Energy Futures Lab/Grantham Institute

Taylor Donation support for PhD studentships at Imperial 

Round Two now closed for new applications

Details of the next stage of Round Two will be shared with Supervisors, who will choose their preferred candidate. The selected candidate and supervisors will be asked to complete the final application form and submit all relevant documents by 5 April 2024.


We are delighted to announce that we are able to provide support for up to 8 PhD studentships at Imperial College London, made possible by the generous funds received through the Taylor Donation. These studentships have been specifically designated to facilitate research in the field of energy policy, encompassing various areas such as environmental aspects and the adaptation of both existing and emerging energy technologies for practical applications. 

The selected students will be part of a shared cohort of both the Energy Futures Lab and the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment. They will engage in the associated PhD training and activities of both institutes, as well as cohort specific training. 

The primary goal of the PhD research projects sponsored through the Taylor Donation is to enhance our understanding of energy-related challenges and develop innovative solutions with a positive impact on energy supply, demand reduction, and climate change. Through the utilization of these funds, we aim to promote cutting-edge investigations that address critical issues in the energy sector and contribute to the transition towards a sustainable future. 

There are two rounds of applications. The first round closed in October 2023, with four studentships successfully awarded in the following areas: 

Research project 

Lead department 

Participatory macro scale bottom-up enriched models to support the uptake of electrification and zero carbon fuels (ZCF) for industrial decarbonisation 

Centre for Environmental Policy 

Battery-free edge AI for nowcasting solar PV power output 

Department of Computing 

Net-zero market designs for long-duration energy storage 

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering 

Data-driven modelling of farm-to-farm wake interactions: a new tool to inform offshore wind policy 

Department of Aeronautics 

Round two 

Assessment criteria 

Applications will be assessed on the project outline and associated student. Assessment criteria will include: 


  • the research project capacity for positive impact on energy supply, demand reduction and climate change 
  • integration of a multidisciplinarity in the research study 
  • energy transition potential 
  • connection to energy research policy 
  • adventure, exploring and addressing novel and challenging applications and issues 


  • academic ability 
  • research potential 
  • communication and engagement experience 
  • socio-economic, diversity and inclusion considerations. 

Additionally, we will be seeking supervisory teams that consist of Imperial academic staff from different disciplines and at different career levels. 


The funding will include 3.5 years of funding, which will cover: 

  • home tuition fees at UKRI indicative rate (£4,712 per annum for 2023/24) 
  • a maintenance stipend, paid in equal monthly instalments directly to your bank account (£20,622 per annum for 2023/24) 
  • in addition to any funds available from the supervisor’s resources, a total of up to £3,000 is available during the duration of the project to contribute towards research expenses associated with your project, including conference costs, consumables and travel for research purposes. 

The studentships will not include overheads, and any application must include the host department’s permission to waive overheads. In the case of applications associated with overseas applicants, any costs over and above home support (e.g. visa costs, travel, fees etc) will need to be agreed in advance and covered by the home department. 


19 December: Deadline for academics to register interest in supervising a project.  

15 January: Call opens for student applications. Candidates should identify up to two main advisors from the list of supervisors and research challenges in the programme at the base of this page. To register, candidates are asked to complete this questionnaire and then to approach main advisors with a CV (1 page) and Cover Letter (1 page) that explains their interest in the selected research theme, copying in and  

16 February: Deadline for student registration.  

19 February-1 March: Supervisors arrange interviews with the candidates to select one to put forward.  

4 March: Supervisors and students identify co-supervisors for students’ projects and work together on a PhD proposal (400 words). 

5 April: Deadline for candidate and supervisor to submit final application to and Final application pack will include: Project Proposal (400 words), CV (1 page), Cover Letter (1 page), two anonymised letters of recommendation, and completed questionnaires (links will be published after 4 March). These will be assessed by the panel. 

3 May: Decision on the successful projects is communicated to candidates and supervisors. 

1 July-1 October 2024: PhD studentships commence. 

Please note that Taylor PhD students need to be co-supervised by at least two Imperial academics. The academic willing to be the main supervisor can only supervise one Taylor PhD student. Supervisors may co-supervise no more than two Taylor PhD students. 

Information for PhD candidates 

  • You should identify up to two main supervisors that you are interested in working with on your PhD project – the list of potential supervisors can be seen at the base of this page.   
  • You will need to complete this questionnaire and then provide a CV (1 page) and Cover Letter (1 page) to the supervisor(s) as well as the Grantham Institute ( and Energy Futures Lab ( The title of the email needs to be “Taylor PhD programme application”. Use the following formats for your attachments: "Surname [space] Initial_CV" and "Surname [space] Initial_Cover Letter" (for example Smith J_CV and Smith J_Cover Letter)   
  • You should include your grades in your CV. We also recommend explaining in your Cover Letter your interest in the chosen research topic and specifying what skills you are planning to gain  
  • Before applying, we ask that you check that you would meet the entry requirements to undertake a PhD at Imperial College London.   
  • All students who will be submitting a project proposal with their supervisor will need to complete a new questionnaire  with their details (link available in March). This will provide students with a Unique Identifier, which will be needed for the main application form. The main application form link will be sent via email to the proposed project supervisor.   
  • Further information regarding entry requirements, and what the panel may look for in prospective students can be viewed in this document: Taylor Donation . 
  • We welcome home and international candidates to apply, noting funding restrictions (see overview).  

For any queries, please contact or 

Supervisors in this programme

Useful links