• March 13th 2018  – Applications open
  • May 14th 2018 – Application deadline (varies yearly)
  • June 19th 2018 – Shortlisted applicants are interviewed in Bristol
  • Late June/Early July – Applicants are notified as to whether or not they have been offered on the programme. 4-5 applicants are selected each year
  • September-October – Mandatory introductory week for new GW4-CAT cohort (Cohort III)
  • October 2018 -May 2019 – New GW4-CAT fellows liaise with potential supervisors and write their project proposals with assistance from a GW4-CAT Director and the Programme Manager
  • June – GW4-CAT fellows submit their project proposals and are interviewed by the GW4-CAT Board of Directors (interview date will be agreed after appointment)
  • August-September – Most new GW4-CAT fellows will commence their PhD (start dates are negotiable)
After appointment on the GW4-CAT programme, a typical journey is as follows:

Summer 2018

  • 4-5 applicants are appointed to the programme after the selection process has been completed
  • After appointment you will receive an offer letter
  • Once you have accepted this formal offer, you will be expected to withdraw from any other PhD applications you have pending
  • You will then meet with the GW4-CAT administrative team to discuss initial PhD ideas, potential primary supervisors, preferred start-date and working pattern, and any obstacles you foresee to writing a PhD proposal prior to commencing your PhD


  • You will attend a compulsory GW4-CAT introductory week where you will have the opportunity to meet the management team, potential supervisors and explore the equipment and resources that each of our institutions has to offer

October 2018-May 2019

  • With the assistance of a member of the Board of Directors and the GW4-CAT administrative team, you will hone your project ideas and decide on your cross-institutional supervisory team
  • Your supervisory team, and the relevant GW4-CAT director, will help you to develop a project proposal and an itemised budget request
  • You will also start the registration process at your primary institution

June – July 2019

  • You will attend a formal PhD proposal interview in which the panel will scrutinise your project plan and offer advice and feedback
  • The interview panel will consist of all members of the Board of Directors, or appropriate substitutions if required
  • This interview will be a part of an iterative process, rather than a ‘pass or fail’ situation, so you will have the opportunity to amend your proposal for resubmission if necessary
  • You will have the chance to address the feedback from the project proposal interview and resubmit your project plan and budget request if necessary
  • If the concerns of the directors are satisfactorily addressed at this point, they will officially approve your project and budget proposal
  • GW4-CAT is the acting funder for your grant so this final approval is an essential aspect of the proposal process. If they still have concerns, they will provide action points that they think are crucial to address before they are are able to sign-off on your project plan and your requested grant budget

August – September 2019

  • Most GW4-CAT fellows will commence their PhD projects
  • There will be a compulsory GW4-CAT induction

PhD Year 1

  • You will likely be undertaking research and honing the focus of your project.
  • At the end of year 1, you will have to adhere to any institutional progress monitoring processes but you will also meet with the GW4-CAT Board of Directors for them to assess your progress.
  • The directors will ensure that any stop:go points you identified in your project proposal have been met, that you are working well with your supervisory team, and they will discuss with you how the project has evolved and any challenges that you have faced.

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