Doctoral Studentships

Turing doctoral students viewing an Enigma machine on a recent trip to Bletchley Park.

Turing doctoral students viewing an Enigma machine on a recent trip to Bletchley Park.

Application for the 2017 round of Turing doctoral studentships has now closed.

If you have applied for a 2017 studentship, please refer to the application process for details of interview and offer timings.

If you are interested in applying to spend a year at the Institute via our Enrichment Scheme, application for ‘enrichment year’ places will be available in early 2017.

Further information

The Alan Turing Institute is a joint venture between the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, University College London, Warwick, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Our doctoral studentship scheme leverages the strengths and expertise of these partners while harnessing the Turing’s unique convening power as the UK’s national institute for data science, to foster and develop exciting interdisciplinary engagement with the wider data science community and the world at large.

Studying at the Alan Turing Institute offers students a unique opportunity to undertake a data science focused PhD in a multidisciplinary environment, where over 100 experts from different research disciplines core to data science work side-by-side to solve problems, generate ideas and transform research into real-world impact.

Mathematics, statistics and computing underpin much of the Turing’s research, and because the Institute simultaneously aspires to serve society’s needs, engineering, social sciences, ethics and design are also included in the research fabric.

Our Turing doctoral students are predominantly based at the Institute headquarters at the British Library in the heart of London’s vibrant Knowledge Quarter. They also register for their doctorate at one of our university partner institutions where they will spend up to 30 weeks/ 3 terms (primarily after their first year), over the course of their PhD. Students will be supervised by faculty from our partner universities who are also fellows of the Institute or substantively engaged with us.

Students will also benefit from access to a broad range of training opportunities (see below), internships and networking opportunities through the Institute, university and strategic partners.

Studentships include a generous tax-free stipend of £20,500 per annum, a travel allowance and tuition fees for a period of up to 3.5 years.

Informal enquiries about studentships may be made to

What to expect as a Turing doctoral student

Given the breadth of this rapidly emerging field and our drive to train future leaders in research, government, business and industry, students will be engaged with Turing-led training in topics central to data science, for example machine learning, visualisation and programming tools and techniques. The Masterclass schedule for 2016 demonstrates the range of topics which may be covered (the programme is subject to change for 2017).

The Institute will also run a wide range of other activities including transferable skills training covering topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, intellectual property and careers events, Turing Lectures given by field leaders in research, government and industry, seminars, reading groups and workshops.
Doctoral students will be guided through the various stages of their PhD by their individual supervisor, whose primary role will be to help shape and support the student’s research project and ensure that they are making good progress. Supervisors will also introduce students to their department, its facilities and procedures, faculty and other students as well as discuss and support their training needs. In discussion with their primary supervisor, students may also be allocated a second supervisor by their admitting university. In addition to the support provided by their supervisor(s) and the Institute’s Training Team a pool of Graduate Tutors is available at the Institute to offer guidance and advice.

Candidates who are invited to interview will have the opportunity to meet other Turing doctoral students, and find out what it is like to undertake their PhD at a research institute.

Studentship eligibility

At least 15 studentships will be available for October 2017 entry and are open to home/EU and international students. Studentships include a generous tax-free stipend of £20,500 per annum, a travel allowance and tuition fees (home/EU rate) for a period of 3.5 years. A limited number of studentships include fully funded international tuition fees or a partial contribution towards international tuition fees. Additional studentships may be available through our Strategic Partners – the Lloyds’ Register Foundation (LRF), Intel and UK Government – Defence & Security with projects aligned to our strategic priorities.

The Institute welcomes highly talented and motivated graduates who are significantly engaged in any of the following academic disciplines core to data science, especially those whose research spans multiple disciplines and applications:

· Algorithms

· Applications of Data Science

· Architectures

· Data-Centric Engineering

· Digital Humanities

· Distributed Systems

· Ethics for Data Science

· Logic

· Machine Learning

· Networks

· Numerical Methods and Optimization

· Privacy and Security

· Pure and Applied Mathematics

· Social Data Science

· Statistical Theory

· Statistical Methodology

· Systems

The Institute will look to award studentships across a wide range of disciplines across our five university partners.

Studentship award criteria:

  • Candidates must hold or expect to hold a UK first or upper second class honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in a discipline relevant to data science.
  • Candidates will normally have relevant research experience gained through their Bachelor’s degree course, a Masters or work experience.
  • At least two satisfactory academic or relevant work placement/employment references.
  • Successful admission to one of our partner universities*
  • Students in receipt of a studentship offer will need to provide acceptable proof of legal right to study in the UK and satisfy the current requirements of UK Visa and Immigration, and satisfactorily pass the Institute’s security screening process.


* Students awarded a Turing studentship will apply to register at one of our partner universities, normally the department of their primary supervisor. Students will be expected to meet the admissions, progression and training requirements of that department and university.

Candidates must also meet the entry requirements, including English language requirements, of the university department with which they will apply to register with and it is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the relevant requirements. Please note, university entry requirements may be higher than the studentship award criteria. The offer of a Turing studentship does not automatically confer an offer by the partner university, whose application process must be followed in full.

How to apply for a Turing doctoral studentship

UPDATE: Applications are now closed for 2017 Doctoral Studentships

  1. Overview: An overview of the application process can be found here. All candidates should read this document before making an application and make a note of the key dates.
  2. Selecting a supervisor: Candidates should review the list of approved 2017 Turing doctoral supervisors and select up to four they are interested in studying with.
  3. Engage with university admissions requirements: Candidates should check the departmental entry requirements of each supervisor they have selected. They should also check the university admission deadlines; in some cases, the admission deadline may fall before the outcome of the studentship award is known and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure they have applied to the university/department appropriately. The Turing is not able to cover the cost of university applications.
  4. Make a studentship application: Candidates should use the Turing’s online application form and submit their application no later than 23:59 GMT Thursday 1st December 2016. Applications received after this time will not normally be accepted.
  5. References: Following receipt of the application the candidate’s referees will be contacted by email within 7 days and asked to supply a reference. Candidates are advised to contact their referee before naming them on the application form. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that their referees submit references for them. The deadline for reference submission is 12 Noon GMT Thursday 8th December 2016. Applications may still be considered if not all references are in place at this time, however candidates will not be shortlisted for consideration by the Institute’s review panel unless at least two references are in place. NOTE: referees will only have a short time to return references if the application is submitted on the deadline. The university application will also require references and the candidate is permitted to use the same referees.

Doctoral Studentship Application Now Closed

Contact us

Questions about doctoral studentships at The Alan Turing Institute should be sent to: