PhD studentships available!

The School has announced a few PhD studentships and I am looking for some good students whose application I would be happy to support. Please contact me if interested. Some details are given below:

School is inviting applications for 6 full-time, three-year doctoral studentships for 2015/16 entry. Three of the studentships are funded by The George Daniels’ Educational Trust ; the other three are funded by the School.
The six studentships will be split equally across Computer Science (2 studentships), Mathematics (2 studentships), and Engineering (2 studentships).

What is offered
A doctoral studentship provides:
• An annual bursary (£16,000 in 2015/16);
• A full tuition fee waiver for UK and EU students. Applications are welcome from overseas applicants but the difference between overseas and UK fee must be covered by the applicant or by the supervisor/Research Centre (with prior agreement)

Successful applicants will be expected to provide 3 hours per week support for teaching in the School. Continuation of the studentship after the first year is subject to confirmation of satisfactory progress.

Applications are sought from exceptional UK, EU and international graduates and will be awarded on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and the potential to produce cutting edge-research.
• Applicants must hold at least a 2.1 honours degree or merit level Masters degree in a relevant subject (or international equivalent)
• Applicants whose first language is not English must have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS or a recognised equivalent
• Applicants must not be currently registered as a doctoral student at City University London or any other academic institution

How to apply
Application deadline: 25th May 2015.
Prospective applicants are strongly advised to discuss their application in advance with a potential supervisor in the School in order to determine whether they can offer supervision in their chosen research area.

Applications must consist of the following:
• A completed Research Degree application form
• A 3 page research proposal. This should include (a) your research question(s), (b) background literature and motivation for the research and (c) methodology/work plan.
• Proof of academic qualifications, i.e. grade transcripts from your previous degree(s)
• Proof of English language proficiency if you do not speak English as your first language
• Two confidential references (one of which must be an academic reference)

The above documents should be compiled into a single document and submitted to by the 25th May 2015.

Selection Process.

1. Once all the applications are collected, Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering should short list 4 applicants each.
2. The shortlisting panel for all areas will be led by: Computer Science: Prof Jo Wood; Mathematics: Prof Andreas Fring; Engineering: Prof Andreas Kappos
3. STRs should liaise with the above to assist them in the process
4. There will be a School panel to finalise the selection of PhD students on Wed 3rd of June 2015.

By artiagrawal Posted in General

Leadership lessons from VCs

Many of us dream of going right to the top: leading our institutions. Each year we see hundreds of students graduate and their dreams are as varied as they are. The kind organisations they join and which some of them will lead fit a very wide spectrum.

For academics who stay in the world of research and teaching the spectrum is narrower though not as one dimensional as some might think. There is need in this world too for excellent leadership, vision and a little bit of magic.

Firstly in my view universities are not businesses and their stakeholders more varied than any business: students, staff, research councils, charities, companies who commission projects, and most importantly society at large. We may be able to measure citation rates of papers, or construct impact studies of some of our research, even look at average earnings of our graduates. But there is no real measure to what universities contribute to the discourse of a society.

Yet when a university Vice Chancellor (VCs) is appointed he/she has to answer not only to the metrics and un-measurables from above, but also the very business like numbers of operating costs, profit, surpluses, and so on.

More and more VCs are like business leaders because the pressures imposed by governments to make universities more financially self-sufficient, force universities to behave like businesses (and not universities).

Is that good or bad?

Hard to say. But certainly there are some very game individuals who are doing their best running their unis. A very interesting article in Times Higher Education gives some lessons from 5 VCs.

My favourite tips from these were:

  1. When implementing strategy: understand how the institution works: politics and psychology of the organisation
  2. When going from a place to a new one as VC/leader, learn about it. Talk to as many people from as wide a range as possible
  3. Put the right people in right place
  4. Think on how to communicate decisions as much as decisions themselves

Now all I have to do is get a position as a VC and I can start implementing these on the grand scale. Till then perhaps in my smaller world trying out these things may help develop the leader in me!