Apply

Our next application round will be for September 2021 entry. Application deadlines will be posted here later in the summer.

A wide range of research topics fall within the remit of the CDT:

  • Natural language processing and computational linguistics
  • Speech technology
  • Dialogue, multimodal interaction, language and vision
  • Information retrieval and visualization, computational social science
  • Computational models of human cognition and behavior, including language and speech processing
  • Human-Computer interaction, design informatics, assistive and educational technology
  • Psycholinguistics, language acquisition, language evolution, language variation and change
  • Linguistic foundations of language and speech processing

Approximately a dozen studentships are available each year, covering both maintenance at the research council rate (currently £15,285 per year) and tuition fees. Studentships are currently available for UK, EU, and non-EU nationals. Applicants must satisfy the university's English language requirements.

Applicants should have an undergraduate or master's degree in computer science, linguistics, cognitive science, AI, or a related discipline. We particularly encourage applications from women and members of minority groups that are underrepresented in technology.

Frequently asked questions

When is the deadline?
The deadlines for September 2021 entry will likely be:
Non EU/UK - November 2020
EU/UK - January 2021.
Can I email my application materials to you?
We cannot evaluate applications sent over email. Please apply using the instructions below.
How do I apply?
To apply, use the link below.
Do I need to name a supervisor?
You are encouraged to list a specific supervisor or supervisors if you know who you want to work with, but this is not required. We will match applications to the most likely supervisors based on the content of your research proposal.
I haven't contacted any possible supervisors yet, can I get to communicate now ? If yes, where should I start.
Please look at the individual supervisors page.
How should I prepare for and approach interviews with potential supervisors?
The main question that both you and your potential supervisor want to answer in interviews is whether you want to work together for four years. Ask your potential supervisor what they are looking for in students, but also ask yourself what you are looking for in a supervisor, and prepare accordingly.
What start date should I choose?
Please specify a start date of September.
What should I include in my application?
Please include a curriculum vitae at the end of your research proposal. The application portal will require you to provide the proposal, along with transcripts and contacts for two referees.
What should I put in the research proposal?
The research proposal is not binding, but will give us a useful impression of your background, interests and ideas. We understand that you may not have written a proposal before, and that it can be difficult to formulate research plans well in advance of carrying out the work, but we encourage you to think through it carefully and make as clear a case as possible. The proposal is very important in assessing your application, and we will be looking at it for evidence that you have an appropriate background knowledge for the topic area and your own ideas about how research on that topic should best be taken forward. If you have not yet decided on a precise area of study, please tell us about areas relevant to the CDT that you find most interesting and why, in as much detail as possible. The proposal should be 2-4 pages. Further guidance is available from the university.
What do you look for in strong applicants?
A PhD is a research degree, so we look for applicants with strong research potential, which can be demonstrated in many different ways. Your application should highlight your unique skills, independence, and the ways in which you’ve made the most of the opportunities available to you.
Can I apply to multiple programmes simultaneously?
Yes, however you will need to file separate applications. You are free to use the same proposal if it is relevant to each programme.
Do I need to make a separate application for funding for this programme?
No. When you apply for the CDT in NLP you are automatically applying for a fully funded studentship. However, if you have funding already (eg government or industry sponsorship), you should state this clearly on your application.
Would a Masters programme make me a more eligible applicant for the doctoral programme?
A master’s degree is not required for entry and many students on the programme do not have one.
Will there be any opportunities during the CDT to do a summer internship at an industry research lab?
Many of our students are offered opportunities to do internships at industry research labs; often this is usually arranged directly between the student and lab. We cannot guarantee placements.

Please direct inquiries to the CDT applications team at cdt-nlp-info@inf.ed.ac.uk.

Apply for the CDT