STFC Studentships

Qualification: PhD

Department: School of Physics and Astronomy

Application deadline: 29th January 2020

Start date: 28th September 2020


Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) postgraduate studentships are awarded to enable promising scientists and engineers to continue training beyond a first degree. STFC award studentship funding directly to universities and research organisations and not to individual students. If you are interested in applying for an STFC-funded PhD, please contact the institution at which you wish to undertake a research degree directly.

All studentship projects supported through STFC funding must fall within the STFC remit. More information about what the STFC offer can be found on their website


Projects available for September 2020 entry can be found on the tab below.

Doctoral training partnerships

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) are multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional schemes designed to support the training of the next generation of world-class researchers. The University of Leicester is a lead partner in four DTPs/CDTs through which we can offer funded PhD studentships in a wide range of research areas. 

Studentships are available to highly motivated and qualified applicants and provide a generous support package usually including a full fee waiver, annual stipend, and research training support grant. Studentships are in most cases offered early in the year for September start. Enquiries outside of the main application periods are welcomed.



The studentship provides a 3.5 year tuition fee waiver at UK/EU rates, stipend at UKRI rates and RTSG

Information about funding can be found at the STFC website.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold or expect to hold a at least a UK Bachelor Degree with 2:1 honours or better or an overseas equivalent.

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply

Information about entry requirements can be found on the STFC website.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project and application enquiries to 

How to apply

How to apply

Please read the project outlines on the tab at the bottom of the page.  

When you have selected the project you want to apply for submit your PhD application using the Apply button at the bottom of the page

In the online application please include:

  • Your completed STFC Research Interests Form
  • Two academic references - Enter the contact details of your referees in the section provided including email addresses. Or if you already have reference letters upload under the reference tab. Please ensure you let your referees know the deadline for applications.
  • Academic Transcripts (including English translations if applicable)
  • Degree certificate/s (if awarded) 
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • English language qualification if applicable

In the funding section select Studentship and STFC from the dropdown menu

In the proposal section please include the project reference number, project title and name of supervisor.

We advise you to apply early so we can advise you of any issues with your application such as missing documents 

Applications which are not complete by the deadline will not be considered for the studentship scheme.

After applying

We will advise you by email if you are shortlisted for an interview.

Interview dates: 

26th February 2020 – In person 
27th February 2020 – Skype only
28th February 2020 – Skype only
2nd March 2020 – Skype only 
3rd March 2020 – Skype only
4th March 2020 – In person



STFC studentships are available to UK/EU applicants only.

Information about eligibility can be found at the STFC website.

Projects available for 2020/1 entry

Projects available for 2020/1 entry

Professor Tim Yeoman and Dr Darren Wright
GEO 2020 YEO2: Ultra-low frequency waves in the terrestrial magnetosphere

Dr Richard Alexander and Dr Chris Nixon
AST 2020 ALE: Understanding planetary building blocks

Professor Martin Barstow and Dr Sarah Casewell
AST 2020 BAR: White dwarfs, exoplanets and fundamental physics

Professor Andrew Blain and Professor Nial Tanvir
AST 2020 BLA: Smoke and mirrors: the driving forces in extreme galaxies

Professor John Bridges 
AST 2020 BRI: Hayabusa2: Sample Return from a C-type Asteroid

Professor Sergei Nayakshin and Dr Jonathan Nichols
AST 2020 NAY: Giant planet and Solar System formation through ALMA eyes

Dr Chris Nixon and Dr Siomon Vaughan
AST 2020 NIX: Black hole, planets and dynamic accretion discs in astrophysics

Professor Paul O'Brien and Professor Julian Osborne
AST 2020 OBR: The Transient science revolution

Dr Rhaana Starling and Professor Nial Tanvir
AST 2020 STA1: Characterisation of energetic transients across the spectrum

Dr Tom Stallard and Professor Emma Bunce
AST 2020 STA2: Jupiter’s infrared aurora and ionosphere

Dr Leigh Fletcher and Dr Jonathan Nichols
ATM 2020 FLE: Circulation of the Giant Planets from Infrared Remote Sensing

Professor Steve Milan and Dr Suzie Imber
GEO 2020 MIL: Electrodynamics of the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupled system