The GW4-CAT selection and appointment process has been amended, in view of the national measures introduced to limit the spread of COVID-19, during March and April 2020. Please note that the revised dates may also be subject to further change.

  • 1st February 2020  – Applications open
  • 6th March 2020 – Application deadline (varies yearly)
  • 12th May 2020 – (revised date 1st October 2020) Shortlisted applicants are interviewed in Bristol
  • May/June – (revised date October 2020) – Applicants are notified as to whether or not they have been offered on the programme. There are 3-4 places available for a 2021 start.
  • 15-18 September 2020 – (revised date 17th – 20th November) -Mandatory introductory week for new GW4-CAT cohort (Cohort V)
  • September 2020 – May 2021- (revised date November 2020 – May 2021) – GW4-CAT fellows liaise with potential supervisors and write their project proposals with assistance from a GW4-CAT Director and the Programme Manager
  • June 2021– 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 2021 – Most  GW4-CAT fellows will commence their PhD (start dates are negotiable)
After appointment on the GW4-CAT programme, a typical journey is as follows:


  • 3-5 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 lead supervisors, preferred start-date and working pattern, and any obstacles you foresee to writing a PhD proposal prior to commencing your PhD

September/October (November)

  • 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 – May (November – May)

  • With the assistance of a member of the Board of Directors and the GW4-CAT Programme Manager, 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

  • 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

  • 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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