We are pleased to announce the second central call for applications for the ELLIS PhD Program. The ELLIS PhD Program is a core element of the ELLIS initiative and its goal is to foster and educate the best talent in machine learning and related research areas by pairing outstanding students with leading academic and industrial researchers in Europe.

Please consider the action items below and read on for details about the program and selection procedure, which has a slightly different set up than last year.

Action items and important dates

  • Deadline for Fellows/Scholars/Unit Faculty to sign upSeptember 10, 2021 via https://forms.gle/nssNfse9R9Emtmnz5. We will send a confirmation email upon receipt.
  • Please advertise the call widely
  • Deadline for students to apply: November 15

1 – General information about the ELLIS PhD program

The ELLIS PhD program is a core instrument of ELLIS and supports excellent young researchers by pairing them with leading researchers and offering a variety of networking and training activities. Our goal is to establish this program as the #1 brand in Europe. Junior ELLIS researchers are co-supervised by one ELLIS fellow/scholar/unit faculty and one ELLIS fellow/scholar/member, from different European countries. They conduct cutting-edge research in machine learning or a related research area and visit the exchange institution of the co-supervisor for an extended research stay (min. 6 months). Junior researchers can apply to the program following the central yearly call (new PhD students) as well as be nominated on a rolling basis (existing PhDs/postdocs recruited locally: nomination).

The centralized (virtual) recruiting event takes place once a year and serves both as a marketing tool to attract the best talents world-wide but also as the primary entry point for new PhD students. See ellis.eu/phd-postdoc and ellis.eu/faqs for more information.

2 – Central recruiting 2021/2022: Timeline and process

The breakdown of this year’s central recruiting process is as follows:

  • Sep 10: ADVISORS SIGN UP – To recruit new PhDs via the ELLIS Portal, Advisors need to sign up via this form by September 10. We need to integrate your data into the portal so that students can find potential advisors more easily.
  • Nov 15: APPLICATION DEADLINE – Students apply by November 15 via the ELLIS application portal, which will open in October.
  • Nov 18-25: CENTRAL PRE-SCREEN BY EVALUATORS – After a formal check by the central ELLIS administration, each application is pre-screened by 3 “Evaluators” (typically postdocs of participating advisors).
  • Nov 30 – Dec 21: CENTRAL REVIEW BY ADVISORS ⇒ SHORTLIST OF ELLIS CANDIDATES – The best applicants are assigned to “Advisors” (PIs) for a central review; each application is scored by 3 PIs based on application documents. This will yield a shortlist of excellent applicants who are “eligible” for the ELLIS PhD Program.
  • Jan – Feb 10: INTERVIEWS – Advisors conduct 1:1 interviews with shortlisted candidates they are interested in (self-organized). They can submit comments for other PIs to see in the application portal. At the end of the interview phase, students and PIs submit their preferences for hiring.
  • Feb 11-16: MATCHING – Students and advisors get matched for hiring.
  • Late Feb – Apr 15: OFFERS – Advisors make offers, and can interview back-up candidates if necessary. Students can get admitted to the program until April 15. The advisor and student sign a letter of intent which determines the funding and graduation plan.
  • Sep 15: CO-ADVISOR – Deadline to determine a co-advisor together with the student. The co-advisor must be an ELLIS fellow, scholar or member, and must be based at an academic institution in a different European country (Academic Track) or at an industrial research lab (Industry Track). See ellis.eu/phd-postdoc for details.

3 – Advertisement

One of the most critical aspects in establishing the ELLIS PhD program as the #1 brand in Europe is to advertise it widely on all channels. Please take action now by advertising the call via your university (PR) channels, your local unit or personal websites, social media, etc., and by reaching out to local Master students as well as colleagues at institutions outside of Europe. We also encourage you to retweet from @ELLISforEurope and to tag ELLIS in posts. Ads can be found in this folder (more material will be included there in the coming weeks and months). To ensure successful outreach and promotion of the program, please help us by listing your promotional activities in this file.

4 – Notes and FAQs

Participation: Participation in the central recruiting is open to ELLIS Fellows, Scholars and Unit Faculty based in Europe (and associated countries) who have open PhD positions starting in 2022 and would like to recruit a new PhD student via our central application portal, which pools thousands of applications from across the world and provides access to comments and scores from other users in the system.

Each PI who signs up to recruit via ELLIS is expected to contribute by:

  1. providing at least 1 Evaluator (postdoc/senior PhD) who will help pre-screen the applications in November;
  2. helping review the top pre-selected candidates in December: for each applicant who passed the pre-screen, review scores of 3 centrally assigned PIs will determine whether they are passed on to the interview stage.

Funding: Funding for students must be provided by the advisor(s). ELLIS does not provide funding apart from smaller travel grants through the ELISE project.

Degree: ELLIS – as a metaprogram – does not award PhD degrees: the student will enrol as a student or be employed at a degree-granting institution (typically the university the main supervisor is affiliated to) and must comply with all the local regulations. Consequently, new students must be accepted to the degree-granting institution in addition to being accepted as an ELLIS student.