (credit usage is the responsibility of the student and any spend over the allocated credits will not be covered by the centre or AWS). 

Project eligibility 

The research projects must demonstrate potential for societal impact, and be aligned with a challenge broadly related to the following areas: 

  • Data and Information Engineering
  • Digital Innovation
  • Digital Health
  • Digital Education 

The project could be based in any UCL department and faculty.  Applicants can be enrolled in MRes/PhD, MPhil/PhD, or EngD programmes.

Eligible applications are anonymised by the UCL CDI management team, who are not involved in the selection process. This means that any information on protected characteristics is removed before applications are provided to the selection panel for shortlisting. 

Selection panel 

The selection panel will be made up of a diverse group of academics covering the areas of research aligned with the UCL CDI mission. The Selection panel is Chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof Nigel Titchener-Hooker. 

The selection panel will review applications on the basis of academic merit, research experience and motivation to produce impact in the domains of either Healthcare or Education through the use of digital technologies and data systems.  On this basis, it will make a shortlist of candidates for interview. Decision of the final Scholarships’ offers will be made by the Selection panel and communicated to the UCL CDI Director who will liaise with all applicants. 

For the avoidance of doubt, AWS will not participate in the selection process. The outputs will be shared publicly and not exclusively with AWS, and AWS cannot influence the topic or direction of the awarded projects. 

Feedback and offers  

Feedback will be provided to all applicants within one month of application. Invitation to an informal interview with the selection panel will be made by email to the top performing candidates and scholarship offers will be made within 1 week of interview. Unsuccessful candidates will be emailed within 1 month of the interview. 

EDI Data collection 

EDI data, in this context, means all protected characteristics under the equalities act. 

EDI data is collected for reporting and analysis. We will make every effort to work towards each year group being gender-balanced and supporting BAME representation. Analysing the data will guide a continuous review of our processes to reach this goal. 

EDI data will be extracted and analysed after recruitment is closed. 

EDI data will be stored and subsequently deleted in accordance with GDPR regulations: Applications will be stored for a maximum of 12 months and deleted at the start of the next academic year. 

EDI data will be maintained anonymously, and at no point will any data be published which could allow any individual to be identified. Anonymised EDI recruitment data will be kept throughout the UCL CDI programme to analyse the effectiveness of our EDI policies and processes. 

Closing date 

Applications for Academic Year 23/24 have now closed.