UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


PhD in Machine Learning

We are looking for a motivated PhD student to work in the areas of machine learning and AI.

Title: A four year fully-funded (home rate) PhD in the field of Machine Learning at UCL

Project supervisor: Dr Ilija Bogunovic, Lecturer  / Professor Miguel Rodrigues

Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering / University College London

Start Date: March 1, 2022 (position may begin later in the summer based on agreement)

Closing Date: None (the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found)

How to apply: Applications must be made using the UCL online application system by using the UCL postgraduate study application form. Please mark it to the attention of Professor Miguel Rodrigues.

Please submit your CV, transcripts (both undergraduate and postgraduate), your latest thesis (and/or one of your publications if applicable), and a short (up to one page) cover letter explaining why you think you are a suitable candidate for this post. The short-listed candidates might be further required to provide contact info (no direct recommendation letters) for peers that can recommend them.

Description: The new research team led by Dr Ilija Bogunovic  at the Electronic and Electrical Engineering department is looking for a motivated PhD student to work in the areas of machine learning and AI. The student will work on algorithms, real-world applications, and/or theory of modern interactive learning systems, with research topics potentially including the following:

  • Learning and sequential decision making under uncertainty (e.g., reinforcement learning, Bayesian optimization, bandits, exploration problems),
  • Reliability, robustness, and sample-efficiency considerations in algorithmic data-driven decision making,
  • Multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) and games, 
  • Large-scale real-world experiment design and active learning.

What does the PhD project entail? The student will conduct research in the field of machine learning with the emphasis on modern algorithms and applications; write research papers, articles, and present results at leading international ML conferences, e.g., NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, AISTATS, UAI, etc.; collaborate with internal and international teams of research scientists. 

We offer close supervision on your research, access to international collaborations, the possibility to travel to international conferences to meet with distinguished ML scientists, and excellent working conditions. The student will work under the supervision of Dr Ilija Bogunovic, (12) and will join and collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers at UCL Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, located in central London.

What is covered by this studentship: A stipend (currently £17,609 pa) and fees at the home rate (currently £5,525 pa) for a period of 4 years. This studentship also covers the cost of consumables and travel expenses (£1,200 per year) to attend conferences during the same period. More details about the stipend and fees can be found here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/research-innovation-services/studentship-budgets-202122

Person specification: The candidate should meet the entry requirements detailed here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/research-degrees/electronic-and-electrical-engineering-mphil-phd for PhD programmes at UCL EEE.

They should have at least an upper second-class honours degree (2:1 or equivalent qualification) in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, or related fields. Additional requirements include an outstanding academic record and strong mathematical background. Experience with research is not required but is a plus. Also desirable: prior knowledge in machine learning, AI, optimization, or game theory. If you fit these specifications, like challenging tasks, and are passionate about research, then we would love to hear from you.

For inquiries about the position, please contact Dr Ilija Bogunovic ilijab@ethz.ch.

University College London (UCL) was founded in 1826 as the third university in England, after Oxford and Cambridge. UCL is the first university in England to admit students of any race, class or religion, and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men. UCL is organized into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centres. UCL has 983 professors and more than 7000 academic staffs who are dedicated to research and teaching of the highest standards. Its student community is almost 36,000, the largest in the UK. There are 29 Nobel Prize winners and three Fields medalists amongst UCL’s alumni and current and former staff. UCL is the top rated university in the UK for research excellence (REF2014). It has a strong tradition and large knowledge base in medical research with a dedicated institute on Healthcare Engineering and 10+ hospitals. UCL has world-class support for researchers and has been voted the best place for postdoctoral researchers to work for consecutive years by The Scientist magazine. The main campus of UCL is located in central London, close to British Museum, West-End and Thames River. 

The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL was established by Professor Sir Ambrose Fleming in 1885 and has a very strong research culture, state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities, and a very rich history of many fundamental research achievements in electronic and electrical engineering. The department has received top ratings in every UK research evaluation carried out to date. Further information regarding UCL may be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/. Information about the departments may be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/eee.


 1 Further information on I. Bogunovic's research interests can be found at: ilijabogunovic.com

2  Also, see the ICML RealML workshop https://realworldml.github.io/