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    Studying for a PhD is an opportunity for you to:

    • undertake a period of in-depth study of a specific topic • acquire transferable skills for personal development
    • enlarge your view of the subject area by studying its theoretical foundations and specific techniques
    • develop originality and creativity in research
    • uncover and critically examine the background of the topic
    • enhance skills in forming and testing hypotheses, in developing new theories or in planning and conducting experiments to discover new facts
    • contribute new insights into or develop innovative applications of known science

    A typical PhD, taken over 3-4 years, is structured as follows:

    First 3 months

    During your first 3 months you settle in and prepare an initial research plan with your supervisor. The research plan gives a statement of the general topic area, an initial formulation of the issues to be addressed, a list of principal references on which the work will draw, and objectives for the first year of study. Your supervisor may also ask you to attend some of the undergraduate lectures. You will also need register for the Graduate Schools (GSEPS) Transferable Skills Programme. If you are a non-native English speaker you will also have an English language assessment.

    First 6 months

    You can expect to spend your first 6 months undertaking literature searches and defining your project. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor. You will also meet the postgraduate tutor and your postgraduate mentor (a member of staff from a different research group).

    Month 9

    An Early Stage Assessment is submitted by the end of month 9. This report sets out the main research areas, details of work done so far, and a programme for future work. You attend an interview with one or two assessors and your supervisor. This assessment confirms your suitability to continue with your PhD programme. You will have also attended some, or all of, the GSEPS Underpinning courses on topics such as professional conduct, project management, and a residential course on research skills and development.

    Months 7-18

    You continue to work on your research project, and will have the opportunity to attend GSEPS Consolidating courses on advanced writing, career planning, presentation and progressing.

    Months 18-24

    Late stage review (18-24 months after registration). You will be required to submit a report that contains the contents page for your thesis, a statement of expected contributions, achievements to date and a plan for completion of work and thesis. You will be assessed by interview with one or more assessors and your supervisor.

    Months 24-36

    You continue working on your research project. You will also have the opportunity to attend a course on career action, and completing your research.

    Months 36-48

    Thesis submission. The thesis is your account of the work you have done, which should form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and show evidence of originality by the discovery of new facts and / or the exercise of independent critical power. The thesis is examined by an oral exam. There are two examiners: one from Imperial College and one from another university. The oral exam usually lasts for 2-3 hours, and you will find out the result immediately after the exam.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.



    If you have studied at a UK university our minimum entry requirement is either an integrated masters (MEng) honours degree in electrical engineering or a related subject, passed at 2.1 or 1st, OR a bachelors (BEng) honours degree in electrical engineering or a related subject passed at 2.1 or 1st and a MSc.

    For applicants who have studied overseas our entry requirement is equivalent grades in Bachelor's and Master's degree.  All applicants must have or be studying for Master's degree.  Advice on the academic requirements from specific overseas institutions can be found by clicking the link to the relevant country in the Country Index

    You will need to met the College's English language requirement

    If you are asked to present formal evidence of English language ability as part of your offer then you will also be assessed by the College’s English Language Support Unit after you have registered and arrived at College.

    After this assessment you may be asked to attend internal classes (free of charge), and you may also be asked to have a further assessment as you progress through your studies. This is to ensure that you are able to carry out your research successfully, and are properly prepared to write your thesis and defend it in the viva voce examination.


    If you are an overseas student you will also need ATAS visa clearance. This is applied for once you have an offer.

    Your application should be accompanied by a 2-3 page research statement. This will include:

    • a compelling description of the research you would like to do
    • the general description of the research areas and topics that interest you
    • any relevant experience and/or publications that can be downloaded.

    You must upload a transcript showing university courses taken and marks obtained so far when you submit your application.

    Your application will be considered by the academic staff in the relevant research group. If you are short-listed for a place you will have an interview with two members of academic staff. This interview will take place either in person (if you are in London), by phone, or  Skype.

    If you are a high performing undergraduate or Master’s student, and have a strong desire to undertake a PhD programme at a world class research institution, you could be selected to receive full tuition fees and a generous stipend for a PhD place at Imperial College London.

    The scheme aims to provide up to 50 research students with great potential the opportunity to work within their chosen research field with the support of an excellent supervisor.

    The earliest start date for funded places is 1 August 2015.


    Successful candidates will receive the following financial support for up to 3.5 years: 

    • Full funding for tuition fees 

    • A stipend of £20,400 per annum to assist with living costs 

    • A consumables fund of £2,000 per annum for the first 3 years of study


    1. Applications are accepted from talented candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide. There are no restrictions on nationality. 

    2. Candidates must be among the highest achievers in their undergraduate cohort, and in receipt of, or due to receive a first class UK degree or equivalent. 

    3. Candidates with Master’s qualifications should have achieved a distinction or, where this has yet to have been achieved, be able to provide evidence of high performance that will lead to a distinction. They should also hold a first class UK undergraduate degree or equivalent. 

    4. Candidates with degrees from overseas institutions are strongly urged to determine if their scores/grades are equivalent to the relevant eligibility criteria. 

    5. Prior to applying candidates must have made contact with a supervisor in an academic department at Imperial College London who has agreed to supervise their research project. Please note that supervisors are only permitted to supervise one scholar at any time. Please review this list of existing supervisors [xls] who are not available to supervise a student on this scholarship scheme. Please note: current registered Imperial PhD students are not eligible to be considered for an Imperial College PhD Scholarship. The scheme is only open to new PhD applications.

    How to apply

    The scheme is now open for applications.

    There is not a specific scholarship application form.  You should submit your application for admission to study at Imperial through our online admissions system and your department will put you forward for the scholarship based on academic merit and potential.

    1. When prompted for a personal statement you must ensure that it consists of approx. 1000 words and outlines your academic and research achievements to date, explaining in brief your planned research project. 

    2. You must also attach a completed Self-nomination form [Word] which tells your department that you want to be considered for this specific scholarship scheme. 

    Eligible candidates will be advanced to the next review and selection process; please see the deadlines below.

    Review and selection

    Applications will be reviewed by a two-stage process:

    1. Candidates meeting or predicted to meet the eligibility requirements will be reviewed by the Department to which they have applied. Departments will select a shortlist of the very best candidates to present to the Imperial College Selection Panel for consideration. 

    2. The final decision will be made by the Imperial College Selection Panel. The members of the panel are the Vice-Provost (Research) and the Faculty Vice-Deans for Research. The Panel will consider shortlisted candidates from all Faculties. Scholarships will be awarded to the candidates who show the most potential. 

    Successful candidates will receive written confirmation of their scholarship. Any offer of a PhD place will be conditional on final interview by the Department and (if applicable) on the candidate receiving the predicted qualifications.

    Applicants not selected for the scholarship will automatically be considered for the PhD.

    When should I expect a decision on my scholarship application?

    Applications put forward for this scholarship scheme will be considered throughout the academic year.

    • Applicants who apply before 31 October 2014 and are awarded a scholarship will be notified by 30 January 2015. 
    • Applicants who apply before 31 January 2015 and are awarded a scholarship will be notified by 1 April 2015. 
    • Applicants who apply before 7 April 2015 and are awarded a scholarship will be notified by 5 June 2015. 

    CSC Scholarships (Students from China)
    Applications for the 2014 Imperial CSC scholarships must be made by 31 January 2014. Other Imperial College scholarships If you are applying for an Imperial College scholarship you should submit your application by end December. If you are applying for scholarships from other organisations you should submit your application at least 8 weeks before the scholarship reply deadline.

    Funded PhDs in Future Power Networks and Smart Grids
    Imperial College and University of Strathclyde have come together to create a “Centre for Doctoral Training” in Future Power Networks and Smart Grids. For the next 5 years, we will be offering 11 PhD studentship per year on a joint programme of advanced training and research.

    These are enhanced 4-year PhD places which offer

    • A full bursary and fees scholarship to UK nationals and EU nationals resident in the UK for the last 3 years.
    • A rich learning environment with advanced modules (beyond MSc level) that explore the cutting edge of smart grid topics through taught material and mini projects of experiential learning through the Power Network Demonstration Centre (Strathclyde), the Smart Energy Lab (Imperial) and facilities at our industrial partners.
    • Co-supervised PhD research projects that can combine expertise at Imperial and Strathclyde and the power and ICT domains.
    • A cohort experience in which CDT students widen their understanding of the future of power networks from the work of their colleagues. These challenges require innovation in HVDC technology, but also in planning and scheduling of reserves and more sophisticated international trading of energy and network services. The power systems researchers at Imperial and Strathclyde have a great deal of research expertise, and see huge value in working together to meet the research challenges of the future power network and to provide a wide ranging training and research programme. We already work together on research projects and this is a further strengthening of this relationship.
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