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CITIZEN-CENTRED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

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Apply to start your research and learning journey in September 2024 at the UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Citizen-Centred Artificial Intelligence (CCAI) at Northumbria University

Are you passionate about empowering citizens to play a key role in the UK’s AI-enabled future? Northumbria University’s new UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Citizen-Centred AI (CCAI) will train over 60 PhD researchers to place citizens at the centre of the design and development of AI applications and services.

We are now recruiting applicants to join our first cohort of students in September 2024 to undertake a 4 year PhD programme of training, placements, study and research. Successful applicants will receive a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2023/24 full-time study £18,622 per year) and full tuition fees. Studentships are also available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis. Due to the short recruitment timeline, we are unable to recruit international students this year. However, we will be open to international applicants for the academic year of 2025-26.

You do not need a first degree in computer science to apply to do a PhD in our CDT. We want to hear from people from all disciplines who have ideas about how and why people should be part of the AI conversation and can contribute to one of research themes listed below. Our training programme will equip you with all relevant interdisciplinary skills for designing and evaluating citizen-centred approaches to AI. This includes AI and data science, participatory design and human computer interaction, psychology, business and law, regulation and governance theory. Your research will be supported by opportunities to take part in industry, government and community placements as well as visit UK and international research labs who are doing related work.

 

Key Dates for Prospective Students

Pre-application Workshops late February and early March 2024:

These workshops will support you in putting together your research proposal will be held during February and March in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and online. For more information and to register to attend one of the workshops please visit our Pre-applicationWorkshops page.

Deadline for PhD applications Monday 8th April 2024:

To apply to join our September 2024 cohort you will need to apply via our application form and submit a research proposal and C.V – here.

Online Interviews week of the 3rd of June 2024 Interviews with shortlisted applicants will take place online. Format and interview questions will be shared beforehand.

First cohort starts their PhDs in September 2024:

All students will be based at Northumbria University’s Newcastle campus.

We are recruiting students, from all disciplines, to join our 4 year PhD programme. During the first year of the programme, students will engage in training across the departments of Computer and Information Sciences, Psychology, Design, Business and Law – to build skills needed to design AI products, systems and services that are fair, just, responsible and aligned with citizens’ aspirations.  They will then lead research aligned to the centre’s research themes.

Eligibility Requirements:

Academic excellence i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities with preference for 1st class honours); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.

Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

 

Citizen-Centred Artificial Intelligence Current Research Themes:

Successful applicants will receive a studentship which includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2023/24 full-time study this is £18,622 per year) and full tuition fees. Studentships are also available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis. 

Due to the short recruitment timeline, we are unable to recruit international students this year. However, we will be open to international applicants for the academic year of 2025-26.

 

Course FAQs

This project is currently in its very early stages, we are currently trying to establish research themes, project work and businesses to engage with. Please bare with us, and watch this space for more future updates. 

You can find updated information regarding the application process here. We expect interested applicants to submit: 

 

  1. Research proposals should be approximately 1000 words in length and outline novel research projects that align with our Citizen-Centred AI research themes. They should describe and justify (i) the AI and society related challenge that the research aims to address (ii) proposed methodology and/or methods, (iii) a brief state of the art literature review, and (iv) any ethical, equality, diversity and inclusion implications. We provide a list of references within each research theme webpage that you may draw on when preparing your proposal. We also encourage applicants to use diverse literature relevant to their specific challenge.

  2. Please submit a 2-page CV outlining your education and work history, key achievements and any relevant publications you have been a part of. Please note that we do not expect applicants to have had prior research publications. 

  3. We also encourage applicants to submit a personal statement, especially if they identify with a societal group less represented within Computer Science and/or Higher Education Research (e.g. Women, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Disabled, LGBTQIA+, first generation student, student from a low-income household, carer etc.). Personal statements should be approximately 700 words in length and should (i) Outline your learning and career journey, including any career/learning breaks taken (ii) Reflect on systemic barriers that may have impacted your learning and career journey- highlighting how you navigated those barriers.  These will be reviewed by a specialist panel with expertise and/or lived experience in issues related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. 

Due to the short recruitment timeline, we are unable to recruit international students this year. However, we will be open to international applicants for the academic year of 2025-26. 

To be classed as a Home student, candidates must:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.
  • If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

Please note: Studentships are only available to Home applicants

 

Yes, candidates are able to request part-time hours. Please indicate in your research proposal and/or your personal statement that you are interested in pursuing the programme on a part-time basis.

Q: How would part-time study work on CCAI? 

A: We allow students to study part-time at a 0.6 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) rate, meaning that students would complete the programme over 6.5 years instead of 4 years. Choosing to study in this mode would also have some changes on the initial formal training from year 1. Instead of completing 6 modules in year 1; students would complete 4 modules in year 1, then a further 2 modules in year 2 at which point you would submit your doctoral research proposal for progression and study at a part-time rate for the remaining 4.5 years.

Q: How many years would it be, how many hours would we be expected to dedicate per week and would part-time students be required to be based in Newcastle full-time?

A: Students studying part-time working at a rate of 0.6 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) would be expected to dedicate 22.2 hours (60% of 37hours) a week engaging with the programme. Yes, we would be expecting part-time students to be based at the Newcastle campus for their studies, as we don’t offer any remote or distance learning modes for the programme.

OUR RESEARCH THEMES

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