Engineering and Physical Sciences Thematic Studentships



The University of Nottingham is offering talented graduates the opportunity to apply for EPSRC-funded places in our four cohort-based thematic doctoral training programmes starting in October 2018.

Each programme is aiming to recruit up to 3 students and successful applicants will receive a stipend (£14,553 per annum for 2017/8) for up to 3.5 years, tuition fees and Research Training Support Grant.

Fully funded studentships are available for UK applicants.  EU applicants who are able to confirm that they have been resident in the UK for a minimum of 3 years prior to the start date of the programme may be eligible for a full award, and may apply for a fees only award if they are not able to prove they satisfy the 3 years of residency criterion. Specific requirements are listed with the further details available for each programme below.

Current studentship opportunities


Wave Phenomena in Complex Media (WPCM)

Academic Lead: Professor Trevor Benson, Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Co-lead: Dr Dimitrios Chronopoulos, Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

The new age of model based engineering calls for collaboration between science and engineering and between engineering disciplines.  This thematic doctoral training programme is focussed on providing and utilising advanced and efficient methods for modelling waves at high frequencies and on multiple scales.  It draws on core expertise in wave propagation in complex media, and mathematical techniques and numerical algorithms that describe these wave phenomena.  Each PhD topic will involve at least one academic supervisor expert on core ‘advanced wave simulation tools’ and at least one academic supervisor working on ‘wave based applications.’ Applications range from the electromagnetic compatibility of complex industrial systems, the wave-based optimisation of the vibro-acoustic performance of complex and composite structures, microwave, photonic, terahertz and quantum technologies, the development of mechanical and acoustic metamaterials, wave-based non-destructive evaluation (NDE), and intricate phenomena in biological materials. This cross-discipline initiative builds bridges from mathematics to physics, to materials engineering, mechanical engineering acoustics and high frequency electronics. Some PhD topics are expected to be computational and data-driven. All students will be exposed to a broad range of activities within the wider ‘waves in complex media’ research area to develop their awareness and research skills at the interfaces between engineering, science and mathematics.

Indicative projects:

  • Truly scalable concurrent scientific computing:
  • Modelling and 3D printing of electromagnetic metamaterials
  • Modelling wave propagation in meta-materials: A graph network approach
  • Non-Hermitian photonics.
  • Microwave processing of optical fibres.
  • Mid-infrared fibre lasers
  • Enabling technology for molecular sensing in Healthcare.
  • Acoustic metamaterials.
  • Picosecond acoustic modelling.
  • Wave propagation in complex, textured, stochastic media.
  • Development of cellular structures having negative stiffness inclusions and exceptional damping properties.
  • Microwave delivery for atom-chip based quantum devices.
  • Atom-photon interaction in hollow-core photonic crystal fibres.
  • 3D microstructural evaluation using acoustic waves in chaotic materials.

Specific requirements: UK or EU candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline.



Modelling and Analytics for Medicine and Life-Sciences (MAML)

Academic Lead: Professor Markus Owen, School of Mathematical Sciences


Co-leads: Professor Dorothee Auer (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences), Professor David Bates (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences), Professor Stephen Coombes (School of Mathematical Sciences) and Professor Stephen Morgan (Engineering)

The MAML doctoral training programme focuses on innovative modelling, simulation and data analysis approaches for the biomedical sciences, working across disciplines to study real-world problems in medicine and biology. Maintaining a healthy society creates major challenges across the biomedical sciences in areas including ageing, cancer, drug resistance, chronic disease and mental health. Addressing such challenges necessitates continuing development and implementation of a raft of new mathematical approaches and their integration with experimental and clinical science. The programme will equip a cohort of graduate students with fit-for-purpose methodologies to tackle these applications. Students will apply mathematical approaches (from areas such as dynamic modelling, informatics, network theory, scientific computation and uncertainty quantification) to research projects at the forefront of biomedical and life sciences identified through well-established collaborations with both academic and industrial partners.  MAML students will be provided with an excellent training environment within the Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology (CMMB, and their collaborative departments. Students will undertake tailored training, complemented by broadening, soft-skills, wet-lab (where appropriate) and student-led activities. There will also be opportunities for training and exchanges with world-leading partners. Further information on the programme and projects can be found at .

Specific requirements: Applicants for the MAML programme should have at least a 2:1 degree in Mathematics, Statistics or a similarly quantitative discipline (such as Physics, Engineering, or Computer Science).



Low-Dimensional Materials & Interfaces (LDMI)

Academic lead: Professor Neil Champness, Chemistry


Co-leads: Paul Brown, Engineering; Andrei Khlobystov, Chemistry; David Amabilino, Chemistry; Peter Beton, Physics; Amalia Patane, Physics; Jonathan Aylott, Pharmacy

The Low-Dimensional Materials & Interfaces doctoral programme provides the opportunity for research in one of the most exciting and topical areas of science. The functional properties of materials are determined at the atomic level and expressed ultimately by their interactions with other components within a system from small molecules to macromolecules, cells or whole living organisms. Developing and harnessing an understanding of these fundamental processes taking place at the nanoscale is essential for a wide spectrum of applications, ranging from electronic devices, catalysts, drug delivery systems and sensors, along with materials for energy storage and conversion.

The programme will provide a structured programme of training (both practical and theoretical) for students, cultivating a generation of researchers proficient in both innovative synthesis and advanced characterisation of new low-dimensional materials. Students will have the opportunity to undertake world class research using Nottingham’s unique expertise and facilities in topics that underpin the development of new innovations in advanced materials, energy and healthcare technologies. 

Find out more about the LDMI DTP.

Specific requirements: Applicants for the Low-Dimensional Materials & Interfaces programme should have at least a 2:1 degree in a Physical Sciences discipline (such as Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or related), or a degree with a significant focus on both a Physical and Biological Science (such as Pharmaceutical Sciences or Biomedical Engineering).



Bioinstructive materials for healthcare applications (BMHA)

Academic lead: Dr Felicity Rose, Pharmacy


Co-investigator: Professor Cameron Alexander

The core theme of this CDT is to train in the development of novel bio-hybrid and bio-instructive materialsfor healthcare applications.  These bio/synthetic materials hold the potential to develop the next phase of in vivo-like in vitro models of tissue and might eventually function as augmented human organs.  As such, these materials hold great promise to revolutionise areas ranging from drug development and regenerative medicine through to assisted living technologies for our ageing populations.  These novel biomaterials will be developed with a focus on the research areas of cancer and wound healing creating a test bed for transformative materials in medicine.

The University already leads international research efforts in biomaterials discovery, regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, cancer, healthcare technologies, advanced manufacturing and 3D printing, and sustainable chemistry.  Working in an interdisciplinary research field therefore will allow you to develop a skills set in materials science, chemistry, analytical sciences, and in mammalian cell biology and disease.  Research activities will be based within the Faculties of Medicine, Science, and Engineering with a choice of training and linked PhD projects available from the outset.

We anticipate that the PhD students trained through this CDT will become leaders in their field and drivers of knowledge and economic growth.

Specific requirements: Applicants for the Bioinstructive Materials programme should have at least a 2:1 degree in a life sciences or physical sciences discipline (chemistry, biochemistry, biology, materials science, physics, bioengineering) and a passion for interdisciplinary research.


Entry requirements

Fully funded studentships are available for UK applicants. EU applicants who are able to confirm that they have been resident in the UK for a minimum of 3 years prior to the start date of the programme may be eligible for a full award, and may apply for a fees only award if they are not able to prove they satisfy the 3 years of residency criterion.

UK or EU candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline.  


Successful applicants will receive a stipend (£14,553 per annum for 2017/8) for up to 3.5 years, tuition fees and a Research Training Support Grant.  

How to apply

Please apply for your place to study at the University of Nottingham via the University’s online Applications system.

Your application and Equal Opportunities Form should be received by the 28 February deadline, and you should quote your PG Applicant number on your funding application form.


References should be sent directly from the referees to by the deadline: Wednesday 28 February 2018. Further details on other methods of submission are on the reference form.

Download the funding application form.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


Get in touch: 

Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing
Faculty of Engineering 
NG7 2RD 

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