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The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in
Mathematical Modelling, Analysis and Computation
at the Maxwell Institute Graduate School


MAC-MIGS Days are the chance to meet staff and students, hear presentations about training and research, and explore options for PhD study in our programme.  
Next Recruiting Day:  March 25, 2019 (Apply by March 16)
Apply Now


A new approach in doctoral training
Linking Mathematicians with Scientists and Engineers
Strong Academic Foundations
World-Class Industrial Partnerships

MAC-MIGS is a prestigious EPSRC-funded  PhD programme run jointly by Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt universities, as part of the Maxwell Institute Graduate School.  MAC-MIGS projects are focussed on the formulation, analysis and implementation of state-of-the-art mathematical and computational models and methods. It offers its PhD students an intensive 4-year training and research programme that equips them with the skills needed to tackle the challenges of data-intensive modelling. MAC-MIGS students have a world of opportunity for collaboration with scientists and engineers (from chemistry, physics, engineering, biology, informatics), interaction with over 30 industrial and governmental partners, and opportunities to visit international collaborators around the world.  MAC-MIGS is not just PhD instruction, it is world-class PhD training that equips student with the skills and confidence to lead their discipline. 

We accept applicatiions from students interest in a wide variety of areas, including mathematical modelling, applied and pure ordinary and partial differential equations, calculus of variations,  numerical analysis, pure and applied statistics, machine learning, inverse problems, fluid dynamics, stochastic analysis, and any interdisciplinary topic involving these branches of mathematics and their interplay with other fields such as biology, chemistry, engineering and physics.

 Training for Leadership

Skills in analysis and data-driven, computational modelling 
Collaborative projects focus
Responsible research and innovation
Entrepreneurship Training

About our Training Programme.  During your first year as a student, you are based at the new Bayes Centre in central Edinburgh (see photo at the top of this page), where you take courses and carry out  group and individual projects, often involving industrial or government partners. Towards the end of the year, you are matched with a PhD project proposed by MAC-MIGS supervisors. In subsequent years, you will work on your PhD project while continuing a (lighter) training programme. Throughout the programme, there are opportunities for interdisciplinary internships and periods of time spent in industry or with one of the overseas academic partners in our global network.

As a MAC-MIGS student, you study topics such as mathematical modelling, computational mathematics, analysis of ordinary, partial and stochastic differential equations, statistical methods and applied probability, optimisation, high performance computing, data analytics (e.g. machine learning), and uncertainty quantification.  MAC-MIGS staff are well aware of the need to address state of the art challenges in data-driven mathematical modelling; our colleagues in the Bayes Centre, EPCC and the Alan Turing Institute will assist us in giving you access to advanced skills to future-proof your education and prepare you for leadership in this rapidly evolving field.

Students in the programme are trained to work on interdisciplinary projects - analysing equations, identifying relevant model structures and testing computational methods in a real-world setting. Our training is outward facing and involves participation of researchers in physics, engineering, informatics, biology and chemistry, as well as industry partners. The training also includes topics in support of research and future employment, presentation skills, entrepreneurship, and responsible innovation.

For more details about the MAC-MIGS training programme please see the Programme Page.

It's (mostly)
hard work

but we only accept applications
from human beings

If you're ready to work hard, we'll help you realise your potential.    At the end of the programme you will be on your way to becoming a leader of your field - in business, as an entrepreneur or as a future academic.  Yes, getting a PhD is a major challenge but there's room to have a social life, whether having laugh with your fellow students or getting out to explore some of the stimulating cultural, social and recreational opportunities provided by Edinburgh and Scotland. 

Apply to MAC-MIGS

MAC-MIGS offers fully-funded studentships to begin in September 2019. This is a joint programme of both universities, leading to the award of a joint degree from both.   The next recruiting day (invitation only) will be held on March 25 (apply by March 16 for full consideration).  Please ignore standard University deadlines with regard to PhD applications - MAC-MIGS is open for business!

We actively promote equality, diversity & inclusion and welcome applications from all qualified applicants.  Simply stated our recruitment procedures, our operational policies, our training and supervision are all designed to give each student the same great opportunities.

It's straightforward to apply.  We outline the steps below.


Write a short research statement and identify your academic references

Your statement should explain in a couple of paragraphs why you wish to do a PhD in MAC-MIGS. This is not a research proposal but should be a concise description of your interests in relation to the MAC-MIGS programme. MAC-MIGS is very broad in the range of research interests it empraces; it is about openness and flexibility.  How do these features relate to your own ambitions for PhD research?   You may wish to mention a few topics that you have studied in an earlier (or current) research project, but this is not essential.   The research description is used as part of your application (next step). You will need to provide contact details for at least two academic references as part of your application.  Choose instructors from your current or previous studies, or a supervisor on a research project.   The most helpful referees will be those who are able to evaluate your research potential.


Submit your application

For 2019 entry please use links below to access the admissions portals at *both* universities and submit separate applications to each.    The application processes are very similar at both places.

*Please note that the programme code used for applications is not reflective of the range of areas of the Centre; in particular we are keen to have strong applicants with interests relevant to all areas of Mathematical Modelling, Analysis and Computing, as well as students whose first degree is in other fields of science and engineering.


Let us do the rest

We will review all the applications and decide if we wish to invite you for interview. Interviews (in person, for UK applicants) are typically conducted during our recruiting days, but we are able to arrange interviews outside of these days for students with excellent track records who need decisions rapidly.  Although studentships are capped for overseas applicants, we can take a few each year - interviews for overseas applicants are performed using teleconferencing.


Contact us if you have specific queries about the CDT which are not answered on these pages,
or if you are interested in industrial partnership possibilities

Name and Role email
Prof. Benedict Leimkuhler, PI and Director of MAC-MIGS, Edinburgh
Prof. Dugald Duncan, Co-Director of MAC-MIGS, Heriot-Watt
Prof. Gabriel Lord, MAC-MIGS Coordinator for Industry and Engagement, Heriot-Watt University
Dr Ben Goddard,  MAC-MIGS Associate Coordinator for Industry and Engagement, Edinburgh
Prof. Jacques Vanneste, MAC-MIGS Recruitment Coordinator , Edinburgh
Dr Michela Ottobre, MAC-MIGS Associate Recruitment Coordinator, Heriot-Watt
MAC-MIGS Administrator (for admissions info, directions)

Further Contact Info


MAC-MIGS CDT, School of Mathematics, JCMB, Kings Buildings, University of Edinburgh EH9 3FD, United Kingdom


+44 (0)131 650 5085


Working Hours:

9am-5pm (UK time) M-F