Kindly rate my application for Exceptional Promise

Hi everyone,

I plan to apply for the Global Talent Visa - Exceptional Promise

I’m a final year PhD researcher in the field of Computer Science. I would appreciate it if you can rate my profile and suggest any areas to strengthen my evidence.

Letters of Recommendation

  • LOR1 - A professor in the faculty of Computer Science. He was my PhD supervisor before he moved to another university
  • LOR2 - Assistant Professor and Research Chair. He has been my academic mentor.
  • LOR3 - Co-founder of a non-profit organisation

MC 1 - You led the growth of a non-profit organisation or social enterprise with a specific focus on the digital technology sector, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, or as evidenced by news clippings or similar evidence.

Contribution to the growth of non-profit from a lead teaching assistant in 2020 and 2021 up to my recent contributions as a co-chair in the executive committee. The non-profit focuses on providing accessible education in computational neuroscience and deep learning.

MC 2 - You have evidence of speaking at high-profile digital technology sector events, or specialist events for your particular field in the digital technology sector, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, or as evidenced by news clippings or similar evidence (including event size/attendance estimates where possible).

I have 4 speaking engagements but I guess I have to select a couple of them. I do not have the videos or event screenshots for the first two but I have flyers of the event and I can provide reference letters.

  1. Cloud Computing Conference
  2. Women in Machine Learning city-branch event
  3. University MSc Big Data Analytics enrichment week
  4. Women in Tech global conference

MC 3 - You have held or hold a significant expert role participating on panels, or individually, assessing the work of others in the same field or a field of specialisation related to the digital technology sector.

I have been a peer reviewer for two Journals. I was a reviewer in 2018 and 2019 for a Machine Learning workshop. I can provide recognition emails from editors, review certificates, and reference letter.

I want to use 1 of the two piece of evidences below but not quite sure which is stronger

MC4 - Outside of your normal day-to-day job role, you established, led or were a senior contributor to a large technology-led industry initiative, evidenced through reference letter(s) from global senior project executives.

Led research on the application of AI in Agriculture at a smart agriculture lab in another university. Supervised 5 interns. We have a publication and other projects ongoing.


MC4 - You have received nationally or internationally recognised prizes or awards for excellence specifically in the digital technology sector, as evidenced by the award itself, reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your achievement, or as evidenced by news clippings or similar evidence.

  1. Top 50 finalist for an award organized by a Women in Tech organization
  2. Featured by operational research society evidenced by news article recognising my research

OC 2 (1) - Mentorship
I designed and delivered a 6-page coursebook (related to my research in AI) for 15 - 17-year-olds to improve access to education.

OC 2 (2) - Volunteering
I volunteered at a top software development conference in London, and another conference for DevOps in 2019.

OC 2 (3) - Open Source project
Was the co-facilitator for Data Study Group (collaborative hackathon) organized by Alan Turing Institute. I led the team on a data science project and the work got published.

OC 4 (1) - Evidence of at least one significant contribution to the field in the form of a paper published in a top-tier peer-reviewed journal.

Have published as co-author for three top-tier journal papers.

OC 4 (2) - Evidence of presentations at a peer-reviewed conference, or evidence of being awarded competitive peer-reviewed research grants.

I have presented conference papers at three venues.

OC 4 (3) - A letter of support from a research supervisor or other expert in your area of expertise affirming their potential world-class standard. This is in addition to the required letters of recommendation and must be written by another individual;

A letter from my PhD advisor describing my research and it’s impact on the digital technology sector


  • I have one first-authored paper still undergoing review but I wonder whether I can submit this as part of my OC4 if it comes back accepted if I can show the history of submission and reviews (to show it wasn’t initiated close to TN visa application). I assume there will be no substantial evidence of citation at the point of my application to demonstrate impact. But this is where I’m intending to use letter from research supervisor to show it will be impactful.

Talks or conference speaking that have had a significant viewership. Conferences must be widely regarded as sector-leading events for your field with at least 100 attendees (not registrations). As a speaker you must be speaking on the main stage and the invitation to speak must not have been paid for by your organisation as part of any sponsorship. Leading a workshop or running a session at a conference is not sufficient. Evidence should include your speech with either a link to the video of you speaking, the programme of events displaying your talk or a reference letter from the conference organiser with explanation of why you were asked to speak.

  • Should I take it that these rules under OC 2 also apply to MC speaking evidence?

I think you have a strong application for promise. How many years of experience do you have? Why are you not considering talent?

  1. LOR2, is the Assistant Professor in the field of computing? LOR3, is the co-founder of the nonprofit an expert in tech? is the nonprofit focused on tech best to use someone in a product-led organisation for the third recommendation. also ensure your recommenders cover the areas why they think you are a potential leader. I am making this emphasis because academic references sometimes don’t have the level of details required by tech nation.

point them to what the letter must contain:

  • Be about your Global Talent application - you cannot use a letter that was written for another reason
  • Say how the person knows you
  • Show your achievements in the digital technology sector, and how you are a leader or potential leader
  • Say how you would benefit from living in the UK
  • Say how you would contribute to the digital technology field in the UK
  • Explain what plans you have for work in the future
  1. MC ensure you demonstrate your contribution as a leader in the said organisation.

  2. MC2 Which of the conferences dis you speak on the main stage? Consider asking the organiser for pictures, is your name on the conference agenda? It’s always best to support reference letters with other evidence. I think your MSC big data event may be considered as part of your studies or work. Ensure you reference letters.

  3. OC2(I) if you state that the coursebook is related to your research, it make not count for this criteria, it will be seen as part of your job.

  4. OC2(2) what was your volunteering contribution?

  5. how does this contribute to the advancement of the sector

  6. OC4 (4) did you present at a conference, do you have a certificate of acceptance of the paper?


This is such detailed and valuable feedback! Thank you so much @Francisca_Chiedu for all you do for this community. I have learnt a lot from your feedback to other candidates and I’m so glad you took the time to give me some.

Promise/Talent: I started my career in tech in 2015 but it was mostly full-time studies from MSc to PhD with other part-time tech engagements.

LOR2: is in the field of computing (computational neuroscience).
LOR3: yes they are an expert in tech (neuroscientist) and the non-profit is an online community of computational neuroscientists
I might replace LOR2 with someone who is a CISO in an established bank.

  1. OC2(I): I will have to reword that as the coursebook was developed outside my core research activities but it explains my research in a way that 15-17-year-olds can assimilate. I will write about the impact of the work and how it attracts more students to study digital tech in university. I was recruited from a competitive pool by the charity that’s why I classed it as structured mentoring/volunteering work outside my day-to-day.

Item 6 got me thinking hard as I would have to think a lot more about my contribution as a volunteer and how it translates to advancement. I wonder if they are looking at measurable evidence of impact. I was one volunteer out of the several, and find it hard to measure my singular impact.

All other comments are duly noted and will be valuable in putting together my evidence. Thanks again!

1 Like

I applied on the 5th of April and received my endorsement for Exceptional Promise on the 19th of April. Thanks to everyone here, most especially @Francisca_Chiedu. Your posts and comments were of immense help. I learnt a whole lot throughout the process.

The final list of documents I submitted:

  1. Recommendation Letter 1 - Founder of digital tech non-profit and Professor of Machine Learning.

  2. Recommendation Letter 2 - Assistant Professor and Research Chair in Computational Neuroscience field. He has been my academic mentor.

  3. Recommendation Letter 3 - Serial Entrepreneur, founder of 3 tech companies and Former CISO who I connected with during a tech conference.

  4. CV

  5. Personal Statement

10 pieces of evidence:

MC: Internationally recognised award for excellence in the digital technology sector.

MC: Evidence of speaking at high-profile digital technology sector event with reference letter from the global Founder of the Machine Learning non-profit of 30k+ members.

MC: Evidence of leading the growth of a non-profit edtech organisation to train 10k+ students across 100 countries with reference letter co-signed by 3 senior executives.

MC: Evidence of assessing the work of others in the research community through peer reviewing of journals and conferences.

OC2: Open-source project at a UK AI research institute with Github commit and published work.

OC2: Evidence of mentorship at two non-profit organisations. One is a structured program where I designed an AI coursebook, disseminated across secondary schools in the UK. The second was a mentorship role in a remote internship program on applications of AI and IoT in Agriculture.

OC2: Evidence of speaking at sector-leading events.

OC4: Letter of support from research supervisor, a Professor of Intelligent Systems.

OC4: Evidence of peer-viewed presentations at two conferences.

OC4: Merit based-awards, excellent academic achievement, and research scholarship awards.


Congratulation @May well deserved!

1 Like