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Applications are made via the College's online application system: apply for a research PhD here >>


Frequently asked questions

When should I apply?

Applications are accepted throughout the year. However, we strongly recommend that candidates apply early in the academic year (November or December) to increase the chances of securing funding and supervision.

How do I identify an area of research?

While a detailed research proposal is not required, and we would not expect you to arrive with a fully formulated research programme in hand, we ask you to indicate the topic or research direction you might be interested in pursuing. Furthermore, when completing the online application, it is important that you indicate the research group with which you might be affiliated:

Independent of section, all applications should be submitted to the programme: Mathematics Research - G1ZX

How can I contact potential supervisors?

When we receive your application, and if a member of staff is available to supervise you, we will get in touch with you to arrange an interview - where practicable this will be in person, but sometimes, particularly for overseas students, we would arrange a phone or Skype interview.

We encourage applicants to consult the webpages of our faculty members, and email those academic staff members with whom you would like to work, to check if they are planning on taking new PhD students:

**Please note that applications for the Geometry and Number Theory research groups within the Pure Mathematics Section should be submitted via the CDT in the London School of Geometry and Number Theory.

When contacting an academic, it is important to:

  • Ask if they are planning on taking a new PhD student next academic year
  • Give a very brief (short paragraph) description of what research you have done in your previous degree
  • Tell them briefly about your research interest that might align with their research
  • Be specific and write personable emails: avoid being general with the copy-and-paste-one-message-fits-all emails
  • Be brief: long emails discourage people from reading on

If you are unable to find an academic who is happy for you to indicate their name as prospective supervisor on your online application, you can still submit an application without indicating a supervisor. This will then go to a pool of applications, where all academics in the department are invited to look through and decide if there is an applicant they would like to interview. However, from previous admission cycles’ experience, those applications are very unlikely to receive a quick, positive outcome.

What's the application and outcome time-frame?

All applications should be submitted to the programme: Mathematics Research - G1ZX

Our applications cycles are open all year round. Applicants with funding already in place can submit their application throughout the year.

Applicants aiming at Imperial College or any other Mathematics Department scholarships schemes are encouraged to apply between November and February to avoid disappointment.

Later applications may be considered but most likely there will be no more scholarships available, and supervisors might have already committed to their maximum number of new students.

Notification of acceptance and funding – we aim at communicating the outcome within 3 months.

Avoid delays by indicating the following in your online application form:

  • Department section (research group)
  • Proposed supervisors: Applied Mathematics – Statistics – Mathematical Finance – Pure Mathematics
  • Two referees’ email addresses (at least one academic) - we cannot accept private email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. They must be academic/professional email addresses.

Common causes for delays: non-indication of supervisors and research section, or missing references.