FAQs

1. Which departments at the University of Exeter are hosting the CDT?
The CDT is entirely multi-disciplinary and students could be hosted in any of the University’s departments, providing that the final project is aligned with the principles of Environmental Intelligence. The Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI), Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and the Global Systems Institute (GSI) will play a central part in the strategic direction and delivery of the CDT.

2. How does the admissions process work and when will the interviews be?
The CDT has a different schedule to the main admission process. We are aiming to hold interviews soon after the first application deadline with decisions sent out very quickly after that, followed by about 2 weeks for applicants to make up their mind whether to accept or not.

3. To what extent are previous qualifications in statistics / data science methods and / or programming a requirement for entry?
There is no pre-requirement. Demonstrating an aptitude and interest will be important, but the focus of the CDT is on inter-disciplinary research and thus applicants will come from a range of backgrounds.

4. How does the training component of the CDT work?
Each student will be assigned a training supervisor in Year 1 who will help them scope a tailored training programme of formal training (module based but without formal grading) combined with team oriented project work and grand challenge events. The formal training will aim to ensure students have a rounded understanding of the components of Environmental Intelligence.

4. I have been checking the application procedure to your university and I have to develop a research proposal. However, it says that during the first year of the training programme, this proposal is developed.  
Again, CDTs are different – you don’t need a proposal. In fact, you will develop your research proposal during the summer of your first year together with your chosen supervisory team. You will be exposed to potential supervisors and possible project ideas from across a wide range of disciplines in your first year.

6. I haven’t worked out what I want my research thesis to be on or who I can work with. Will this result in my application being rejected?
Students will be recruited to the training programme rather than individual projects / supervisors, with students developing their PhD proposal during the summer of the first year and choosing their supervisory teams. 

7. I would be like to have an advisor from a specific department or centre. In order to develop my research proposal, can I begin this development with a Professor from that Centre?
You certainly can, but you don’t need to do anything – you will have the whole of the first year to meet academic staff (and there will be a number of events to make this easier) and develop your research interests / PhD proposal.