+44 (0)1334 463253

Prospective Research Engineers

School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews, in partnership with The Data Lab

Students enrolled on an EngD programme are called Research Engineers (REs).

We welcome applicants from all nations and backgrounds: the University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Applications are particularly welcome from women, who are under-represented in Research and Development posts.


If you are interested in applying for the EngD, please first read the information below, including the guidance for the applying.

Why should I pursue an EngD?

An Engineering Doctorate is a research doctorate for those who are focussed on a career in industry. It is recognised as being equivalent to a PhD. It has the academic training and rigour of a PhD, but the student – a Research Engineer (RE) – tackles research challenges that are presented by the Industry Sponsor. The RE is placed with the Industry Sponsor, and is appointed a mentor, the Industrial Supervisor, to complement the Academic Supervisor at the University.

Benefits of being an RE include:

  • work closely with an Industry Sponsor, tackling real-world challenges in industry, business, commerce, government, or non-government organisations.
  • work with small, medium or large Industry Sponsors.
  • gain research training and experience – the Research Training Component (RTC) of the EngD.
  • gain practical experience in applied research with the Industry Sponsor – the Individual Research Component (IRC) of the EngD.
  • time spent on an EngD is recognised for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

What qualifications do I need?

For admission, we would normally expect at least a Bachelors degree in a relevant subject from Computing, Informatics, Mathematics or Engineering. We would expect an applicant for the EngD to have achieved a First Class honours degree at Bachelors level, or a Distinction at MSc level.

However, we recognise that some applicants, e.g. employees of Industry Sponsors, may have other suitable experience and qualifications. So, we are keen to work with Industry Sponsors to recognise other qualifications as well as practical experience, and explore routes for entry onto the EngD programme. This may involve an interview and other ad hoc assessment of an applicant’s suitability, as deemed appropriate, on a case-by-case basis. We will enter into discussion with the applicant, the Industry Sponsor, as well as taking advice from the St Andrews admissions team on qualifications, as required.

How does it work?

You can apply for admission on to the EngD programme with our without an Industry Sponsor already in place. If you do not have an Industry Sponsor, you should indicate your areas of interest (i.e. technical interests and/or areas of industry where you would like to be placed), and we will pass your information on to Prospective Industry Sponsors who have registered with us to be informed of Prospective applicants. If you do have an Industry Sponsor already, you can indicate this when you apply and you can also give information about your proposed area for of research for the IRC.

Every RE should have an Industry Sponsor by the end of the admission process. Normally, an RE will spend the majority of their time on the IRC at the site of the Industry Sponsor. The Industry Sponsor will provide the funding for the RE, as well as an Industrial Supervisor who will act as mentor and contact person at the Industry Sponsor’s site.

The RE must complete the following components of the programme in order to be considered for the award of an EngD:

An overview of the programme is given here.

Which companies could I have as a sponsor?

If you do not have an Industry Sponsor, please look at our list of current vacancies. If one of these appeals to you then you can indicate the vacancy you are interested in via the application form.

Alternatively, you can apply without indicating a specific vacancy you are interested in, but instead stating your technical area of interest, and we will send your information out to our Industry Partners in order to try and find an Industry Sponsor for you.

I already have an Industry Sponsor (e.g. a current employer) – what do I do?

That’s great – you can apply directly! See below.

How do I apply?

Before you start, you will need:

  1. A working email address.
  2. A CV (PDF document)
  3. A research proposal (PDF document)
  4. A sample of academic writing (PDF document)
  5. A copy of any certificates for qualifications (PDF document)
  6. The names and contact details of two referees.
  7. If applying for a specific EngD vacancy, then the details (title, sponsor, reference number) for that vacancy.

The application process has two parts:

  • Make an application to the University, as a postgraduate research student.
  • Providing additional information for the EngD to the School of Computer Science.

For making an application to the University, you will need:

  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A research proposal.
    • If applying with a Prospective Industry Sponsor, then this is a document that you have agreed with the Sponsor.
    • If applying for a specific vacancy you have seen on our web site, then this is a document that presents your statement of what you think the research challenges are for that vacancy and how you might address them.
    • If applying for no specific vacancy, and without a Prospective Industry Sponsor, then this is a document detailing your specific technical interest.
  • A sample of academic writing. This could be a report you have prepared, a paper or technical article you have written, or a previous dissertation, e.g. your undergraduate or Masters dissertation or project.
  • A copy of any certificates. Please scan your certificates ready for upload.
  • The names and contact details of two referees. These should be two people who we can contact, in confidence, in order to get their opinion of your ability and your suitability for the EngD programme.

When you have that information, you can go to the University web site and start the application process. When you are ready, the link to the University application page is here.

After you have filled out the University application you will need to provide some additional information for the EngD, which the School needs. This is very simple: please send by email your CV (as in 2. above), information about any specific vacancy you are applying for (as in 7. above), with a covering or letter/email to engd-admin-cs@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Please note that both the University application and the additional information for the School must be completed.

What accommodation options are there for when I am undertaking the RTC?

During the RTC, you might need to stay in St Andrews for the Semester. We have a range of accommodation options, including University accommodation as well as private accommodation.

I want to find out more or talk to someone – how do I do that?

  • If you have any queries, please send email to engd-admin-cs@st-andrews.ac.uk.
  • You can also phone the School during normal office hours, 0900-1700 UK time, Monday to Friday, on +44 (0)1334 463253 (please note that there is no voicemail service on this line).