Industrial CASE Awards in Mathematics 2017/18

Return applications to gillian.hoyle@smithinst.co.uk by Friday 27 October 2017

About Industrial CASE Awards in Mathematics

The Smith Institute, in conjunction with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, wishes to allocate four Industrial CASE postgraduate awards (ICASE for short) in support of new collaborative research projects in industrial mathematics. Each project will be a four-year partnership between a company and university, leading to the completion of a PhD. Companies in all business areas are eligible. The scientific focus of the project should be in some branch of the mathematical sciences, broadly interpreted to include the mathematical areas of statistics, operations research, data science and computing.

The timetable for the awards is as follows:
27th October 2017: The attached application form to be completed and returned
10th November 2017: Successful applicants notified
20th November 2017: Successful applicants announced at the Alan Tayler Day, St Catherine's College, Oxford
30th November 2017: Sign-up forms for new projects due at EPSRC.

What is an ICASE Award?

Industrial CASE (ICASE) awards are four-year postgraduate awards allocated jointly to company and university. The aim of the awards is to enable companies to take the lead in defining and arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice. To be eligible as an ICASE partner, companies must have an established UK-based research and/or commercial production capability. The PhD project must be formally agreed between the company and the university partner. ICASE allocations are made as studentships, and must be allocated to universities that already have a Doctoral Training Partnership with EPSRC. The list of eligible universities can be found here.

Ground rules

  1. Over the four-year duration, students are expected to spend a total of at least 3 months on the premises of the partner company. The expenses incurred by the student (travel, subsistence and accommodation) in spending time with the company should be covered by the company. Students may spend longer with the company, provided they still meet the university’s PhD residence requirements.
  2. The company makes a cash contribution of £28,300 to the university and £8,000 to the Smith Institute. These contributions cover the joint supervision of the project and are in addition to the student’s expenses mentioned above. The EPSRC contribution to the project, made directly to the university, is £84,900.
  3. The Smith Institute assigns a member of its staff to act as a mentor for the project. This includes participating in one project meeting per year, organising an annual showcase of ICASE projects , and providing connections to other relevant projects and initiatives.
  4. Contact should be maintained between the company supervisor and the student throughout the duration of the project.
  5. The student should present their work at the Smith Institute’s annual showcase once during the project, usually in either the third or fourth year of the project.

Application review process

In making allocations of ICASE awards, the Smith Institute draws on the advice of independent reviewers. Proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality: the application should describe the opportunities for doing excellent science, expanding the use of mathematics, and present evidence of a stimulating and supportive environment for a student to pursue a PhD in the mathematical sciences. Because the primary direct output of the project will be a PhD thesis, demonstrating scientific excellence in the application is crucial. Especially if the project is building on a prior collaboration, the application needs to make clear what the scientific challenges are that it addresses, beyond the incremental.
  • Evidence of engagement: it should be clear why the partnering company is making a commitment to the project and what it hopes to get out of the collaboration. This applies equally to existing relationships and new relationships. It should be clear how the partners intend to work together, in a genuinely collaborative project.
  • Capacity to build on the project: it should be clear that there is scope for further developing the outcomes of the project in ways that are beneficial to the company and university. These might take various forms, including growing a wider programme of collaborative research and feeding directly into the company’s commercial operations.

Proposers may be approached for further information to enable the review panel to reach a decision.

Submitting an application

The application should be made on the attached form (see link below) and submitted by email as either a Word or PDF document to gillian.hoyle@smithinst.co.uk no later than Friday 27th October 2017. Do not change the section headings. There is no specific page limit, but we expect that a complete application would consist of about 6-10 pages in total. By submitting an application, the project partners agree to the above ground rules.

ICASE Application Form 2017

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