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A PhD Studentship in FPGA Arithmetic for Machine Learning

Imperial College London - Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £17,000 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 24th July 2019
Closes: 14th December 2019

Position Summary:

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship, to be undertaken at Imperial College London (Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department). This studentship will form part of a newly established International Centre for Spatial Computational Learning, and a supervisory team will be allocated based on the student’s interest from the Imperial College supervisors participating in the Centre. This is an exciting cutting-edge project involving close collaboration between Imperial College (UK), the University of California Los Angeles (USA), the University of Toronto (Canada), and the University of Southampton (UK). The successful candidate will be based at Imperial but will have the opportunity to travel frequently to America to attend research meetings and for a placement period at either UCLA or Toronto.

Summary of Project:

Traditional deep learning has been based on the idea of large-scale linear arithmetic units, effectively computing matrix-matrix multiplication, combined with nonlinear activation functions. This PhD project will take a different approach, exploring the potential of digital circuits with customised and non-standard number representations for machine learning inference in FPGA accelerator technologies. During the PhD, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop state-of-the-art Deep Learning algorithms, develop an understanding of their computational bottlenecks, and have the opportunity to investigate novel methods enabling their deployment on resource constrained platforms.


This PhD studentship is funded by Imperial College as a contribution to the Centre. The full studentship award for students with UK residency* includes Imperial College home/EU tuition fees and a stipend of approximately £17,000 per annum (tax-free). The PhD studentship is expected to start on 1 October 2020. Students with EU residency are eligible for a fees-only studentship award. Applicants from outside the EU are not eligible to apply for this studentship. The student will receive additional support towards further research expenses from Centre over the course of the research studentship, including support to attend international conferences.

*UK residency means having settled status in the UK that is no restriction on how long you can stay in the UK; having been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship means that you must have been normally residing in the UK apart from temporary or occasional absences.

Duties and responsibilities

The responsibilities include studying the relevant literature, defining the research problems based on the project descriptions, conducting independent research, regularly reporting progress and results in both oral and written format, collaborating with other team-members, and writing reports/papers of the research outcomes when appropriate.

Essential Requirements:

Applicants should have a good first degree (usually a first-class degree) or a Master’s degree (or other equivalent experience) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computing, Mathematics, or related areas. They should be highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in conducting international and interdisciplinary research. Students must also meet the eligibility requirements for Post Graduate Studies at Imperial College London.

Further Information and application:

For informal enquiries, please contact the centre director Professor George A. Constantinides (, copying Mrs Wiesia Hsissen (

Please click HERE to apply. The application should also include a covering letter, and your CV.

Full guidance on application process is available HERE. Any further queries regarding the application process should be directed to Mr Anderson Santos

Closing Date: 14 December 2019

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