Global PhD Scholarship in Computer Science
A Global St Andrews Scholarship from St Leonard’s Postgraduate College for students admitted into a jointly-supervised (co-tutelle) programme between the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria, Canada. This scholarship offers fully-funded award in the School of Computer Science of the University of St Andrews and funded scholarship at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria in Canada.
The University of St Andrews is pleased to offer a scholarship funded by St Leonard’s Postgraduate College, to support an exceptional student undertaking doctoral research in the following project:
Intelligible and Trustworthy Deep Learning Research for the Humanities
Machine learning and deep learning techniques offer great promise to extend the reach and comprehensiveness of research in many areas; for example, in research scenarios that focus on the examination of large document corpuses for subtle underlying themes and links. Deep learning can help classify documents according to the scholars’ needs and find document clusters based on complex relationships and multidimensional features.
However, machine learning / deep learning techniques are generally considered “black-box”. This hampers interpretability and critical interrogation of results by non-machine-learning researchers. Without transparency and adjustability of the processes that the machine is carrying out results produced by algorithms cannot be interpreted or trusted.
This doctoral project aims to address the impediments outlined above through the use of visualization technology as a lingua franca to bridge the gap between machine learning / deep learning algorithm implementation and the needs of the scholars in other areas. Visualization has long been hailed as a fundamental tool to make large amounts of data accessible to humans: visual representations of data allow people to find regularities and insights in an otherwise inaccessible sea of data due to the computational power of the human visual cortex. Visualisation has also been discussed as a mediator between disciplines.
The general aim of this project is to make machine learning / deep learning technology accessible to researchers in the humanities in a dynamic way that allows for dialog and critical interpretation. The project addresses six driving questions:
- How can deep learning techniques be applied to address the issues of transparency, interpretability, explainability and provenance?
- In this context, can visualization serve as a mediating language between scholars in the other areas and deep learning algorithms?
- What kinds of deep learning algorithms and workflows can support dynamic, critical and informed interventions by scholars through visualizations.
- To what extent this novel integration of visualisation and machine learning can be used by the visualisation designers, data scientists, and even the general public for their own purpose?
- What implications has the use of these technologies on the practice of scholars?
This project has a strong interdisciplinary element, across visualisation and machine learning.
The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Juan Ye and Dr Uta Hinrichs in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews and by Dr Miguel Nacenta in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Informal enquiries regarding this scholarship may be addressed to Dr Juan Ye – email email@example.com
Domicile for fee status
Level of study
Postgraduate Research (Doctoral)
Year of entry
2020-2021 academic year; applicants must be able to start their degree in January 2021.
School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews and Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria
Applicants must not already (i) hold a doctoral degree; or (ii) be matriculated for a doctoral degree at the University of St Andrews or another institution.
Applicants will be admitted to both Universities and therefore have to comply with admission requirements from both Universities.
What does it cover?
Duration of award
Up to 4 years. The student will be expected to spend approximately half the award term at the University of St Andrews, the home University, and half at the University of Victoria. The successful candidate will be expected to have completed the doctorate degree by the end of the award term. The award term excludes the continuation period and any extension periods.
Value of award
The award covers full tuition fees for the award term spent at St Andrews. For the period spent at the University of St Andrews the student will receive a stipend payable at the standard UK Research council rate (the 2019-2020 annual rate is £15,009). For the period spent at the University of Victoria the student will receive a scholarship of CAD$21,000 annually, from which they will cover living costs and the applicable tuition fees.
Tuition or maintenance award
Tuition and maintenance at the University of St Andrews, scholarship amount at the University of Victoria.
About St Andrews
Doctoral Research at St Andrews
As a doctoral student at the University of St Andrews you will be part of a growing, vibrant, and intellectually stimulating postgraduate community. St Andrews is one of the leading research-intensive universities in the world and offers a postgraduate experience of remarkable richness.
St Leonard’s Postgraduate College is at the heart of the postgraduate community of St Andrews. The College supports all postgraduates and aims to provide opportunities for postgraduates to come together, socially and intellectually, and make new connections.
St Leonard’s Postgraduate College works closely with the Postgraduate Society which is one of the most active societies within the Students’ Association. All doctoral students are automatically welcomed into the Postgraduate Society when they join the University.
In addition to the research training that doctoral students complete in their home School, doctoral students at St Andrews have access to GRADskills – a free, comprehensive training programme to support their academic, professional, and personal development.
Doctoral Research at the University of Victoria
The University of Victoria, situated in Victoria, the capital of the province of British Columbia, is a comprehensive university at the Westernmost edge of the country. The University has a thriving graduate community and has been ranked second in Maclean’s magazine Canada’s Top Comprehensive Schools rankings.
The Department of Computer Science at UVic is recognized among the best in Western Canada, with world-leading researchers in Software Engineering, Machine Learning, Human-Centred Computing and Bioinformatics. The department is currently undergoing significant expansion and offers an ideal environment for Graduate research, with an exciting seminar series, many opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, research-lead graduate courses and excellent graduate student support. UVic graduates are among the world’s most employable, according to a ranking by Times Higher Education.
The University is placed in a beautifully green campus close to downtown Victoria and 20 minutes by foot to the waters of the Salish Sea (Pacific Ocean). The University has excellent sport and recreational facilities and a very active student life. The Greater Victoria area, at the Southern tip of Vancouver Island, has a thriving Tech startup scene and is directly connected by ferry to Vancouver and Seattle (USA). Vancouver Island is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in Canada, and offers an amazing array of recreational activities, including, world-class museums, spectacular hiking, ski, scuba diving and some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Victoria’s climate is moderate, with mild winters (average min-max temperatures in January of 3-7 C°) and is the driest location on the coast of British Columbia.
How to apply
Apply for admission as a doctoral student at the University of St Andrews – please see the advice on applying for research degree programmes. Admission at the University of Victoria will be arranged conditional on success at the University of St Andrews and will involve additional steps.
Please indicate in your application that you wish to be considered for this Global St Andrews scholarship (reference Ye).
Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the scholarship: firstname.lastname@example.org
When do applications open?
Scholarship application deadline
30 June 2020
When will I hear if my application has been successful?
Late July/early August 2020. Awards are subject to conclusion of contracts between the parties.