What is a CDT?
CDT stands for Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) and is one of the approaches used by Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to fund and train doctoral students across the UK and Northern Ireland. CDTs focus on cohort-based learning experiences and skills training to develop a future academic or industry career. They are funded by research councils which fall under the umbrella of UK Research and Innovation. lifETIME CDT is funded by EPSRC , SFI, universities, Animal Free Research UK, NHS and industry partners with 84 fully fund PhD studentships cross five intakes.
LifETME CDT is a multidisciplinary centre that spans across University of Glasgow, University of Birmingham, Aston University and NUI Galway. The program advocates for new ways of performing research, focusing on developing animal free technologies for drug discovery, toxicology screening and regenerative medicine. PhD projects are focused on the development of bioengineered humanised 3D models, microfluidics, diagnostics, and sensing platforms.
What funding and benefits do students receive in lifETIME CDT?
EPSRC-funded students receive a yearly stipend of £17,668* and each student is supplied with a laptop and accessories to use during their studies.
Each year, UKRI usually increases its fee and stipend levels in line with inflation, based on the Treasury GDP deflator. Minimum fees recommended by UKRI are adopted as the University of Glasgow Home-level tuition fee for postgraduate researchers on most doctoral programmes. The UKRI minimum stipend level is often used as a guide for other funders.
*The stipend rate for 22/23 reflects the uplifted amount agreed by UKRI. Rates for subsequent years and the rate of increase are unconfirmed. What is shown has only a 2% p.a. increase applied. This previously was the norm and enabled estimated calculations. As more information emerges, these figures will be updated.
What is a Stipend payment? Do I have to pay this ?
A stipend is a tax-free and fixed amount of money that is provided to cover your living costs and the basic expenses associated with study. It is not a loan, so you are not required to pay this back.
Can EU students still receive funding after Brexit (31st December 2020)?
EU students who have pre-settled status (three years residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland) or settled status (five years residency in the UK) by 31st December 2020 are considered Home students, and are eligible for full funding in 2023/24 (as long as their UK residency continues to the commencement of the studentship).
EU students that do not have pre-settled or settled status in the UK, or are entering the UK in 2022 to begin their doctoral studies will have to apply as International students with the appropriate visa.
Can international students receive funding?
Yes – Applicants with passports outside the UK/EU/EEA/Switzerland can still be classed as Home students if they are residents in the UK with “indefinite leave to enter/remain”.
Applicants that do not fit these residency requirements are classed as International students. There are a small number of highly competitive studentships available to international candidates for 2023/24 at the University of Glasgow and University of Birmingham. This international studentship provides a monthly stipend and covers the annual international tuition fees. International applicants with external funding (e.g. self-funded or other scholarships) can apply for a place with lifETIME CDT, if they can cover their living expenses and tuition fees (approx. £23,950 pa). We would encourage applicants to check scholarships available at their desired institution.
University of Glasgow – https://www.gla.ac.uk/scholarships/
University of Birmingham – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/funding/postgraduate/index.aspx
Aston University – https://www.aston.ac.uk/international/scholarships
International candidates whose first language is not English must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language with IELTS certification or equivalent. ATAS clearance is also required following acceptance of a conditional offer. Information on visa requirements can be fund here.
When do I choose a supervisor or project?
When you apply for lifETIME CDT we ask that you choose your top three projects and state these in your Cover Letter. We cannot always guarantee your 1st choice if you are successful, which is why we like applicants to have other options. Projects for 2023/24 will be advertised from end of November/early December 2022. If you have submitted your application, please update the application with a new cover letter stating your project preferences.
The application is asking for a supervisor and thesis title/summary, what should I write?
For lifETIME applications, please put your first project choice. Cite the supervisor and exact title of the project in your application. Please include a project description taken from the advertised position on the website.
Please remember to list your top three choices in the cover letter.
Do we have to write a research proposal for the project(s) we apply to?
You do not need to write a research proposal for your project choice(s). Please see our section about Cover Letters for more information on what you should talk about regarding your project choice(s).
How do I submit a reference to my application?
During your online application, you will be asked to supply the name and email addresses of two referees. They will receive an automated email asking them to follow online instructions to submit their references directly to the University of Glasgow’s online admissions system.
If the referees fail to respond to this email, you can follow the steps below.
There are two ways that references can be submitted to your application:
- Uploaded by the applicant as a PDF
- By email from the referee directly
Now that your online application has been submitted, you have the following options to ensure your references are included:
- Contact your referee for the reference and upload it yourself as a PDF by logging into the Applicant Self Service Area
- Contact your referee and encourage them to respond to the link in the email sent to them by UofG Admissions in order to submit a reference confidentially
- If your referee has not received the email from UofG Admissions but would like to submit confidentially, please ask them to forward the reference to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and application number clearly stated
How will I know if I am successful or not?
After the application deadline (31st January 2023), all applications to lifETIME will be downloaded and prepared for the review panel who will assess the applications and choose which candidates will be invited to interview, due to take place in March 2023. Interview invitations will be sent by email and the interviews will take place either in person or online via Zoom (for international applicants based outside the UK only). Successful applicants will be informed via email after the interviews if they have been offered a funded position at lifETIME CDT.
What do I need to include in the cover letter? Who do we address it to?
The cover letter should be addressed to lifETIME CDT. Please include evidence of your interest in the lifETIME CDT and your future aspirations. Please also state your preferred university and top three project choices if projects are available at the time of application.
Do I get a chance to work in an industry while doing PhD?
For students based at UK institutions (Aston, Birmingham, Glasgow), lifETIME CDT provides opportunities to gain experience of working in research, business development, regulation, communication, fundraising, GMP etc internationally and within the UK. . Placements will normally commence in year three of the CDT programme with a typical duration of approximately three months. All placements should be discussed and agreed with your supervisor.
I have more questions, who can I contact?
You can contact us using the Contact Us form – https://lifetime-cdt.org/about-us/contact-us/
or email us at email@example.com
We look forward to hearing from you!