UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in artificial intelligence call

Closing date (outline proposals): 16:00 on 28 March 2018

Closing date (full proposals): TBC

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) invites proposals for new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) to develop the UK's skills in artificial intelligence (AI). Funding to support 10-20 CDTs focused on areas relevant to AI across UKRI's remit is available through this call.

This builds on collaborative work between UKRI partners to develop a clear picture of the training needs in AI, related technologies, their applications and implications. The call represents an exciting opportunity for highly multidisciplinary doctoral research training in an area of key importance to the UK.

This call is being delivered by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of UKRI partners and, as such, high quality outline proposals are welcomed from applicants working in areas across the remit of all seven research councils (the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, the Economic & Social Research Council, EPSRC, NERC, the Medical Research Council and the Science & Technology Facilities Council) and Innovate UK.

Organisations are invited to apply against two priority areas:

  • Enabling Intelligence - a priority area within EPSRC's main 2018 CDT call - external link.

  • Applications and Implications of Artificial Intelligence (AIAI) - a new priority area relevant to all research councils.

CDT bids submitted against the new AIAI priority area will not be required to include research training in EPSRC's remit.

This funding for talent and skills is part of the government's industrial strategy, and UKRI encourages universities to consider proposals that support the development of skills in AI across a wide range of disciplines and challenges, building the future talent pipeline and ensuring the UK remains competitive in this growing sector.

Each application domain of AI will have its own challenges to deployment. Therefore, it is essential that bids to this priority area consider the unique and specific implications for their domain.

Application of AI to the environmental sciences

AI technologies have significant potential application across the breadth of NERC's remit. The ability of the environmental science community to effectively use AI approaches in managing, manipulating and interrogating big data for complex analysis and decision-making at increased spatial resolution and in real-time represents a step-change in potential understanding of anthropogenic impact on the environment, as well as the impact of the environment on the operating context of the human population and economy.

The next generation of environmental scientists will require a broad skill base that combines both development and implementation of innovative environmental monitoring techniques with the necessary mathematical, computational and data management skills to apply AI techniques to environmental challenges.

Examples of thematic challenge and application areas could include, but are not limited to: climate and weather modelling and visualisation, real-time analysis of complex natural systems, environmental genomics, water, supply chain risk and impacts, risk and hazard management, resilience and Earth observation.

How to apply

There is a two-stage application process for this call. The application and assessment process has been integrated into the EPSRC CDT 2018 call but is a distinct strand.

A single outline proposal should be submitted on behalf of all the partnering institutions. Outline proposals must be submitted via the research councils' Joint electronic Submission system (Je-S) by 16:00 on 28 March 2018.

Outline proposals will be considered by expert panels, with panel meetings scheduled for the week beginning 14 May 2018. The results of the outline panel meetings will be announced at the end of May 2018.

Following the outline panels, successful outline proposals will be invited to submit full proposals. Invited full proposals will be assessed by external reviewers followed by interview panels.

Please see the Announcement of Opportunity - external link on EPSRC's website for full details of this call, including eligibility.

If you have any queries regarding this funding opportunity, please consult the FAQ page on the EPSRC website - external link or contact the EPSRC CDT mailbox () in the first instance. EPSRC will coordinate responses with / between UKRI partners.