Postgraduate research

High-level search methodologies for problem solving in industrial applications

Qualification: PhD

Department: Informatics

Application deadline: 31 October 2022

Start date: 9 January 2023



Dr John Drake and Professor Edmund Burke

Project description

Optimisation problems often explore a search space which is too large to enumerate and exhaustively search for an optimal solution. Various heuristics and metaheuristics have been applied successfully to problems of this nature. One drawback of such approaches is the necessity to manually adapt the method used to solve different problem domains or classes of problem. Hyper-heuristics are a class of high-level search techniques which aim to raise the level of generality at which search methods operate. The last decade or so has seen sustained research effort devoted to developing hyper-heuristic methods, much of which is a result of pioneering work done by researchers at Leicester. This project will apply hyper-heuristic methods to real-world combinatorial optimisation problems in collaboration with industrial partners at BT (British Telecom), reducing the time required to develop such methods and the burden on the human involved in the development cycle.

Previous applicants need not apply



College of Science and Engineering Studentship.

This 3.5-year studentship provides:

  • Stipend at UKRI rates (£16,062 for 2022/23)
  • UK tuition fee waiver
  • RTSG


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold a UK Bachelor's Degree 2:1 or better (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.  

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.


Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project / Funding Enquiries: 

Application enquiries to: 

How to apply

How to apply

To submit your application please use the Apply button at the bottom of the page and select January 2023 from the dropdown menu.

With your application, please include:

  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the project, your experience and why we should consider you
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.

In the funding section, please specify CSE-Drake in the space provided

In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisors and project title (you do not need a research proposal)



Open to UK (Home) applicants only

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