UCL Centre for Digital Innovation


Scholarships and research

The UCL Centre for Digital Innovation powered by AWS invites applications for Doctoral Studentships in Digital Innovation via an open competition. Entry year 2022/23, closing date for applications midday (BST) Friday 3rd June 2022.

About the AWS Doctoral Scholarship in Digital Innovation

The UCL Centre for Digital Innovation 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. Recipients are encouraged to publish outcomes and commit related digital assets to open-source repositories. Recipients are assigned an Amazon 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 being successful can be found below.


Nominations for the scholarships will be submitted by faculty members. Only one nomination is allowed per faculty member 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.


Studentships will provide up to two years fees (open to UK and Overseas fees status) and maintenance stipend (for eligible students) at the UCL rate (£18,609 in 2020/21, rises with inflation each year). Studentships are automatically renewed for a second year provided that sufficient academic progress is made. 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.

Application form

Please email scholarships-cdi@ucl.ac.uk to express your interest and you will receive the application form and application instructions.

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. The proposed project supervisors must agree to support your application. 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 with the 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 or 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 through such studentships will be shared publicly and not exclusively with AWS, and AWS cannot influence the topic or direction of the studentship projects.

Application 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 studentship offers will be made within 1 week of interview. Unsuccessful candidates will be emailed within 1 month of the interview.

ED&I Data collection

ED&I data, in this context, means all protected characteristics under the equalities act.

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

ED&I data will be extracted and analysed after recruitment is closed.

ED&I 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.

ED&I 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 ED&I policies and processes.

UCL CDI application email

Please send your completed application form – submitted in PDF format – to scholarships-cdi@ucl.ac.uk with 'AWS Doctoral Scholarship in Digital Innovation application' as the subject. Please also send any queries to this email address. 

Closing date

Midday, Monday 13th June 2022.