Applications

For Prospective Students:

Our group welcomes outstanding UK and international students to join us whose research interests include: Distributed systems, IoT & Fog computing, Cloud computing, resource management, machine learning systems, energy-efficiency, sustainability, Cloud gaming, security, and fault tolerance.

PhDs are big commitments, hence it is important that you find the right lab and research area that matches your interests and career goals. Given the nature of our work, career trajectories for my team members are balanced between joining company R&D labs and faculty appointments.

If you are interested in joining our group, I strongly recommend that you read the following information below on PhD opportunities carefully. There are three main factors that I consider when accepting potential PhD students: funding, ability, and personality.

Funding:

There are three routes to acquire scholarship funding to support your PhD: open call, competition, and self-funded.

  • Open call: Funding for PhD studentships will be advertised on this site and my staff web page if available. If there is no information describing such a position, it indicates that there are currently no funded positions available. Do check back regularly to see when this is updated. This advertisement will explicitly state whether a position is open for non-EU citizens to apply.
  • Competition: There are regular competitions to acquire scholarship funding from funding bodies, companies, Lancaster University, etc. This requires going through a competitive application and interview process, and if successful will result in a funded PhD studentship. If you have found a competition that you will be seriously applying for, I am happy to support your application provided it is relevant to our research area and your application is sufficiently strong. Please note that most UK based competitions are restricted to EU citizens only. There are exceptions to this rule if explicitly stated by the competition call, or if the applicant is of exceptional high quality (i.e. has already published within competitive IEEE/ACM venues)
  • Self-funded: You have already acquired funding for a PhD scholarship via your own funds, your country, or an external organisation. If so, feel free to reach out to me to discuss further next steps – please state this explicitly within your email. My advice for non-EU students wishing to apply for a PhD is self-funded approach is usually the least path of resistance.

Ability:

We welcome applications from candidates who are eager to learn and have a strong theoretical and/or programming background within Computer Science. I will also potentially consider candidates with a background in Physics, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering provided you are able to demonstrate that your skills/knowledge are directly applicable to Computer Science research.

The best way to demonstrate your ability is through your CV, as well as sharing your programming portfolio to give me a better idea of your technical ability. After an initial conversation I may ask you technical details regarding your previous work and studies to get a better idea of your interests and skill set.

Personality:

We are an international collaborative research group that warmly welcomes applications from people in all diversity groups. An important choice for your PhD is determining whether you will enjoy the working culture and work well with your supervisor. After initial enquiries regarding your PhD application, I will in all cases arrange a phone/Skype call to get to know you better, (informally) enquire regarding your technical ability, and more importantly see whether you would be happy working in our group. This is a two way street, as this conversation will also give you a better idea on how much you would enjoy working with us.

If you’ve had the chance to talk with me, I would encourage you afterwards to reach out and contact current team members to ask questions about the lab culture and my supervision style – I have asked them to be honest!

Contacting Me:

You can contact me via my email address found on my staff page. Interested students should include their CV as well as a short description of their background and interests. I receive a large volume of enquiries from prospective students. I would advise that you write your email in a manner that demonstrates that you have done some homework. If an email simply begins with “Dear sir/professor” (or my name is written in a different font size/style to the text body) and follows a generic template, it will often be overlooked as spam.

If I do not reply to your email (and you have followed the advice on this page) it likely means I have accidentally missed replying to your email and you are welcome to send again after a week or so. If you send an email and have not followed the advice on this page, it is unfortunately unlikely that you will receive a reply.

The above advice for applying for a PhD is true for most (if not all) research-intensive UK universities. Thus wherever you decide to apply, I hope that the information provided here will be helpful to you.

— Peter Garraghan