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Data-Centric Engineering

Support

Not sure if a Doctorate is for you?

We all go through moments when we do not feel cut out for a doctorate, or we do not feel like we belong. This is particularly the case for those of us who are from, or identify with, one or more historically underrepresented groups in doctoral education, especially in Science, Engineering, and Technology, and those of us who have been out of education for a while, or have never been to university. 

Our programme aims to create a new path into research training for people who might have thought it impossible, or might not otherwise have considered it. It is uniquely flexible, and we intend to use this flexibility to recruit and support talented candidates from all backgrounds and walks of life. So whether you’ve entertained the idea of a doctorate before or not, or have been put off for some reason – perhaps the entry requirements, the idea of taking a career break, or the cost of studying – our programme could be the pathway into research training that you’ve been looking for.

The information and videos on this page aim to address some of the most common concerns about undertaking a doctorate, especially later in life. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of the page. If you would like to discuss any of the content on this page in relation to our programme, please get in touch: dce-cdt@qmul.ac.uk 

Support offered as part of our programme

In the video below, our CDT Manager Gabriella talks about some the support that will be available to you once you are part of our Team. The bottom line is that we will always strive to be as flexible as we possibly can in order to make our programme work for you. 

We offer tailored, one-to-one support to our Scholars from application to graduation, including meetings to focus on your skills development, weekly group surgeries to discuss any programme-related topics, and individual slots to talk about any issues or concerns.

Are you worried about starting a university degree, perhaps because it's been some time or because this would be your first university experience? Our programme is specifically for those who have been out of formal education for at least 3 years, because we value the skills and experience you have acquired through work and other projects. Our first core course, An Introduction to Research Methods and Responsible Innovation, aims to help our Scholars return to study and research and get up to speed with doctoral requirements.

Our Scholars say:

It's been a fantastic beginning to the course, Gabriella and the Team have really guided us through returning to study and research and I feel more confident now.

The Annotated Bibliography & Academic Writing sessions have been really informative and make me feel better prepared for working towards the EngD.

We value competencies, skills, and talent from all backgrounds and walks of life

Our Team is strongly committed to equality and diversity, and aims to play an active role in Queen Mary's mission to create and nurture a truly inclusive environment

While on the programme, you will have access to additional funding from our Research and Training Support Grant as well as carers' funding, should you need support with carers' responsibilites while on a conference or placement.

Below is some information on support mechanisms in place at Queen Mary University. If you have any queries, or would like more information about flexible options or support available, please email us on dce-cdt@qmul.ac.uk.

Support at QMUL and beyond

Support at Queen Mary

Our Centre has strong links with all support services at QMUL, such as the Disability & Dyslexia and the Advice & Counselling Services. 

Below is more information about some of the support available at QMUL:

Support for students with caring responsibilities

Support for students with children

Support for students with a disability or long-term health conditions; also, check out this useful document called: Considerations for Disabled Applicants to Postgraduate Study by the Disabled Students' Commission and ask us any questions you may have. 

Queen Mary University of London has collaborated with the organisation AccessAble (formally DisabledGo) to create a comprehensive set of access guides for all the university's physical locations, covering all our campuses. 

Support and resources for BAME students, including career support

Faiths at QMUL

Support and resources for LGBTQ+ students

Queen Mary is part of Stonewall Diversity Champion programme, which helps employers and service providers to promote equality for LGBTQ+ people, and is committed to creating an environment where trans people can be themselves and are treated with kindness, dignity and respect.

We recognise that trans applicants may face additional issues when applying and may have concerns about disclosing their status. Trans applicants are encouraged to seek support and advice. If you are concerned about contacting a generic email address (for example, the Admissions team), you can contact our CDT Manager in the first instance: g.caminotto@qmul.ac.uk.

Other resources:

There are a lot of websites and Twitter accounts you can look at for tips, advice, and supporting communities. We've put together a list of some of the most useful below.

Vitae - supporting Researcher development

Student Minds offers peer support and a range of resources.

Working-class academics, also on Twitter: (@AcademicsClass)

Minorities in STEM: UK Network promoting & supporting ethnic minority individuals studying & working in sci, tech, engineering & maths. Also on Twitter: @MinoritySTEM

Black British in STEMConnecting Black Students, Graduates and Professionals to career opportunities in STEM. Also on Twitter: @BB_STEM

Vanguard STEMonline platform and community that centers the experiences of women of color, girls of color and non-binary people of color in STEM. Also on Twitter @VanguardSTEM

Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers, also on Twitter @AFBE_UK

ResearcHers Code, supporting cis & trans women & non-binary people in Tech for Research. Also on Twitter @ResearcHersCode

Women's Engineering Society

POC Squared - Putting People of Colour Into The Equation; also on Twitter:@pocsquared

Leading RoutesLeading Routes is a pioneering initiative that aims to prepare the next generation of Black academics.

Equal engineers, also on Twitter: @EqualEngineers

UPSIGN: UK Pakistan Science and Innovation Global Network, also on Twitter: @UPSIGN_Network

LGBTQ+ STEMImproving LGBTQ+ visibility in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Also on Twitter: @LGBTSTEM

Lesbians Who Tech & Allies: a global community of 100K+ LGBTQ women, trans and nonbinary folks, queer women of color, and allies in tech. Also on Twitter: @lesbiantech

Queer Engineer Also on Twitter @QueerEngineers

The STEM Village@TheSTEMvillage

Pride in STEM. Also on Twitter: @PrideinSTEM

Black in AI. Also on Twitter: @black_in_ai

BAME women in Engineering@BAMEWIE1

Black Women in Science: @BWiSNetwork

The PhD Voice: @PhD Voice

African-Caribbean Research Collective: @ACRC_UK

Open Academics: @OpenAcademics

LGBTQ+ STEM Cast@LGBTQstemCast

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs below are about our programme and the support provided. For application-related FAQs, please see our applications page. 

If you have any queries that are not addressed by the FAQs below, or would like more information about flexible options or support available, please email us: dce-cdt@qmul.ac.uk. 

Those undertaking a research degree at a UK university can be referred to in a variety of ways. You may have heard of PhD students, doctoral students, doctoral researchers, doctoral candidates, postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and so on. 

We use the word Scholar for those enrolled on our programme because we recognise that:

  • those enrolled on a research degree programme like ours are not students in the same way as undergraduates or Master's students;
  • our Scholars bring considerable professional experience and skills to our programme. 

Once you are enrolled however, you will find that quite a lot of the time people will conflate all research degrees and those who do them into the label of 'PhD student', which can be confusing sometimes. 

The Engineering Doctorate (or EngD) is a level 8 qualification (see page 30), exactly like a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). Check out our training programme page to understand what makes our programme an Engineering Doctorate.

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