LINAS Postgraduate programme
Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Algorithmic Solutions (LINAS)
The LINAS Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) seeks to develop a cohort of Doctoral Scholars who can address the implications of massive-scale data processing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for both the actual operation of algorithmically driven public decision-making in wider society, and within science and engineering.
Together the rapidly evolving approaches to data make up what have been termed ‘enigmatic technologies’, where authority is concealed behind algorithms. Within the social science domain, algorithmically driven public decision-making, challenges the role of human agency and politics, human rights law and principles of transparency and accountability. For science and engineering, there is a challenge to the traditional scientific governing principles of transparent working and reproducibility.
LINAS brings together legal scholars, social scientists, physical scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers to develop a distinctive cohort of doctoral students working across the boundaries of their own disciplines. Our ambition is to support the development of integrated, effective, scientifically rigorous and socially responsible algorithmic solutions.
It is hosted by The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice in collaboration with the Schools of Law, Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics, History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics and Social Sciences, Education and Social Work.
The Scholarship includes:
- Full-time postgraduate research tuition fees at Standard UK Rates (not yet set for 2021/22). The standard tuition fee for 2020/21 was £4,407 for one year of study
- A maintenance award at the Research Councils UK national rate
- Research Training and Expenses
- Three or four year studentships are available
Scholarships covering full tuition fees and stipend are available to UK and Republic of Ireland students.
EU and other international students (excluding Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are very welcome to apply. Such students will be required to fund their own fees at the Queen's University Belfast international fee rate (£17.k or £21.4k per annum), but LINAS can provide both the maintenance award (approximately £15.3k per year) and a contribution to the fee of £4.5k per year.
Project priority themes are:
Artificial Intelligence, Social Justice and Public Decision-Making
- Algorithmic accountability: Public control of AI decision-making
- Legal and social-legal challenges around new technology
- AI and Humans: Reckoning and Judgement
- Fairness in Exploratory Data Analytics: The agency shift from humans to AI
Science, Governability and Society
- Robotic eyes on the sky and on earth
- ML-enhanced quantum information processing
- Numerically Robust and Reproducible Deep Learning
- Algorithmic security: Distributed Agency, Responsibility, and Governability
Within this programme, PhD applicants will work with named researchers across the relevant disciplines on a proposal that fits within the overall programme. Applicants should have a good honours degree (normally at least a 2.1 or equivalent in a relevant subject - which will include physics, maths, computer science as well as law, social science and the humanities), preferably also a Masters qualification, and a strong commitment to interdisciplinary approaches.
Outlines of the Research Proposals available for this year are posted above, including details of the LINAS team. Applicants are strongly advised to make contact with their potential supervisor to develop their ideas about how they would contribute to the proposed project. The application should detail the particular contribution that the potential doctoral scholar would make to the proposed project, how this would fit into the wider themes of the programme and whether the application is for a three or four year award.
A link to the Virtual Information Session posted above gives full details of the LINAS programme. To discuss further please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All applications should be made through the online Application Portal (below) and directed to the School where the Primary Supervisor is based. They must also be clearly marked as LINAS 21 to ensure consideration for funding. Applicants should choose the option in the funding section “I wish to be considered for external funding” and then enter LINAS21 in the free text box which follows.
Closing date for applications: 5 March 2021 at 4.00 pm
Interviews: Week commencing 15 March 2021
Decision to applicants: Week commencing 29 March 2021
Completing your Application
- All applicants must provide an up-to-date CV; this should be uploaded to the Admissions Portal as a separate document*
- All applicants are required to provide a 2000 word (maximum) statement, specifically detailing how they would contribute to the proposed project and the interdisciplinary aspects of the LINAS programme
- Applicants wishing to propose an interdisciplinary PhD topic of their own, that aligns with one or more of the LINAS priority themes, must upload a 2000 word research proposal that describes the topic as a separate document.* This research proposal must clearly identify a potential supervisory team and which of the themes it relates to
- Please note, failure to include the reference LINAS21 in the free text box may result in your application not being allocated or considered for funding.
*Please note that only one document can be uploaded. You must combine your CV and Research Proposal into one document (word or PDF).
LINAS Academic Team:
Programme leadership: LINAS Programme lead and PI : Prof John Morison
AI, Social Justice and Public Decision-Making coordination: Dr Sandra Scott-Hayward
Science, Governability and Society coordination: Prof Stephen Smartt