[Ieee_vis_open_positions] 10+ PhD studentships in computer vision/learning at University College London (UCL)

Gabriel J. Brostow g.brostow at cs.ucl.ac.uk
Thu Dec 30 15:44:57 CET 2021

I'm looking for 1 or 2 new PhD students next year, but my Vision / Learning
colleagues at UCL are amazing too, and the application process is

Overview: There are two paths into doing a PhD in vision-related areas at
UCL <https://www.ucl.ac.uk/computer-science/study/postgraduate-research>.
They have separate deadlines.
Applying for PhD programs means both getting accepted and getting funding,
which are sometimes separate things. Below, they are lumped together.
Note: Irish applicants can study in the UK as "home" students. Everyone
else now needs an "overseas" studentship - which exist, but in smaller

1) UCL's Computer Science Department has two PhD admissions periods. One
ends on 14th January 2022. Some edits can often be made to a submitted
application within a week after the submission deadline. The other deadline
is 16th April 2022.

This UCL Computer Science PhD admission process
is separate from the Foundational AI admissions process below. (Two ways
in, to get the same CS PhD). While the CS Department process also accepts
non-UK applicants, it has even fewer slots for overseas applicants than the
Foundational AI one. I don't like it either.

2) Foundational AI: We (Vision, ML, Robotics, NLP, Graphics, and more
within the CS Department) are recruiting for a cohort of star PhD students
to work on Foundational AI, with exact numbers to be confirmed, but with
funding from multiple sources (e.g. the UK government, DeepMind, Adobe, and
Niantic, to name a few). The idea is that this cohort works on AI
innovations for a "normal" PhD, embedded within a research group in the
department, but also that members of the cohort will learn, publish, and
work together, to get the benefits of being in a cross-disciplinary group,
selected especially to be diverse in terms of people, specialties, and
aims. In later years of your PhD, you will be encouraged to attend talks
and workshops that prepare you particularly for either academia or

To maximize your chances as an overseas student, apply
by 3rd January 2022. For Home students (no longer includes EU - grr), it's
20th February 2022. The final deadline for rolling places to be considered
is 1st June 2022.

To apply through the Foundational AI CDT
Be sure to follow the advice there, though you may have to list PhD
supervisor names based on whom you're most aligned with, without having met
them first. I don't know why they give the advice to contact PhD
supervisors in advance - that's hard to set up in a normal year, and even
harder with covid. The point is to get your application in front of the
supervisor(s) who align with your research passion.

We particularly welcome female and non-binary applicants and those from an
ethnic minority, as they are under-represented within UCL. My own research
preferences lean heavily toward human-in-the-loop computer vision and ML,
where a system learns from small numbers of examples to get better with
use, and helps a person, e.g. to do their job, to learn faster, or to
overcome a disability. The core research must be publishable in CVPR- or
CHI- like conferences. Some students from my group have gone on to startups
or faculty positions - but that's later on - after you do some great
research in your PhD!

This is a HUGELY rewarding field, that's especially exciting now!
-Gabe Brostow
Professor of Computer Vision at UCL
Chief Research Scientist @ Niantic
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