Department of Informatics

Application advice

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research courses within Informatics, please use the University of Sussex online postgraduate application system

Application types

There are three types of application:

  • Advertised Scholarship for a funded research project  - Ocassionally there are studentships associated with a specific research project that is funded, for example by a Research Council. The topic of the research will be determined by the nature of the project. Such studentships are typically advertised on www.jobs.ac.uk and on specialist email lists in the area of research. Check on the advert if there is a separate application form required in addition to your online application.
  • School Postgraduate Research Scholarship - These are advertised on the University Funding Database and the department's funding page. The applicant may choose a topic specfic project or propose their own research proposal as you would in a Standard Application. Note: in the funding section of your online application that you wish to be considered for this Scholarship, there may be further requirements on the advert.
  • Standard application - These are applications from students who have an interest in a particular area or specific topic. Finding a potential supervisor and writing a research proposal are key parts of the application process.

Potential supervisor

You may try to identify a potential supervisor as part of the application process. Please browse the personal web pages of members of faculty for information about their research interests, the web pages of the research group to which they belong, and see also the list of example projects. It is a good idea to read some of the publications of potential supervisors to see whether their research captures your interest and whether your topic may be relevant to them. You are welcome to contact potential supervisors to discuss your research topic by sending them your research proposal (but be selective — you are unlikely to get any reply if you send a general statement of interests to all Informatics faculty). A potential supervisor may provide advice on how to improve the proposal. There is a space on the University application form to identify a potential supervisor with whom you have discussed your application.

If you are not sure to whom to send your proposal, you may send it to the Informatics Director of Doctoral Studies who can advise you. Alternatively, you may simply submit a full application (see tab left) as we have a procedure to direct your proposal to suitable potential supervisors to view your proposal.

Research proposal

A research proposal for doctoral study is typically 2-6 pages long. Writing a research proposal serves several purposes: it will help you develop your ideas of what you wish to study (and how), it provides us with the information needed to match you with potential supervisors, it is an indicator of your ability for doctoral study, and it helps us plan what research training you will require. Hence, you should write the proposal with the following aims in mind:

  • To explain your interest in the particular area and topic you wish to study.
  • To specify the specific research questions that you wish to investigate.
  • To demonstrate that you have some knowledge of the topic, by referring to research literature that you have read(use a standard citation/reference scheme).
  • To indicate what methods and techniques you think can be used to investigate the questions, and say whether you can already apply them or wish to develop skills in them.
  • To explain your motivation for wishing to undertake doctoral studies; and to outline your career aspirations.

Once a potential supervisor has been identified, she or he may work with your to further refine your proposal.

The University application form requires a ‘personal statement’. For the School of Engineering and Informatics the personal statement in research degree applications should be your research proposal.