Apply for a studentship

Before you apply: key information

The application deadline is 31 January 2018.

However, applications are processed as soon as they are received - they are not held until the deadline. Recruitment opens in November each year and interviews start immediately, with initial offers made from December onwards. You are therefore advised to apply as soon as possible.

Please note that of all the projects advertised we expect, as a Centre, to fill 15-20 posts only.

The award value is up to £95,000.

Some industry-funded projects may be available to UK applicants only. Please check individual project descriptions for details of eligibility and stipend value.

UK and EU students

Funding will cover annual tuition fees, a stipend (£14,500 - £16,500 in 2017/18) and project costs (approximately £11,000 for travel and consumables).

Non-EU students

Funding will cover international tuition fees and project costs only. You may wish to consider University of Exeter scholarship opportunities, which are listed here.

The award is for 4 years. Entry is in September only.

PhD researchers are based in the Harrison Building or Physics Building on the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus.

Some industry-funded projects may be available to UK applicants only. Please check individual project descriptions for details.

Essential candidate criteria:

  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline (minimum 2:1)
  • Excellent written and oral skills in English
  • Evidence of knowledge of the Centre's ethos, and of research themes and/or supervisors

Desirable candidate criteria:

  • Specialist knowledge about one or more XM2 research topics
  • Research outputs (e.g. papers) and/or training in research methodology (e.g. undergraduate research projects)
  • Ability to work collaboratively

The application process

Before applying, please view the research projects we are currently advertising. Please indicate in your application which project(s) you are particularly interested in. 

Please note that of all the projects advertised we expect, as a Centre, to fill 15-20 posts only.

Applications should be made via the university's online application system. Please email metamaterials@exeter.ac.uk if you have any queries about this process.

During the application process you will need to upload the documents listed below. Please prepare these before starting the application process.

  • A statement describing why you would like to study for a PhD in Physics or Engineering.
  • A statement describing why you are considering a PhD programme that offers a cohort-based doctoral training model.
  • An academic CV.
  • A cover letter that discusses your preferred area(s) of study within the Centre's research themes and/or your interest in a particular project or supervisor.
  • A document outlining your research interests and any relevant expertise.
  • Degree transcript(s) giving information about the qualification awarded, the modules taken, and marks for each module.
  • The contact details of two academic referees.

Click here to apply »

Applications will be reviewed by members of the XM2 management board and candidates will be shortlisted against a set of agreed criteria, including those listed above, to ensure quality while maintaining diversity. Failure to include all the required documents (see Preparing to apply) may result in rejection. Please note that of all the projects advertised we expect, as a Centre, to fill 15-20 posts only.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a panel of two academic members of staff drawn from the management team. If successful, candidates will be invited to a second interview with their potential academic supervisor(s).

Offers are normally made shortly after a successful second interview.

To me, sharing is what XM2 is about. The opportunity to share work, worries and fun has been an incredible experience, and I’ll treasure my time with this group of exceptional people.

When looking for a PhD place, I applied to a few universities, and a couple of other doctoral training centres. After applying to Exeter I was sent the list of research topics. So many of the research topics overlap and work off each other, meaning that I was given a choice.

This freedom of choice and the variety of research opportunities was too good to miss. No other university I applied to compared to the level of research and organisation that I experienced during the application process.

Tom Graham, 4th year