Horizon adopts a radical approach to training that combines taught elements with industry engagement and practice-led research in a highly flexible manner.
Under the guidance of a personal mentor, each student will undertake a journey from an initially narrow disciplinary focus to a point where they are fully equipped for a career within industry or academia. This will involve developing interdisciplinary skills in the human-centred design of ubiquitous computing as well as transferable skills in research, innovation and appreciation of societal impact.
Our Centre for Doctoral Training Programme comprises three core elements: a taught programme, an internship and the research programme. The balance between the different elements evolves over time, but as an indication, the 2018 cohort are undertaking:
At the heart of the PhD will be an interdisciplinary research project. This will be grounded in a user-centred approach through the close involvement of industry partners. Each student will be guided by at least two supervisors from different disciplines.
PhD research topics will be chosen during the first year of the programme, drawing on ideas and discussions involving the students, potential supervisors and external partners. This said, the following list offers a few illustrative research topics that would fall under the overarching agenda of the centre:
Our students have access to a wide variety of research facilities, established using over £4M of equipment funding over the past five years. These include a wireless applications test-bed across the city of Nottingham, a Galileo positioning test-bed that is part of the newly-funded GRACE centre, a collection of mobile devices and server infrastructure within the Mixed Reality Laboratory, and a series of vehicle simulators (car, train and motorcycle) within Engineering.
Our taught programme addresses interdisciplinary and transferable skills via six core training themes:
Each student will construct and follow their own personal pathway through these themes that enables them to develop from their own individual starting point into a rounded interdisciplinary researcher.
We recognise that PhD students are highly able individuals who have already successfully passed through at least one degree programme and who are therefore very capable of self-directed study. Moreover, we appreciate that many students will be eager to push on with research-focused practical activities from the beginning of their programme. We will therefore tailor and mix different modes of delivery to suit the capabilities and motivations of talented PhD students including: day or half-day seminars with significant student-led presentation and discussion; short-fat modules delivered in blocks; a summer school; and extensive research and practice-based activities including a feasibility project and the preparation of a PhD proposal.