Imperial-TUM Global Fellows Programme 2019


In collaboration with the Technical University Munich (TUM), Imperial College is offering an opportunity to participate in the Imperial-TUM Global Fellows Programme “Cities of the Future”which will be hosted in Munich (Germany), a thriving international city.

This unique offering consists of a five-days of professional development as part of a Cities of the Future themed programme, followed by the opportunity to complete a three-week research placement at TUM. The content of this exciting programme is enhanced by the involvement of a range of  guest speakers.

Doctoral researchers from all disciplines across the College are invited to apply. Applicants should have a keen interest in Cities of the Future. However an in-depth background in the subject is not essential.

This is a chance to challenge yourself outside of your normal working environment, meet people from other disciplines and cultures, and have fun!

Should you have any questions or queries having read through the course information, please contact Laura Bulmer or Elena Forasacco.

Further Information


The Global Fellows Programme: Cities of the Future will bring together doctoral researchers from Technical University of Munich and Imperial College who share an interest in Cities of the Future to develop the professional, research and collaborative skills that are needed to find workable solutions to this global challenge.

In a competitive research environment, funding is increasingly drawn to interdisciplinary, collaborative research. This programme will focus on professional development: it is designed to challenge researchers to enhance their interdisciplinary awareness, examine opportunities to collaborate, develop research ideas and as well as benefit from insights of guest speakers.

Programme Details

During the 5-day programme participants will work in interdisciplinary and international groups, assisted by a coach from one of the participating institutions.

At the end of this programme attendees will have developed:

  • Their ability to work collaboratively on research ideas
  • Their creativity to develop collaborative research ideas
  • Their ability to network and communicate effectively and with impact in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams
  • Their intercultural and international competency and awareness
  • Their appreciation of research in different institutions
  • Their awareness of Cities of the Future research

Links are made to the research environment and participants are encouraged to apply the new insights gained from the programme to their doctoral study at Imperial.

This programme meets the professional skills course minimum attendance requirement for both the Early Stage Assessment (ESA) and Late Stage Review (LSR).  Students are therefore not required to take additional courses but are still eligible to attend should they so wish. Please note that students will still be expected to complete the compulsory online plagiarism awareness awareness course by the date of their ESA.


Theme: Cities of the Future

The focus for 2019 will be “Mobility and infrastructures” covering all aspects of transport, housing and sustainability for all generations and all communities.  Over half the world’s population now live in cities, and this is estimated to increase to 66% by 2050[1]. Imagining cities of the future involves considering a wide range of issues and concepts from resource allocation to the integration of migrants, from promoting healthy living to providing healthcare, from ultra-connected homes and businesses to integrated driverless transport. Furthermore, the impact of technologies, climate change, and global events on urban living, infrastructure, landscape planning and socio-economic interactions offers exciting possibilities and tremendous challenges for the next generation of global researchers.

The future is urban[2] and this exciting programme will bring together participants from TUM, Imperial College to apply knowledge and skills to suggest how cities can improve quality of life for the urban populations of the future. Doctoral candidates from any discipline are invited to take part and to share their varied expertise during the programme.

Guest speakers will highlight some current areas of research and participants will develop their collaborative research skills by working together to consider challenges and opportunities of the Cities of the Future.

 [1] World Urbanisation Prospects

[2] Future of cities: an overview of the evidence

Eligibility & How to Apply

Imperial College participants must:

  • Be a current doctoral student (from any discipline. Note: this programme is not open to MRes students)
  • Be between 6 and 30 months into their PhD at the time the programme takes place (6 and 48 months for part-time students). Students outside of this timeframe can apply, but priority will be allocated to students between 6 - 30 months (6-48 months for part-time students)
  • Not have taken part in a previous Imperial College Global Fellows Programme

Successful applicants will:

  • Have an interest and awareness of issues affecting Cities of the Future and a willingness to engage with current topics in responses to developing global cities
  • Gain the most from this specific programme and explain how in their application
  • Have realistic expectations of the experience and explain their goals for the programme in their application
  • Possess awareness of the skills necessary to work and develop links with international collaborators
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for engaging with peers from the partner institution
  • Be willing to share their experiences on the programme with the Imperial campus community after the programme
  • Be willing to be a good ambassador for Imperial College

Applicants should explain how they meet the above criteria in their application (note applicants who have not addressed this requirement will not be offered a place on the programme).

Undertaking a research visit is not a compulsory requirement. However applicants who arrange research visits will be considered favourably in the application process. Approximately 30-50% of participants undertake a 3 week research visit following the Global Fellows Programmes.

How to Apply!

Please click here and complete the online form in order to apply

Please note that the extended closing date for applications is Thursday 17th January 2019.

Any additional queries not answered in webpages, please contact Laura Bulmer or Elena Forasacco

Due to the large volume of applications received it is not possible to provide feedback on individual applications.

Accommodation and Travel

Course Information:

  • The course will take place in Munich, Germany
  • Accommodation will be provided during the programme week.
  • Accommodation will be shared (2 per room)
  • Imperial will arrange and pay for accommodation for participants for the programme week. Breakfast and lunch from Monday to Friday is also included together with two evening meals. 
  • Participants will need to arrive in Munich by Sunday 30 June and can depart either late Friday 5th July or Saturday 6th July. The course will end at 4PM on Friday 5th July. If leaving on Friday evening you must allow sufficient time to travel to the airport to catch your flight.
  • Imperial will provide a contribution of £300 towards each participants flight and visa costs (where applicable).

Travel Expenses - How to claim

Up to £300 of travel costs will be refunded by the Graduate School following proof of purchase. This can only be done after you have purchased your tickets. An expenses claim form along with receipts will need to be provided to the Graduate School. Expense claims must be submitted and received by no later than Monday 24 June 2019. Full instructions on completing and submitting the expense claim will be sent to all participants after selection.

Research Placement Information (after the course):

  • Students, with assistance from their supervisors and departments, will be responsible for accommodation and subsistence during the research visit.
  • The International Relations Office will assist students in arranging accommodation during the research visit period and participants will be eligible to apply for a bursary of up to £600 (£200 per week) to support participation.

Please note, guidance relating to visas and travel will be provided to all successful participants. 


Research Placement

Following the 5 day residential programme, Imperial doctoral researchers will have the opportunity to complete a three-week research visit at Technical University of Munich.

Doctoral researchers should first discuss with their supervisor or other contacts in their department their interest in pursuing a research placement to gain a sense of existing collaborative relationships with Technical University of Munich and to gauge the potential of finding a host supervisor. If you identify an academic or group which might be suitable for a placement, you should contact them directly to organise and plan your placement. Once agreement is received, please include this information in your application for the programme.  If successful, applicants will be asked to forward confirmation emails, so please keep track of any correspondence related to your research placement.

How can I finance my placement?

You should discuss with your supervisor possible sources of funding from themselves or within your department to help pay for your accommodation and expenses during your research placement. Please also include this information in your application.

The amount of money needed will vary depending on accommodation requirements, but researchers should budget for about £800.

Participants will be eligible to apply for a bursary from the International Relations Office of up to £600 (£200 per week) to help with the costs of undertaking a placement.