OP1 & OP4 which is better to choose in my case?

Hi guys, need some help to review my situation to see which one makes a stronger case.

I am a deep learning researcher for 3 yrs in a 7-8 year-old AI startup (not really a startup anymore).

I am going to go for OC3 definitely with:
Evidence1: Letter from Research Lead for my work: two projects - face recognition (P1) & action recognition (which I lead) [P2].
P1 is improving the performance.
P2 is what i have implemented from scratch i.e. it’s a new product for the company.
Evidence 2: I wanna put some screenshot of documentation about the pipeline i designed and also screenshot of my model release Confluence page.
Evidence 3: screenshot of code I guess?
please lemme know feedback regarding this OC3.

But I am a bit stuck in the second OC. I am thinking of either OC1 or OC4
Just to be clear, I am an employee of the AI company and don’t have PhD but master degree. no publication.

For OC1:
Evidence 1: Letter from company/CTO showing I led the research and implemented Action recognition pipeline which is a brand new product. (but we haven’t really sell it yet.) and the other project facial recognition, i don’t think i can use it here since it’s already exist in company but selling quite well (i did introduce new altorightm to improve it, which i can prove with confluence page and code).
Evidence 2: Letter from company showing the sales, customer number of our face recognition system which i did contribute to.
Evidence 3: salary payslip?
I am not sure if I am qualified with this OC. plus I am not senior in the company.

OC4: academic research
evidence 1: 1st place of Machine Learning prize (out of 130 team) awarded by IBM and Computer science school during my master degree in the UK plus distinction degree. [this is one of the example mentioned in TN guideline, evidence of awards received for outstanding applied work supported by excellent academic achievement]
Evidence 2; letter from my supervisor during master dissertation. He’s associate professor with 4-5k citation. He can mention about my dissertation and also the IBM Machine Learning prize where he was also one of the panel member.

The main concern is that I do not have a publication and not PhD. and if my award is ok, and if my supervisor suits the definition of leading senior academic.

Hi @Francisca_Chiedu @Afolabi @Alice_Coyne @Bankole_Jamgbadi @somdipdey @Secure_Tobs @Savvkin
hope you wouldn’t mind me tagging you for the advice.

You already tag us, then follow it up with your questions.

Thanks Afolabi. my question was: According to what i could potentially provide as evidence for both OC1 and OC4, I wonder which one could be a stronger case (or say which one doesn’t meet the criteria)?
and also feel free to feedback me the OC3 if possible too.

I don’t think you meet the criteria for OC4 as it is stated that work done as part of your MSc is not considered. I think your best bet is OC1

Thanks @Francisca_Chiedu

I see where you get that from. (I put the TN guideline below just for the reference). Example 1 states No MSc thesis as an publication evidence of significant contribution to the field.

but I am looking at example 3 (an awards and MSc distinction degree) and example 4 (a support letter from my research supervisor who will talk about my thesis, my award and my academic skill). I thought they are seperated potential examples. Do you still think this isn’t a good idea? coz for my OC1, company cannot provide too much details like sales and finance situation. but funding yes, it’s public information. so I am just worry that a letter from CTO and my salary may not sufficient to support the criteria?

Examples of relevant evidence include:

  • 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. Research undertaken as part of an undergraduate or MSc thesis does not qualify for this criteria;
  • 2 Evidence of presentations at a peer-reviewed conference, or evidence of being awarded competitive peer-reviewed research grants.
  • 3 Evidence of awards received for outstanding applied work, supported by excellent academic achievement (a first-class degree or distinction);
  • 4 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;
  • 5 Evidence of a merit based award that has been granted by an organisation of a similar standing and distinction to the Royal Society in the UK, as well as the selection criteria for this award.

It is u to you what you put in you application. I have told you what I think, reference from your MSc supervisor doesn’t count.

Your OC4 evidence is more associated with your MSc engagements and so may not be suitable to fulfill that criteria according to the guideline.

Hi, I recently received an endorsement for an exceptional promise. I chose OC4 as well. I am not too sure about the exact interpretation of Research undertaken as part of an undergraduate or MSc thesis does not qualify for this criteria. Here is what I provided:

  • A letter of recommendation from my professor in the UK, who supervised me for nearly four years (pre-MSc and during MSc)
  • Best poster award I received for presenting my research (this research was pursued during MSc)
  • Two peer-reviewed papers (one of which was from my MSc)
  • Presentation of those papers at conferences (the same one as before, i.e., one from MSc)

I hope this helps.

You may be lucky the assessor overlooked that your evidence are related to your MSC work. Another assessor may spot it in another case. I think we should tell people what the expectations are then they can decide to take a gamble.

@Francisca_Chiedu, I am not too sure about your comment. Another endorsee, @dai-ichi, also used MSc distinction and a letter from an MSc programme leader. Besides, the guidelines do not seem to suggest that an award received during your MSc does not count or that a letter from an MSc supervisor is not appropriate. Of course, it depends on how well your supervisor knows you and the actual content of the reference letter.

The visa guide does say that academic achievements such as distinction can be submitted. I used that in addition to a publication and a letter from programme leader. You shouldn’t submit your coursework or dissertation as evidence. However, if you have used the same work to create an academic publication or conference presentation, submit the evidence with that context. Not with the context of your uni coursework.

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Thanks, @dai-ichi. That was exactly my point. The thesis itself is probably not a good piece of evidence in the context of this visa and OC4, but (peer-reviewed) papers based on or related to it could be ( that was also my interpretation of Research undertaken as part of an undergraduate or MSc thesis does not qualify for this criteria. ) Furthermore, even if the research was conducted during the MSc, a letter from a research supervisor may qualify as evidence (better if they can back up their claim, e.g., you wrote a research paper with your supervisor).

To summarise, just because the evidence is related to one’s MSc does not automatically make it ineligible, at least in my opinion.

PS: I totally appreciate your invaluable contributions to this forum, @Francisca_Chiedu and @May, and so many people (including me) have benefited from them. So, this is in no way meant to undermine your opinion; I am just sharing my experience in case it helps someone :smiley:

You can interpret it the way you want. I am only pointing out that some other people who have used evidence related to the MSc work got refused and same reason was given. Some assessors may overlook or interpret it in the way you have described. As for getting a distinction, I never said it can’t be used.

For successful endorsement application, we don’t really know which evidence got accepted. For promise, they usually score you with 2 evidence for mandatory and 1 evidence for the optional criteria. If you submitted three evidence and got endorsed for promise, it doesn’t mean that all the evidence you listed were accepted. Besides, the tech nation guide also gives room for an assessor to use their discretion, the guide further states that “You should note that this is not determined solely by the eligibility criteria, Tech Nation’s independent panel of assessors will determine whether, overall, they consider that the applicant should be endorsed and for which route. It is at Tech Nation’s discretion to assess each application on its own merits and make a recommendation for or against endorsement”.

It is possible that a candidate who used their MSc work already had a very impressive Mandatory criteria and the first optional criteria stood out, so it a no brainer to endorse this applicant. Whereas someone else with MC and OC that is just average may use the same type of evidence for OC4 and get refused based on the clause relating to your MSc work. It is also important to note that some people have used their MSc work and were silent about it relating to work done within that context. So people don’t show you their work or state how they have presented it, so you need to be mindful of all these context.

Anyway do what you think is best for you application. I only responded based on my understanding of the guide and seeing feedback from several rejected applications. Sometimes people post questions when they already have the answer and decided what to do. I am learning not to respond to such questions. If you believe strongly this is the right cause to take, just do it!

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I am only pointing out that some other people who have used evidence related to the MSc work got refused, and the same reason was given.

It would be helpful if you could share those posts or links with us (if you have them), as I read almost all the posts related to OC4 before submitting my application and do not remember coming across something like that. More importantly, the official Tech Nation guide does not state that all activities related to the MSc can’t be used as evidence in OC4, unless I am mistaken.

It is also important to note that some people have used their MSc work and were silent about it relating to work done within that context.

Are you really questioning people’s intentions here? And do you think that the Tech Nation panel can’t identify that based on the timeline?

Anyway, continuing this discussion will help no one, so I will stop here.

When you get the letter from Research Lead, make sure that the Research Lead is well known or reputed in the tech industry. Provide evidence in the letter that he/she/they are well known.

For “Evidence 3: screenshot of code I guess?” - You do not need to screenshot code (in my opinion), rather screenshot your contributions via change management system (git) and ask the Research Lead to mention about your contribution commits in your letter (so that you can point to that for Evidence 3.

For OC1: “Evidence 1: Letter from company/CTO showing I led the research and implemented Action recognition pipeline which is a brand new product. (but we haven’t really sell it yet.)” - This is a bit concerning because if the product is not sold yet or has user base, it will be difficult to put as a leading contribution in tech sector. TN Visa Case Officers love numbers, stats, anything quantitative to understand your performance against other leading tech contributors. So, keep this in mind. Show stats for product(s) that you have contributed to and which has (significant) user base compared to competitors.

Evidences that you have mentioned for OC4 seems a bit weak. May be other people here can comment better on this point. Just don’t take my words for it. Its only my personal opinion.

Hi @Francisca_Chiedu, thank you for continuously sharing advice on here. Very helpful. For Exceptional Promise, If they usually score you with 2 evidence for mandatory and 1 evidence for optional. Do you need to choose only Optional Criteria for the application?

You can’t choose only optional criteria, you must meet the mandatory criteria.

Sorry I omitted that in my statement.

Meant to say: for Exceptional Promise, can I submit evidences for Mandatory Criteria and 1 Optional Criteria, say OC3?

You most provide evidence for two optional criteria. It could be a combination of any of the following:

  1. OC1 + OC2
    2 OC1 + OC3
  2. OC1 + OC4
  3. OC2 + OC3
  4. OC2 + OC4
  5. OC3 + OC4
    select your strongest points. If you are someone passionate about contributing to the tech sector and you have evidence to prove it then OC2 + OC3 is your best bet. From the trends here OC3 (impact is the easiest to prove, show metrics of what you have achieved and get your employer to back yout claims.

If you have a track record of innovation as a fpunder or you have patents for your work OC1 and OC3 is a good combo.

If you have evidence of contributing to research you can choose OC4 and any other combination that shows your strength.