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Step by Step Application Process

Application Support

Are you the first in your family to do a PhD? Are you from an under-represented group or do you have a disability? Do you need information about PhDs in general? Do you just need someone to ask some questions to? If you need help with the application process, please get in touch and we can provide support The SENSE managers are not on the recruitment panels, so any questions can be asked in confidence that it will have no effect on your application.

Please follow our application procedure to apply for an SENSE studentship.

The deadline for submitting applications is midnight 30th June 2022

Step 1 

Look at the available projects, and select the project you are most interested in. You can only apply for one project, though if you are successful at interview stage and this project has already been offered to another student, we will discuss with you if you are interested in any other projects. We strongly encourage you to get in touch with the supervisor of the project you’re interested in.

For help in applying, please watch these videos and read the associated resources:

  1. How can a PhD help me with my career? and read the material from last year
  2. Support for applying for a PhD and read the resource

You can also view our webinars from last year on our YouTube channel.

Step 2 

Your application should be submitted to the University of Leeds via the following link (you will need to create an account)

Admissions Login (

Please be aware that this studentship is only available to UK student or someone who has settled status within the UK. Is you need clarification of this please contact

You are required to attach the following documents

  • Curriculum vitae (CV/resumé) which shows a high level of academic achievement and appropriate non-academic experience. Please include secondary school results.
    • As well as your standard CV, please also submit one anonymised CV. This is a copy of your personal statement in which you have deleted or redacted your name, gender, ethnicity, date of birth and nationality.
  • Transcripts and certificates of ALL degrees to date.
     If you have not yet completed your current degree, you will need to send an official transcript of your results so far. If you studied out with the UK you must also provide a conversion into UK qualifications:
  • Personal Statement.  Please provide a personal statement outlining
    (i) Why you are interested in your chosen project
    (ii) What motivates you to pursue PhD study
    (iii) What is your research experience and how does your skill set match the requirements for your choice of project. Please particularly detail any research, programming or Earth Observation experience.
    (iv) Details of contact you have had with the lead project supervisor
    (v) If you have studied outside the UK please provide  details of the equivalence of your degree qualifications to current UK degree levels and grades:
    • Please note (iv) and (v) (where applicable) are an essential requirement of the personal statement and if you fail to include them your application may not be considered.
    • Ideally your personal statement would not exceed a single page of A4, but we will accept up to 2 pages.
    • As well as your standard personal statement please also submit one anonymised personal statement. This is a copy of your personal statement in which you have deleted or redacted your name, gender, ethnicity, date of birth and nationality.

  • English Language. Generally, if you are from a non-English speaking country or have not studied in a majority English speaking country, you will need to meet the English language requirements evidence through an English language test (e.g., IELTS/TOEFL). The test certificate is not required when applying but will be required when registering if you are successful. If you already hold these certificates please include them with your application.
  • References. Before we can give full consideration to your application, we will need a minimum of two strong references. If possible these would both be academic references, but if you have been working in industry we welcome references from your line manager. These can be submitted with your application if they are signed, or alternatively, they can be emailed directly by the referee to  using the using the Referee’s Report form available to download herePlease note that it is your responsibility to request these references and ensure they that are sent to us.

Please note that with your application you do not need to supply a research proposal however you should state clearly on your application and on any supporting documents you supply what project you are applying to.

We are committed to removing any potential bias in our application process. Your standard CV and personal statement will be read by the supervisors of the project you have applied to, as you will have had contact with them already. The anonymised CV and personal statement will be read by the recruitment committee, to minimise the risk of unconscious bias. We have also asked your referees to write a gender-neutral reference, without your name, which will be read by the recruitment committee.