Condensed Matter & Materials Physics


Applying for a PhD in the CMMP Group at UCL

Discover how to apply for a PhD within UCL's CMMP group. This guide covers research interests, application procedures, and funding options.

Apply for PhD

How to Apply for a PhD in the CMMP Group

Identifying Your Research Interest:
Before applying, candidates are strongly advised to:

  • Familiarize themselves with the CMMP research activities.
  • Check the Current PhD Adverts page for open positions. (Note: Additional positions may open throughout the year).

It is ESSENTIAL that candidates:

  • Contact potential academic supervisors in the CMMP group to inquire about and discuss available PhD research projects.

Eligibility Criteria:
Candidates should possess:

  • A minimum of a UK upper second class MSci or Master's degree (or international equivalent) in physics or a related field.

Application Procedure:

  • In general, you will need to apply both for entry to the graduate programme and to separately apply for funding. 
  • Please read the guide, Applying for Graduate Research Study at UCL. This guide is aimed at assisting prospective graduate research students through the application process at UCL. From here, you will be able to select your program and submit your application.
  • For international students, additional information is available here: Applying as an international student.
  • Please ensure to list the condensed matter and materials physics (CMMP) group in your application.
  • As part of the application, you will be prompted to provide a research proposal. Please note that you are not required to write this on your own. The research proposal should be jointly written by you and your prospective supervisor. It is therefore imperative that you contact potential research supervisors and discuss the details of any proposed project well in advance of any application deadlines. 
  • Please notify your potential PhD supervisor once you have submitted your application. 

Funding opportunities

UCL EPSRC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) studentship

  • Application deadline: 13:00 UK time on 08 January 2024.
  • Full details of the programme and how to apply are available here: UCL EPSRC DTP Studentships.
  • Please read carefully the eligibility and residency requirements at the link above. In brief, these studentships are primarily available for UK nationals, Irish nationals, EU nationals with settled status, and those with indefinite leave to remain. A small number of international studentships can be awarded across the faculty, but competition for these places will be particularly strong. Please see the above link for further details.
  • Only the specific projects listed in the Project Catalogue are available under this scheme. Please search the catalogue for projects that interest you and get in touch with the supervisors to discuss the details of the project.

UCL Research Excellence Scholarship (UCL-RES)

  • Application deadline: Friday 12 January 2024.
  • Full details of the programme and how to apply are available here: UCL Research Excellence Scholarship.
  • Both Home and Overseas students are eligible.
  • The selection criteria is academic merit. These studentships are extremely competitive and only outstanding students should apply. Please discuss your suitability for this programme with your potential supervisor. 

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (UCL-ROS)

  • Application deadline: 12 January 2024.
  • Full details of the programme and how to apply are available here: UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship.
  • You must be a UK-permanent resident from one of the following BAME ethnic groups: Black or Black British - Caribbean; Black or Black British - African; Other Black background; Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi; 
    Asian or Asian British - Pakistani.
  • The selection criteria are academic merit and financial need. 

China Scholarship Council (CSC) - UCL Joint Research Scholarship

  • Application deadline: 17 January 2024.
  • Full details of the programme and how to apply are available here: China Scholarship Council-UCL Joint Research Scholarship.
  • You must be a citizen and permanent resident of the People's Republic of China at the time of application. Please see the link above for full details of eligibility.
  • The selection criteria are set out by the CSC.

UCL Dean's Prize

  • Application deadline: 17 January 2024.
  • The Dean's Prize supports overseas fee-paying students who have won a competitive scholarship to cover their stipend, by waiving the international fees.
  • Full details of the programme and how to apply are available here: UCL Dean's Prize.

Institute of Physics (IOP) Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund

  • Application deadline: 19 January 2024.
  • The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund is for graduates wishing to study towards a doctorate in physics from groups that are currently underrepresented in physics.
  • Full details of the programme and how to apply are available here: Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund.
  • Eligible applicants include individuals from underrepresented groups in physics such as women, Black-Caribbean, Black-African, and other minority ethnic (BAME) students, students with disabilities, those requiring additional funding for inclusive learning, LGBT+ students, students from disadvantaged backgrounds struggling with funding, and qualifying refugees who meet the aforementioned criteria.

Departmental studentships

  • Application deadline: at the discretion of the supervisor.
  • In some cases, a small number of studentships may be made available to individual academics within the department.
  • These studentships are strictly available for Home students (UK citizens or settled status in the UK).

EPSRC DTP-Case studentships

  • Application deadline (for academic staff): closed for 2023/24.
  • A DTP funded PhD studentship in partnership with a company. The company is required to contribute a minimum of 1/3 of the studentship value in cash. For 2024/25 DTP-CASE conversions this is £40,800. The company can give more to support enhanced stipend and other project costs. They also need to provide supervision and minimum 3 months placement at their company. More detailed for potential supervisors is available here: EPSRC Doctoral Funding - Staff Portal.
  • Supervisors intending to apply for a DTP-Case studentship must submit an application, the deadline for which is typically the same as for submitting project descriptions for the DTP studentship. The deadline has now passed (Sept. 2023) and this page will be updated with details of the submission process for the 2024/25 academic year when the information becomes available.