Edinburgh Futures Institute – Call for Expressions of Interest
5 Fully Funded Baillie Gifford PhD Studentships in Data Ethics
The Edinburgh Futures Institute welcomes expressions of interest from University of Edinburgh researchers interested in supervising one of five fully-funded PhD studentships from September 2020, funded by Global investment firm Baillie Gifford.
These studentships will support PhD research into the ethical challenges posed by the growing use of data and artificial intelligence. Expressions of interests are welcome from across the University of Edinburgh, however at least three of these studentships will have a lead supervisor in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the initial phase of funded PhD research at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and we expect the selection process to be very competitive.
The expression of interest is the first stage in a selection process that will take several months (see timetable below).
The Edinburgh Futures Institute will review all expressions of interest received by the deadline of 13th December. Expressions of interest received after the deadline will not be considered. The review panel (see below), will select up to ten expressions of interest to be worked into full PhD proposals in early 2020. Five of these will be fully funded for September 2020 entry, including stipend, fees, and research support costs.
Decisions will be based on the following selection criteria:
- Availability of primary and secondary supervisor to undertake supervision. Priority will be given to interdisciplinary supervisory teams with supervisors from different departments, schools, and colleges at the University of Edinburgh. Supervisory teams must self-nominate;
- Importance, originality, innovativeness and feasibility of the proposed research;
- Demonstrable links to Edinburgh Futures Institute’s research priorities, focusing on the ethical challenges posed by the growing use of data and artificial intelligence in society;
- Likely impact of the research to areas of social concern;
- Likely contribution to Edinburgh Futures Institute’s strategic objectives and plans;
- Spread of topic and subject area across all funded proposals.
We will contact all applicants in early January to inform them of the outcome of the first stage of the selection process.
The submission deadline for applicants invited to complete a full proposal is the 7th of February 2020. The review panel will make the final selection of five studentships to be fully funded by the end of February. The panel will consider each proposal for its academic quality, the suitability of the proposed project to PhD-level research, the potential benefits to The Edinburgh Futures Institute and the student, the predicted societal impact of the research, and the spread of subject areas across all topics.
Once selected for funding, the PhD supervisory team will be responsible for recruitment and interviewing for each individual studentship, although EFI will assist with promotion and the administration of this process. All five studentships will be advertised together in early March 2020, allowing us to point to a range of defined topics that will be supported through this Baillie Gifford sponsored scheme.
The review panel will consist of:
- Professor Shannon Vallor – Edinburgh Futures Institute Ballie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence
- Professor Melissa Terras – Edinburgh Futures Institute Research Director and Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Professor Sian Bayne – Edinburgh Futures Institute Education Director and Professor of Digital Education, Moray House School of Education and Sport
- Professor Nigel Topham – Chair of Computer Systems, School of Informatics
- Dr Ewa Luger – Edinburgh Futures Institute Deputy Research Director and Chancellor’s Fellow, Digital Arts and Humanities, School of Design
- Dr Miguel de Carvalho – Reader in Statistics, School of Mathematics, Bayes Centre Representative
- Owen Kelly – Edinburgh Futures Institute Deputy Director and Director of Engagement, University of Edinburgh Business School
- Valentina Guerrieri – Edinburgh Futures Institute Senior Project and Programme Manager for Research
- 13th December 2019: Deadline for expressions of interest.
- By 9th January 2020: The panel will review all expressions of interest and select ten to be developed into full proposals. Owing to an anticipated high number of expressions of interest, we will only be able to provide brief feedback to applicants who are not invited to submit a full proposal. A limited number of applicants will be invited to jointly complete full proposal forms.
- 7th February 2020: Submission deadline for full proposal forms, which should be completed in partnership between the potential co-supervisors and EFI.
- Mid-February 2020: The panel will do a light-touch review of all proposal forms, and may contact applicants to ask for extra information if required.
- End of February 2020: The review panel will select five studentships to fully fund under this scheme. All applicants will be informed of the outcome, with feedback offered to unsuccessful applicants. The decision of the panel will be final.
- Early March 2020: Selected studentships will be advertised to students, to start in September 2020.
If you have any queries about the call and or want to check whether your idea would be supported you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We strongly advise that all queries are submitted by Nov 21st 2019 in order to allow us time to respond.
Making an expression of interest
If you are interested in making an application, then please fill in the expression of interest form linked below.
Guidance on completing the expression of interest is provided within the form. This form should be completed by potential supervisors, and accordingly, to make an application you will need to be an academic member of staff at the University of Edinburgh. Students cannot apply for the scheme at this stage but will be able to apply for the PhDs when they are advertised in March 2020. Please submit all completed expression of interest forms to email@example.com by Friday the 13th of December 2019.
The form for a full proposal is provided here for information only at this point in time. You should only complete a full proposal once you have been formally requested to complete one by the EFI Review Panel. Any unsolicited full proposals submitted will be ignored. We look forward to hear from you.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Edinburgh Futures Institute November 2019