President's Doctoral Scholar Awards

This flagship funding scheme, which is strongly supported by the University's President and Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, will offer over 100 elite studentships each year.

The Award will give the most outstanding students from across the UK and from around the world a foundation to support research training with prominent academics across a full range of subjects.

We are now accepting applications for our 2018/19 PDS Awards. All applications should be made in accordance with the Faculty of Science and Engineering application procedure. PDS Award funding will be allocated to our most outstanding applicants seeking PhD training opportunities starting in September/October 2018. The closing date for consideration in the initial round is at the end of November 2017. Further applications may be considered up to March 2018.

Manchester Master’s Bursary

The University of Manchester is offering 100 bursaries for Masters students, each worth £3,000 in funding, to UK and EU students who will be starting taught or research Masters courses in September 2018. Please follow the link below for eligibility details. The closing date is 31st May 2018.

Postgraduate loans (PGL) for taught and research Masters students

If you’re coming to Manchester this year to begin postgraduate study, you could qualify for a loan from the UK government:

Fully-funded Industrial 3.5 year CASE-PLUS Studentship

Find out more here

STFC Advanced Radiotherapy PhD

This project will study treatment planning, with some focus on the insensitivity to inhomogeneities and the potential for rapid delivery to mitigate motion.  The objective being, to investigate means of rapid and accurate dose delivery with VHEE beams.  This research will employ GEANT4-based Monte Carlo modelling, and will incorporate optimised algorithms to assess a realistic planning system.

Full funding is available for the duration of the programme to cover stipend and fees. There is a further £4k for consumables/travel.

Closing date for applications is 1st September 2017 or when the post is filled.

Treatment Planning for VHEE

Physics of GaN Quantum Well Structures

Over the last fifteen years Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have revolutionised lighting. This has been achieved because GaN quantum well structures emit blue light very efficiently, enabling the manufacture of LED lighting that will replace incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs. This will have a significant impact on global energy use. For example the use of LED light bulbs could reduce the global amount of electricity used for lighting by 50%. In the US alone this would eliminate the need for 133 new power stations (1 GW each), corresponding to 255 million tons of CO2, and save $115 billion of electricity costs (“The Promise of Solid State Lighting for General Illumination”, OIDA Report for the US Department of Energy, 2000). Yet GaN promises even more if the range of available wavelengths is broadened. In particular, greater energy savings can be achieved with bulbs that have separately controllable blue and green LEDs, to better match the solar spectrum. However, the maximum external quantum efficiency is 20 % for green LEDs compared to 70 % for blue LEDs. To overcome this problem requires detailed studies of the underlying physics of the light emission processes.

In this project the student(s) will undertake laser spectroscopy of a range of QW structures whose properties will be targeted at understanding the relation between recombination efficiency and carrier localisation to enable the production of high efficiency green LEDs. This work is part of funded collaboration between the groups in Manchester, the Materials Science Department at the University of Cambridge and the Tyndall Institute in Ireland. The student (s) will be based in the Photon Science Institute in Manchester and will collaborate with the group in Cambridge who grow the QW structures and undertake electron microscopy and x-ray studies and the group in Ireland who carry out theoretical studies of the energy landscape of the QWs.

Applicants should have or expect to receive a 2:1 or first class degree in Physics. Full funding is available for UK students. Applications should be made via:

Contact Dr David Binks for further information.

Research Council Awards

Research Council Awards are available to British nationals resident in the UK. (Non-British European nationals are also eligible for these awards, but only in respect of the university fees.) The awards, which cover fees plus maintenance, are available for 42 month PhD courses in any research area. They are funded by the government Research Councils: STFC, the Science & Technology Facilities Council, EPSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The competition for these awards is high and the minimum academic requirement for a research council PhD award is an upper second class honours degree.


Up to 12 fully funded studentships per year are available at the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Applications of Graphene and Related Nanomaterials (Graphene NOWNANO). We welcome applications from graduates with a good degree (first or high upper second) in science, engineering or bio-medical disciplines. Places are available to UK and EU nationals resident in the UK for >3 years. A small number of funded places are also available to EU nationals not currently resident in the UK.

PhD projects supported by Graphene NOWNANO build on the world-leading expertise in the science and technology of graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials at Manchester and Lancaster University. Our students receive initial state-of-the-art training in fundamentals of graphene/2D materials, their applications, and key techniques. This is followed by a 3½ year research project you will select from up to 60 available projects in 30+ top-rated research groups across 9 disciplines/university departments (Experimental and Theoretical Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Materials Science, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Pharmacy, Biomaterials, Nanomedicine).
Extra opportunities on offer: student conferences, innovation and commercialisation training, joint events with other CDTs, outreach events. These contribute to building a group of outstanding scientists which will help to lead world research in graphene and other nanomaterials and development of their applications in the future.

Research Scholar Awards for European Nationals

Four bursaries are available which cover the fees and contribute up to £7,500 per annum towards the cost of maintenance.

Overseas Research Scholar Awards

Four Overseas Research Scholar Awards are awarded annually by the school and pay the difference between fees payable by UK and EU students and those payable by overseas students. They are highly competitive and early application is advisable.

Regenerative Medicine

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine is an interdisciplinary centre co-sponsored by EPSRC and MRC, which accepts applications from a wide variety of undergraduate backgrounds, ranging from physics to medicine. 

Its general focus is on laying down the foundation for new medical therapies for pathologies that range from trauma to muscular dystrophy, from diabetes to Alzheimer’s. The PhD projects can have a predominant physical, biological or medical science orientation, with the common points of trans-disciplinarity (joint co-supervision of a medical and a non-medical academic) and scientific quality; typically, placements abroad and/or in industry are possible and funded from the CDT.

PhD Project for Gravitational Tests with Antihydrogen Atoms 2017

The international ALPHA collaboration at CERN seeks to discover how the differences between matter and antimatter have resulted in a universe largely composed of matter. By performing precise atomic physics measurements on trapped antihydrogen atoms to seek out minute differences with equivalent measurements in hydrogen, the experiment aims to address this very question.

At the centre of the experiment is ALPHA-g - the next generation of antihydrogen traps intended to measure antimatter gravitation.

We are seeking a PhD student to design and perform gravitational free-fall measurements on antihydrogen atoms in order to measure antimatter gravitational acceleration directly as a test of the weak equivalence principle. In addition to designing and analysing experimental protocol and diagnostic technique for use in ALPHA-g, the fully-funded PhD studentship will provide the opportunity to participate in ALPHA’s general experimental programme.

For more information, read this.

PhD Studentship Heart Modelling

It is increasingly apparent that hypertensive heart diseases may be present with contractile abnormalities even where there is a normal ejection fraction. 

This funded PhD studentship will aim to gain a better understanding by investigating the biomechanics of human ventricles in hypertensive patients using computer models of the heart.

Based at Manchester and with some research undertaken at Somerset Cardiac Research Centre, the student will learn to interpret and analyse clinical imaging data, and to develop and implement large-scale computer models of the heart. Through this, the student will gain a unique insight into how to link leading scientific research to clinical applications in this field.

 For more information, read this.

PhD Studentship in Biological Physics

Project Title: Surface and Interfacial conformations of Adsorbed Antibodies as Studied by Neutron Reflection

Application deadline: The application process remains open until a suitably qualified candidate is successfully recruited

Anticipated start date for project: 2018 or as soon as is practical

A PhD studentship is available starting from September 2017 in Biological Physics, the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester. The studentship is funded by MedImmune, who focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of biologic prescription medicines, and is the biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.

Antibodies are proteins that can be engineered with exceptionally high selectivity and specificity to recognize their target molecules. Recent scientific and technological advances have now paved the way for developing antibodies as a new generation of protein drugs (biologics or biotherapeutics) for unmet clinical needs. In the course of bioprocessing (expression, purification, formulation and packaging), antibodies are exposed to different surfaces and interfaces. Some of these interactions have the potential to cause structural unfolding of the antibody and loss of their unique functions. On the basis of our ongoing collaborative studies, we have demonstrated various technical capabilities in studying protein adsorption. The main objectives of this project work are to explore the use of neutron reflection and other related techniques for studying antibody adsorption at the air/water and solid/water interfaces and establish the basic understanding of the structural impact of the different interfaces. The student will learn not only how to analyse the neutron data but also how to interpret the structural implications. This work contributes to the development of the theoretical basis about how to control complex interfacial processes to protein structures at the nanoscale.

The student will base his/her research at Manchester but will undertake research and training at neutron facilities (RAL (Oxford), ILL (Grenoble, France)) and MedImmune (Cambridge)). The project thus provides a unique training opportunity for the student to learn how to link leading scientific research to technology innovations.

Qualifications applicants should have/expect to receive: The successful candidate will have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class degree or equivalent in a relevant degree (e.g. MPhys, MSci, MChem, MEng) in science, engineering and bioscience. Those with good experimental and computational skills and enthusiasm for research and innovation are encouraged to apply.

Amount of funding available and eligibility: The project is funded for the maximum period of 4 years. No prior experience of neutron research, modelling or bioscience is required as a full package of training and support will be provided.

Contact for further information: or drop in to Room 3.14, Schuster Building on Manchester campus.

Project Supervisor: Prof Jian R Lu (Manchester Biological Physics).

How to apply: standard procedure by following the online application from, but informal enquiry should be directed to Prof Jian R Lu.

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