General Advice

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If you are interested in applying to do a PhD with us, here is some advice on the application process.

  • We particularly encourage students from underrepresented groups, including women, to apply. We work closely with the Piscopia Initiative to improve the representation at PhD level of women and minority groups in mathematics. Piscopia have produced a booklet with very sound general advice on PhD applications. The Hodge Institute also runs Count Me In, a summer research program for undergraduate mathematicians from underrepresented groups.
  • Application. Check that you satisfy the entry requirements listed on this page. Then apply online for the Algebra or Geometry and Topology PhD programmes. We recognize no clear line between these topics, so if you are interested in both, just say so in your personal statement.
  • Application deadline. Most students start in September every year. For the upcoming round of admissions, the deadline for completed applications is January 22, 2024. To ensure that we receive your completed application, we recommend that you submit your online application by January 8, to allow time for your referees to upload their references.
  • Research Proposal. The online application form is standard across the whole university, and we are required to use it. However, we do not require a research proposal, so you can leave blank the research proposal box in the online application form. Normally, a research topic is only assigned in the course of the first year.
  • Supervisor. You can name one of more academic staff members you would like to work with in your application form, or leave it blank. You can find out more about us here, and a list of available supervisors is here. When a potential supervisor is not named in an application form, it is passed to the academic staff members according to a student’s research interests in a personal statement. Feel free to contact potential supervisors for an informal chat before applying. It’s quite normal for us to receive such requests. All that’s needed is a short email introducing yourself and explaining your interests in a couple of sentences.
  • Personal statement. This should say what motivates you to do a PhD, and what kinds of maths you would like to work on. You should also mention any independent learning or research experience you have.
  • Funding. PhD positions are typically fully funded for four years: you don’t have to pay the fees, and we will pay you a stipend. We are able to support strong candidates from any part of the world. You can improve your chances of admission if you secure your own funding, see the page on Funding opportunities in the graduate school website.