Becoming a CDT NLP partner

Every industry partnership is tailor-made with options for the staff or students involved, IP licensing, and confidentiality depending on the project and level of funding. Some successful modes of collaboration are:

  • PhD studentships on a topic mutually agreed between a company and a supervisor, typically for a longer-term project.
  • Contract research for shorter-term projects involving new research.
  • Consultancy to bring existing research into your company or train staff.
  • Donations targeted at a project without IP licensing (but often open source), or to support students (eg student visa fees).
  • Internships by PhD students.
  • Guest lectures and seminars that get people interested in working on your problems.
  • Industry days to share practices, find collaborators, and recruit students.
  • Research visits where company staff embed in a research group to learn skills or advise on using the company’s technology, possibly on a part-time basis.

Packages for PhD studentships
In the UK, the cost of a PhD studentship depends on the residency of the student. We attract applications from all over the world but government funding is mostly limited to UK-resident students. Hence overseas studentships provide the largest pool of candidates that could not otherwise be admitted.

Sponsor Level Student Residency Topic Total Cost over Four Years* Included IP Licence
Gold Overseas Agree with Supervisor £176,291 Unlimited non-exclusive
Silver UK/EU Agree with Supervisor £95,213 Internal R&D non-exclusive
Bronze: 50% studentship UK Partially relevant; other 50% funding must be approved by CDT management £47,606 Internal R&D non-exclusive
All packages can be negotiated, including embedded internships, changes to licensing, and level of company involvement in the projects. PhD studentships run for 4 years and start in September. The costs are based on a 2020 start.

Below £47,606, we recommend a donation. Donations involve a one-page letter from the company and can be targeted towards a supervisor, a particular project, or CDT-wide events and projects.

*Subject to inflation

To explore possible connections with the Centre, please direct enquiries to the CDT's External Engagement Manager Ken Scott ( who will help align your needs with the best collaboration option(s).