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Building research expertise and fostering collaborations in Mathematics of Information: Theory and Application

How to apply?

Please download and complete the joint JADS 2021 Application Form.  Submit the Application Form to the online application portal.  Submit one application per joint project.‌

The deadline for submissions is 5 April 2021.

For any questions regarding the programme, please contact Heather Kerst.

Call for PI proposals - Joint PhD Programme with Technical University of Munich focused on 'Mathematics of Information: Theory and Application.'


Imperial and Technical University of Munich (TUM) formed a strategic partnership in education, research and innovation in 2018.

TUM is one of Germany’s most international and entrepreneurial universities, producing highly ranked research, like Imperial, in science, engineering and medicine.

As part of the partnership, Imperial and TUM have launched a 'Joint Academy of Doctoral Studies' with the aim of co-developing cross-disciplinary clusters of PhD students who will have access to world-leading academic supervisors and state-of-the art facilities at both institutions. The PhD scholars will work across fields where both Imperial and TUM have taken a global lead in research, innovation and breaking down disciplinary boundaries.

The first cohort with the theme of 'Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare and Robotics' launched in October 2020 with six joint projects selected for the programme.  

Call for 2021 Cohort

This call invites Principal Investigators (PIs) at TUM and Imperial to jointly put forward a research project to be underpinned by 1 doctoral candidate at TUM and 1 doctoral candidate at Imperial, which includes joint supervision plans and a built-in mobility programme.

The cohort starting in 2021 will focus on the theme of “Mathematics of Information: Theory and Application”.  This year’s JADS theme aims to enable innovative work in the areas of machine learning, statistics and dynamics, as well as to connect this work to applications in other research areas. Recent years have seen a confluence of these fields and their ideas, for example triggered by big data problems, uncertainty quantification and randomness in evolution. There has been an exchange of ideas and techniques across these fields, and there is a mutual stimulation between theoretical and application-driven approaches.

This JADS cohort will create an environment where this cross-fertilisation can flourish, bringing together complementary expertise from Imperial College London and Technical University of Munich in the fields of stochastic analysis, random dynamical systems, statistics, numerical analysis, optimal control and their applications. Applications can occur across the full spectrum of science and technology, for example in mobility, life sciences and medicine, fluid and solid mechanics, manufacturing and advanced materials, finance and insurance, computer vision and graphics.

As machine learning, uncertainty quantification and other tools from mathematical information can be applied in many different disciplines, the initiative especially encourages interdisciplinary projects that connect mathematics foundational insights to relevant applications.

Supervisors and candidates in the training programme will benefit from access to each other's labs, innovation ecosystems, industry engagement, and other complementary expertise and training provided to the cohort.

Selected projects should recruit doctoral candidates between June and August 2021, and will start in October 2021, when the cohort will launch, running for four years of doctoral studies at TUM and three or four years at Imperial, depending on the level of students recruited.

Key Elements and Criteria for the Call

  • Joint applications from researchers[1] at Imperial and TUM, focused on projects in the area of Mathematics of Information: Theory and Application; 
  • The same PI cannot submit more than two project proposals;
  • Candidates will be expected to spend at least 12 months at the partner university;
  • Each selected project is to be supervised by 2 PIs (one at Imperial & one at TUM);
  • All doctoral candidates attend a subject-specific curriculum;
  • Annual joint “JADS Symposium,” organised by IGSSE (at TUM) and Imperial College London; and
  • Joint thesis examination committee.

[1] N.B. Please note that at Imperial, only researchers who are permanent members of staff who can supervise PhD students, and at TUM only researchers whose contract extends beyond the four-year funding period and who can act as doctoral supervisors, can be named as Principal Investigators.

Number of Doctoral Projects and Funding

The scheme aims to support a total of up to 6 joint doctoral projects for four years at TUM and three to four years at Imperial, depending on the level of student recruited. The projects will be selected by TUM and Imperial College’s joint committee (see point 6 below). Each project will be underpinned by two PIs (one from TUM, one from Imperial) and two doctoral candidates (again, one from TUM and one from Imperial).

Applicants will be supported through their individual institutions, on the basis of doctoral training stipends and relevant mobility and consumables funds. At TUM, the funding for JADS studentships, mobility, and related support is allocated via the IGSSE. At Imperial, the funding for the studentship should be allocated by departments, faculties, CDTs, DTPs, or other research groups.  Hence Imperial applicants must have approval from their Head of Department, director of the CDT, director of the DTP, or director of the research group in question to apply and to commit a studentship for the Imperial portion of the project. Imperial will contribute £2K per year per three-year project, for a total of £6K per project, to support mobility.  Imperial PIs can apply to the Imperial-TUM Collaboration Fund for additional support for the projects.

Call Timeline

  • Call Opens: 10 February 2021
  • Call Closes: 05 April 2021
  • Notification Date: 31 May 2021
  • Start of PhD projects: October 2021

Evaluation

Proposals will be independently reviewed and ranked by an Imperial-TUM Joint Committee, according to the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality & originality of the project
  • Scientific merit of the teams
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Impact of the research in and beyond the field
  • Convincing plan for implementing collaboration and co-supervision of doctoral candidates
  • Demonstrated track record of support and mentorship of doctoral candidates (if PIs have previously supervised doctoral candidates)
  • Sustainability, e.g. identification of potential funding sources to grow and extend research projects

How to Submit a Project Proposal

PIs from Imperial and TUM should jointly prepare and submit the fully completed Application Form, in electronic format (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF), and submit it via this online application portal
. Applicants should follow the relevant guidance notes in the Application Form.  Application Forms need to be received at the end of the day the call closes in order to be considered.

Reporting Requirements

It will be expected for successful proposals to produce a yearly report on the activities carried out, visits and workshops attended, based on the work-plans outlined in Section E of the Application Form.