Training programme

Training is designed to lead students through a programme that will progressively expand their level of expertise, in research and professionally.

A range of core modules will be taken by students. The modules will be delivered by academics in the Department of Computer Science and complemented by teaching from other departments including the School of Maths and Statistics (SoMAS).

A training needs analysis will be undertaken by all students when they first arrive to help identify which programme of modules they should take. This is run by the University of Sheffield Doctoral Development Programme.

Training

The CDT training programme is organised into training years, where each year contains a range of specific activities.

Year 1
Skill Foundation

Year 1
Skill Foundation

SLT is exceptional in the range of disciplines which it draws upon, from linguistics and phonetics through mathematics and computer science to signal processing and electrical engineering. The first year is therefore designed to ensure that the group of students enrolling from diverse academic backgrounds can develop into a well-integrated, self-supporting cohort. In particular, the programme launches with a three-day intensive workshop that will provide students with a shared understanding of the ethos of the CDT and an appreciation of the broader SLT research landscape. Students receive unconscious bias and ED&I training to perpetuate an environment of fairness, equality, diversity and respect. Training in the first semester will then be devoted to bringing students up to a similar skill level across a range of foundational topics. After this induction phase student PhD projects will be defined in discussion with the students, and supervisors assigned. Students start work on their research topic while still receiving foundational training.

Year 2
Scientific Foundation

Year 2
Scientific Foundation

The second year is devoted to developing advanced SLT research skills in practice, to perform the first foundational experiments and to formulate the plan for the PhD. Students are expected to submit a PhD transfer report to a confirmation panel which will assess the quality of the research and the suitability and viability of the research plan for successful PhD study. The student will engage in further cohort and external activities as well as receive further training in all training domains and modes.

Year 3
Research

Year 3
Research

This is expected to be the most productive research year. Activities will be similar to those conducted in Y2, however the students are expected to perform more leadership roles in cohort and team work, e.g., by supervising mini-projects, by stepping into planning roles in the SLT Hub or SLT Challenge activities, or by mentoring of peers. Internships are likely to happen in Y2 or Y3.

Year 4
Consolidation, Presentation and Dissemination

Year 4
Consolidation, Presentation and Dissemination

In the final year the emphasis will be on thesis completion and on ensuring impact through presentation or realisation in practical settings. Examples are writing and presentation, responsibility assessment and ethical re-evaluation, proposal writing or entrepreneurial activities. The year will end first with the completion of the required credits to receive the PGDip, followed by submission and assessment of the PhD thesis.

Entry and Applying

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or be expecting to obtain, a high-quality (ideally first class) undergraduate or masters (ideally distinction) degree in a relevant discipline. Suitable backgrounds are (but not limited to) computer science; informatics; AI; speech and language processing; mathematics; and software engineering. We will also consider applicants with a professional background, so long as they are able to provide evidence of demonstrable academic skills as well as practical experience.

How to apply

The Centre will officially open on April 1, 2019 with our first intake cohort of students starting October 2019. Formal applications will be accepted beginning late April, but interested candidates may register their interest now by filling out this pre-registration form. We expect to close applications for the coming academic year by the end of June 2019. If you have any trouble completing the form please email us at slt-enquiries@sheffield.ac.uk

Please note we will retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about applying to study at the CDT only. Your contact details will not be used for any other topic, nor passed on to anybody else

Funding

CDT studentships

CDT studentships fund four years of study, covering the annual university fees, and providing a highly competitive stipend. To be considered for one of the studentships, candidates will need to satisfy the EPSRC funding eligibility criteria. In particular, to be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), a student must have:

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