Call for applications - PhD Training Programme 2022

Deadline : 04/02/2022

Credit : ML Labs


The Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning is designed to address the urgent industry demand for ML talent. The centre trains academically outstanding, industry-ready PhD graduates in tightly connected cohorts. These graduates will be future leaders managing the disruption that ML is causing across industry and society, and will strengthen the reputation of Ireland as a global hub for ML education, research, and application.


ML-Labs delivers an ambitious programme of study that allows students to develop the deep research and technical expertise required for an internationally excellent PhD, alongside the transferable skills and industry experience to make them attractive industry-ready hires. The programme builds upon the excellent structures and activities that already exist within the three host institutions, and adds innovative aspects specifically tailored to the goals of ML-Labs. The key training components are outlined below.


Each student in the centre will receive a generous scholarship valued at over €120,000. This includes a tax-free stipend of €18,500 per year for four years, full coverage of tuition fees, funds for conference travel, and an ample equipment allowance. Students will also have the opportunity to earn extra income within their host institution through teaching activities. The centre is committed to diversity in its named supervisor group and its student body and so applications from international students and from under-represented groups are strongly encouraged.

This year ML-Labs has two application tracks:

  • Technical Machine Learning Track: Researching and developing fundamental approaches and novel applications of machine learning.

  • Machine Learning in Society Track: Investigating the impacts machine learning is having on society and developing policy to manage these impacts.

The minimum requirements for entry into the programme under the Technical Machine Learning track are:

  1. grade (or equivalent) in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in computer science, maths, engineering, science, or similar technical discipline.

  • Strong programming ability.

  • Non-native English speakers require at least IELTS 6.5 (with at least 6 in all components) or equivalent (further details on equivalence of tests are available). At application stage it is not mandatory to upload the English test. Applicants that have not provided proof of IELTS test in the application will be asked to send the document if they are invited to an interview.

  • Machine learning experience is desirable but not mandatory.

  • The minimum requirements for entry into the programme under the Machine Learning in Society track are:

2. grade (or equivalent) in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in social science, digital humanities, engineering, science, or similar discipline.

  • Non-native English speakers require at least IELTS 6.5 (with at least 6 in all components) or equivalent (further details on equivalence of tests are available). At application stage it is not mandatory to upload the English test. Applicants that have not provided proof of IELTS test in the application will be asked to send the document if they are invited to an interview.

  • Experience working on the societal impact of technology is desirable, but not mandatory.

In summary, as well as being intellectually strong, successful Ph.D. students need to be adaptable, determined and to have the passion to go the extra mile, especially when the research isn’t going well. Before completing the application form, please consult the application template with guidelines and FAQ.


Each student in the centre will receive a generous scholarship valued at over €120,000. This includes a tax-free stipend of €18,500 per year for four years, full coverage of tuition fees, funds for conference travel, and an ample equipment allowance. Students will also have the opportunity to earn extra income within their host institution through teaching activities.


The centre is committed to diversity in its named supervisor group and its student body and so applications from international students and from under-represented groups are strongly encouraged.


All students will be members of a cohort in the centre and complete training activities as a group across the three host institutions. Each student, however, will be offered a place in one host institution from which they will receive their PhD.


Most students will join the ML-Labs programme without having made a commitment to work on a specific research project with a particular project supervisor. During the initial Bootcamp a series of matchmaking events will be organised to allow students and supervisors to meet to discuss research interests and to find the best matches between students, supervisors, and research topics. This process has been designed this way to allow all involved to have plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and as it has been shown to work very well on international PhD training programmes.


Email any queries to ml-labs@ucd.ie. Due to the high volume of applications we will not reply to inquiries on the status of personal applications. Everybody will be contacted at the end of each stage and informed if has been selected to the next stage.


The applications will be evaluated through a three stage selection process:

  • Application form

  • Assessment task

  • Interview

Useful links :

All applicants will be contacted by ml-labs@ucd.ie and are advised to check the spam email folder regularly.


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