Opportunities / Wednesday, 24 January, 2018

Call for ESRC/Turing Doctoral Studentship applications

The Alan Turing Institute and The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are seeking to recruit four doctoral students to work on PhD projects in the priority areas of smart cities and health and well-being.

Studying at the Turing offers a unique opportunity to undertake a data science-focused PhD in a multidisciplinary environment, where over 150 experts work side-by-side, in a range of disciplines, to solve problems, generate ideas and transform research into real-world impact.

The students will be supervised by ESRC/Turing fellows who have each been granted fellowships to drive the development and application of data science. The Fellow will act as the primary supervisor, helping in particular to develop the quantitative and data science skills of the students.

Students will spend the majority of the programme at The Alan Turing Institute in its headquarters at the British Library in the heart of London’s vibrant Knowledge Quarter. Students will be registered at either the Department of Economics, Birmingham Business School (University of Birmingham) or the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, (University of Leeds), depending on the project, and will have the additional opportunity to complete the training and development requirements of those programmes.

University of Birmingham: £20,500 per year during the Doctoral portion of the project (subject to annual increases) for 3.5 years.*

University of Leeds: £14,777 for 2018-2019, followed by £14,777 rising to £20,500 for the remaining 3.5 years (this is subject to annual increases and dependant on where the student spends the majority of their time).

The student will be reimbursed by the Turing for travel and subsistence to conferences and meetings up to the value of £2,000 pa during the Doctoral portion of the project.

The student will be able to claim a fixed allowance for travel and accommodation in relation to visiting their home University.

*Students who are required to undertake the Masters in Social Science Research at the University of Birmingham will be provided with an extra year’s funding prior to commencing the PhD at the standard RCUK stipend rate (£14,777 for 2018/19).


  • First or upper second class level honours degree or MRes from a UK academic research organisation*
  • Two satisfactory academic or relevant work placement/employment references
  • 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

* Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.

Residential conditions

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must:

  • have settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay
  • have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)
  • not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK and EU nationals.


Projects based at the Department of Economics, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham
Supervised by Ganna Pogrebna, ESRC/Turing Fellow, University of Birmingham)

Project 1: Nudging and Behavioural Machine Learning: Implications for Urban Wellbeing
Project 2: Optimising Urban Environments Using Insights from Behavioural Machine Learning

For further information on Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) click here

Projects based at Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, University of Leeds
Supervised by Professor Alison Heppenstall (ESRC/Turing Fellow, University of Leeds)

Project 3: Uncovering hidden patterns and processes in social systems
Project 4: Understanding the inner-workings of city-level agent-based models

For further information on the structure of these projects click here


Application deadline: 12:00 GMT 19 February 2018 (this is 12 noon UK time)

Remote interview: the ESRC/Turing Fellows will organise a call to interview the most suitable candidates between 20 – 25 February 2018.

Interview days: Tuesday 27 February and Wednesday 28 February 2018 at the Turing headquarters. You must be available for both of these days but will only need to attend one.

Apply Now

Questions can be directed to the Researcher Development and Training team: doctoral-scheme@turing.ac.uk