PhD Research Project Allocation

Before Attending the Interview

Applicants are strongly encouraged to think about what research areas they are interested in and which supervisors they would potentially want to work with in advance of their application (discover the research areas of Compass supervisors). It is not necessary for applicants to contact supervisors individually when they apply to the programme or to write a detailed research proposal, but at interview it will help to demonstrate knowledge of the programme and suitability for a PhD if applicants can explain how Compass research areas and supervisors relate to their own interests and experience.

PhD Project Allocation Process

Compass mini-projects run in the second teaching block of the first year of the programme. It is normally expected that students continue to work with their mini-project supervisor on their main PhD project from the second year onwards. In the first teaching block of the first year of the programme, students interact with potential supervisors at events including the Compass Meet and Greet and the Supervisor Showcase; the latter runs as a weekly seminar series where supervisors present their research interests to students with a Q&A session. This series is accompanied by a portfolio of proposals written by supervisors, each describing a mini-project and how it leads to PhD research. Students submit their preferences and the Compass projects co-ordinator oversees matching of students to projects. Students are encouraged to discuss projects with potential supervisors as early as possible. If a student has interests in a particular topic or subject area, this opens the possibility of a proposal on that subject being included in the portfolio.

The projects which Compass offers changes from year to year, reflecting the dynamic and constantly evolving research interests of its supervisors. The best way to find out about these interests is to look at individual supervisors profiles and web-pages, and browse their recent publications. You can find supervisors listed by research area here

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