Advice for PhD applicants

I aim to recruit one or two PhD students every year, and am always happy to receive applications. You are welcome to discuss your application with me by email first. To apply formally, you must complete an online application form.

Choosing a subject area

A PhD project with me will usually be in the area of

  1. uncertainty quantification (UQ) for complex computer models;
  2. eliciting probability distributions from experts.

(I also supervise projects with applications in health economics, but the methodology will be focused on one of the two areas above). Please do not send in a proposal to work with me on some other unrelated topic – I will not be the right supervisor for you and your application will be rejected! To get an idea of the sorts of PhD projects I supervise, have a look at this list of previous PhD students, where you’ll find links to some of the theses online.

Required background knowledge

You will need to have some knowledge of Bayesian Statistics, ideally, from taking at least one 10 credit module (approx. 20 hours of lectures) in the subject at undergraduate or MSc level. One of your academic referees should comment on your knowledge of Bayesian Statistics in his/her reference.

Projects in uncertainty quantification

If you want to work in UQ, I won’t expect you to know very much about it at this stage, but you must do some background reading. I suggest you read this tutorial on uncertainty in computer models (published in Simplicity, Complexity and Modelling, M. Christie, A. Cliffe, P. Dawid and S. Senn (eds.). Chichester: Wiley.)

Projects in eliciting probability distributions

I will expect you to know a little more about eliciting probability distributions: you should at least have some awareness of it from your studies in Bayesian Statistics. For more background knowledge, read this tutorial on eliciting univariate probability distributions (published in Rethinking Risk Measurement and Reporting: Volume I, edited by Böcker, K., Risk Books, London.)

The interview

If selected for interview, you will need to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of your chosen subject area from the two listed above. If you have done a related piece of work in a previous degree, then I will ask you to discuss that. Alternatively, if you have not done any work in your chosen subject area before, I will set you a short assignment to do, a few weeks before the interview.