Appointment Process and Pre-PhD Year

Typical Time-line

  • December – Call for Applications Opens
  • January  – Call for Applications Closes
  • March– Anonymised shortlisting takes place and successful applicants invited to interview
  • May  – Panel interviews take place in Bristol
  • May – Applicants are notified of the interview outcomes
  • June/July – Initial Introductory Meeting with the GW4-CAT HP Directors
  • September – Mandatory introductory sessions for newly appointed GW4-CAT HP fellows
  • September – May – GW4-CAT HP fellows liaise with potential supervisors and write their project proposals with support from an appointed GW4-CAT HP Director mentor and the Programme Manager
  • May – Project proposals sent out for peer review
  • June – GW4-CAT HP fellows submit their draft project proposals and are interviewed by the GW4-CAT HP Board of Directors
  • July – Any amendments to project proposals are made and signed off
  • August-September – GW4-CAT HP fellows commence their PhD (start dates are negotiable)

Post Appointment Process

May – August

  • 3-5 applicants are appointed to the programme annually
  • Offer letters are sent to successful applicants and references are taken up
  • Once the formal offer has been accepted, applicants are expected to withdraw from any other pending PhD applications
  • You will then meet with the GW4-CAT HP administrative team to discuss initial PhD ideas, potential senior supervisors, preferred start-date and working pattern, and any obstacles you foresee to writing a PhD proposal

Pre-PhD Year


Mandatory GW4-CAT HP Introductory Sessions

  • During these sessions you will have an opportunity to:
    • Get to know the other fellows in your cohort
    • Network with fellows in earlier cohorts to discuss with them their experiences of being GW4-CAT HP fellows and gain an insight into how to get the best from being part of the GW4-CAT HP programme.
    • Meet the GW4-CAT HP management team
    • Meet with potential supervisors in all three of our institutions
    • Find out about the equipment and resources that our institutions have to offer

October – May

  • With the assistance of a member of the Board of Directors and the GW4-CAT HP Programme Manager, you will hone your project ideas and decide on your cross-institutional supervisory team
  • Your supervisory team, and the relevant GW4-CAT HP 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

  • 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 as necessary
  • If the concerns of the directors are satisfactorily addressed at this point, they will officially approve your project and budget proposal
  • GW4-CAT HP 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 able to sign-off on your project plan and your requested grant budget

August – September

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

PhD Year One

  • You will likely be undertaking research and honing the focus of your project
  • During the first year you will have a welfare meeting with the programme manager. This informal meeting is an opportunity to check that you have settled into your team and are happy with the progress you are making with your PhD studies. Here you can also discuss any potential issues that may have arisen in the early stages of your PhD work
  • At the end of year one, you will have your institutional progress monitoring meeting
  • At the end of year one you will also meet with a GW4-CAT HP Deputy or Co-Director, who will discuss your progress from a programme point of view. The director 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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