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University of Cambridge Andrew Moore
Applying to do a PhD
Computer Laboratory > Andrew Moore > Research > Research Students > Applying to do a PhD

This page contains information for people who are considering applying to undertake their PhD with me.

I am a member of the Systems Research Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory however, my interests intersect a number of other research groups in the Computer Laboratory and across the University (e.g., hardware architectures (Computer Architecture), machine-learning (Physics/Engineering) and photonics (Engineering).

First steps

First read the background information about the Computer Laboratory, its research and the Systems Research Group. Note that the SRG has a number of sub-groups, I am a member of the NetOS sub-group.

My active research areas

I have a long-standing interest in the monitoring, measurement, characterization and modelling of the Internet. High-speed network monitoring (40Gbps, 100Gbps) is used when networks move to the latest generation networking speeds. Largely, this is to ensure customers, applications and computer-systems can make the best use of the higher speeds. This led to the Nprobe/GRIDprobe projects.

More recently my interests in network-monitoring involve accurately identifying the behaviour of users in project BRASIL.

Work in measurement and in characterizing network use has led to a desire to understand the limits of such measurement and this avenue of work is embodied in a new project Doe-Net.

Effective use of photonics in computer-systems drives my research in a different direction. Why photonics? Photonics (optical) systems have different trade-off concerns in comparison with Electrical systems. An example is how photonic systems have significantly lower costs for distance, lower (potential) costs for energy-needs, lower (potential) costs for heat-production, but nothing is free and photonic systems are subject to physical contraints. The Swallow project umbrellas this work.

Please note that I do not undertake (much) research in GRID computer systems, or the application of machine-learning to a new control problem (e.g., Neural-Networks for Network Management). If you wish to undertake research in one of these fields you are advised to consider applying elsewhere.

Your proposed research project

It is rare that I will have a prepared projects that students simply take on; students are invited instead to propose their own research in 500-1000 words and I then see if it fits with the my interests. Obviously, it is helpful if you consider my interests before preparing your proposal and I recommend you contact me to discuss your research proposal before submitting your application. As noted on the lab PhD admission pages, a proposal should

  • show an understanding of existing work in the field,
  • identify an area for new work,
  • have concrete goals and deliverables for the first year, and
  • indicate that you know how to achieve them.

The application process

Read the general information about applying to Cambridge including the Graduate Studies Prospectus and the particular details of the procedure for applying to do research in the Computer Laboratory.

The stated deadline for applications is 31 March each year, for admission the following October. However, if you need funding, are overseas (in the EU or outside the EU) or are a special case (in the US). Your applications must be made MUCH earlier. Consider preparing your application at least 12-14 months ahead.

People are occasionally admitted at other times of the year.

If you are thinking of applying here, you will see that there are three requirements for acceptance at Cambridge: the department, a college and proof of funding. The department will accept anyone that it thinks is likely to succeed and for whom an appropriate and willing supervisor can be found although, students whose native language is not English will need a high score in the IELTS. A college place for a research student is unlikely to prove difficult; in extremis, most supervisors can lean on their own colleges. Funding is more difficult...

The Laboratory has a small quota of EPSRC grants for UK and EU students and an even smaller number of separate studentships. The competition for these is extremely fierce; simply getting a first class degree is not sufficient to earn one. Unless you are able to secure one of these studentships, you will need to have a studentship from some other source (such as a Gates scholarship, a Cambridge Trust award or industrial sponsorship which you arrange through your own contacts) or be able to convince the University that you have sufficient private funds to support yourself for three years. For more information see the Costs & Funding section of the Graduate Studies Prospectus.

Contacting me

If you would like to visit the Laboratory some time to discuss a possible application, please feel free to get in touch. However, if you contact more than one person in the Laboratory, please make sure that all the people you contact are aware of all the others so that I do not duplicate effort.

Andrew W. Moore