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Advice to Potential Doctoral Students

This page contains advice for potential doctoral students. I receive many applications from students wanting to study with me, so I have prepared this page, as a convenient place to which to direct applicants.

Research topics

I carry out research in two main areas:

Take a look at my publications page to get a better idea of what I do.

My research mostly uses the process algebra CSP. Experience with CSP is not essential, but a certain amount of mathematical talent is! You might want to have a look at the first chapter of Bill Roscoe's book, The Theory and Practice of Concurrency, available here. I often set potential students some exercises from this book, to assess how well they would cope.

How to apply

  1. Send me an e-mail, suggesting some ideas for potential areas of study; I will want to see some evidence that you've looked at some of my previous work, and thought about whether I'm the right person to study with: if you're scared by theoretical approaches, then you'd probably be better off with somebody else.

  2. Complete a formal application; details available here.

  3. We can take it from there...


In order to study for a doctorate, you will need funding. See here for details of some sources of funding. Note that many deadlines are in December or January.

Unfortunately, there is not much funding available. The department sometimes has a limited amount of funding, but the competition is quite strong. I can apply for funding from EPSRC, but they are currently funding only 16% of applications.