The aim of the CDT is to provide intellectually challenging and industrially relevant training that facilitates the transfer of research into production. Projects should therefore exemplify the remit of the CDT in that research will involve:
- manufacture of integrated CS on Silicon and the application of the manufacturing approaches of Silicon to CS. The latter includes using generic processes and generic building blocks and applying statistical process control
- the growth, fabrication characterisation or application of, normally group III-V, compound semiconductors or combinations of these compound semiconductors with other materials such as e.g. silicon but where the CS plays the major role
- exploitation of the highly advantageous electronic, magnetic, optical and power handling properties of CS and the pioneering of novel integrated functionality such as sensing, data processing and communication
Projects involving organic semiconductors, silicon carbide and 2D semiconductors would not normally be considered as within remit unless there was a strong manufacturing element as evidenced by industrial funding.
Projects must have relevance to manufacturing; academics and industry partners are therefore encouraged to work together to co-design projects with real world application. Each project must have involvement with industry, meaning an industrial supervisor and in-kind access to resources as a minimum, and ideally partial funding of the studentship and/or an industry placement (normally around 4 months) during the PhD.
Industry Partner Funding: The CDT has made a commitment to EPSRC to fund a total of 65 students over the period of the award (five intakes), of which a minimum of 37 students will have industrial funding.
Therefore, projects with industrial funding will have higher priority for allocation, although this will be balanced against student preferences and distribution of projects between the University partners. This priority is communicated to students and projects with industrial funding will be highlighted in a project selection ‘catalogue’.
For the final cohort, ALL Cardiff, Manchester and UCL projects MUST have industrial funding.
Confirmation of industry funding must be with us for all projects by 30 November.
Projects which are part-funded by industry must have a minimum contribution of 1/3 of the total basic CDT CSM studentship costs (four-years of stipend, tuition fees and RTSG). For students starting in September 2023 whose PhD projects start in 2024, this will require a minimum contribution of £14,200 per year for three years (an estimated total of £43,200 based on the total estimated projected studentship costs of £129,600).
Number of projects and number of students: Our aim is to have at least twice as many projects available for selection than we have students.
Supervisors are therefore encouraged to submit multiple projects – this will increase the chances of students selecting their project. Multiple projects will also give potential industry sponsors a more comprehensive idea of your research interests, which may lead to them suggesting projects of mutual interest that they are willing to support. If you submit multiple projects, please state how many students that you can supervise from this intake: it is acceptable to state one.
Supervisors may wish to suggest a broader topic that could be undertaken by more than one student. If so, they must indicate how many students that the project can support.
The Lead Supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that EPSRC Terms and Conditions are met for their students, where these are within their remit.
If you have queries after reading this guidance, please contact the CDT CSM Project Manager, Sarah Brasher at email@example.com or your institutional Lead:
• Professor Peter Smowton (SmowtonPM@cardiff.ac.uk)
• Professor Mark Hopkinson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Professor Mo Missous (M.Missous@manchester.ac.uk)
• Professor Huiyun Liu (Huiyun.Liu@ucl.ac.uk)
Students have a taught first year based on an MSc at Cardiff University and supplemented with CDT specific seminars and training. They select their PhD projects during this first year, undertake a summer MSc project which is a foundation for the PhD, and start their PhD Projects formally in October 2024.
The schedule for project proposals and allocation follows.
|2023||May: Full Proposal Forms and Guidance Distributed|
|July||4: Information Session Discussions with Industrial Partners|
|September||30: Deadline for projects|
|October||Management Board Review and Project Approval (date tbc)|
|November||30: Deadline for confirmation of Industrial Funding|
|December||5: Project Catalogue distributed to students Presentations (Project Pitches) by supervisors (date tbc)|
|2024||January: Student discussions with supervisors Supervisors provide availability for interviews|
|February||5: Deadline for student choices 7: Management Board allocation of interviews 12-23: Students are interviewed by Lead Supervisor, Second CDT Supervisor and Industry Supervisors 26: Deadline for outcomes to CDT Office (earlier if possible) w/c 26: Management Board allocation of projects|
|March||5: Decisions reported to students and supervisors Student/Supervisor begin co-development of Project Universities notified of studentships profile|
|May||Home university prepares studentship agreements as relevant|
|June||MSc Project begins|
|August/ September||MSc Dissertation Submission Students transfer to Home University and attend induction|
|October||1: Formal start of the PhD Project|
Project Pitch: Lead supervisors will have the opportunity, to provide more information to students about their projects via presentations to be scheduled by the CDT office in December. The exact details of this ‘Project Pitch’ will be confirmed. Alternatively, a short, recorded session can be provided.
Project Catalogue: After distribution of the Project Catalogue, Lead Supervisors should expect to be contacted by students who wish to discuss their projects in more details. Please do NOT encourage students to speak to industrial or second CDT supervisors, because of the potential for introducing bias into the selection process.
Selection and Interview Process
Project Choices: Students are required to select four projects that they would be willing to undertake. No more than two can be from the same university and at least two must be industrially funded. As soon as possible after the deadline for selection, Management Board will meet to consider the distribution of preferences and to allocate students to be interviewed by their preferred supervisors in a two-week period, 13th – 24th February 2024.
Interviews: Selection interviews are conducted by supervisory teams. Because the timeline for the process is extremely tight, the CDT Office will need to arrange interview time slots with the Lead Supervisors in advance. The Lead will be asked to identify times that they, the industrial supervisor and, ideally, the second CDT academic supervisor can be available for interviews in the period. After the Management Board distributes students to interviews, the CDT Office will confirm the interviews and cancel any unused slots.
The Lead Supervisor is provided with the students’ CVs and asked to submit a report form as soon as possible after the interviews and not later than the date specified. The Lead Supervisor is responsible for chairing the interviews and ensuring that they are conducted fairly.
Project Allocation: Management Board considers the Interview Panel recommendations, student preferences, availability of industrial funding and distribution of projects across the four University partners.
Projects that were not allocated to a Cohort 4 student, can be carried forward for Cohort 5. Supervisors will be asked to confirm their preferences about this.
To submit a project supervisors must complete the project proposal form, in Word format.
This form will be used for two purposes:
– by the Management Board, to screen the project and make sure it is in remit
– to advertise the project to students
When completing the form bear in mind that students have previously favoured projects with practical application. Also, they make assumptions about the nature and scope of the project from the title and the department in which the Lead supervisor sits, for example, if they perceive the project to be theoretical or only suitable for electronic engineers, they may not explore further. It is therefore important to make sure that the title is attractive and self-explanatory, and that the description makes it clear what the project involves. Supervisors should also state if students from both physics and engineering backgrounds could be successful.
Project Screening and Selection
Projects will be assessed for suitability against the following criteria, by members of the management board:
|Fit to the CDT Remit (CSM & Industrial Relevance)|
|Evidence of Industrial involvement (funding, supervision, placement)|
|Evidence of relevance and quality of student benefits and experience|
|Evidence of project costings and resources if costs are above RTSG of £15k|
|Inclusion of an Early Career Researcher* in the Supervisory Team|
*For this purpose, defined as being within 8 years of the PhD viva.
Projects which do not have a letter of support from Industrial partners will not be included in the selection catalogue.