PhD Studentship in Light-Matter Interactions, University of Southampton, UK

Fully funded international PhD studentships available for Oct. 2019 start

The University of Southampton, UK has been awarded a highly prestigious Programme from the European Research Council to study the generation, propagation and interaction with matter of the “Flying Donuts”, a new type of propagating electromagnetic excitations of toroidal topology, that were never experimentally studied before. This represents an exciting opportunity to advance optics and electromagnetism in a radically new direction since Hertz, Marconi, Popov and Tesla developed technology for generating, detecting, and communicating with conventional electromagnetic waves.

We are seeking bright and highly motivated postgraduate research students of outstanding calibre to join our programme. We welcome applications from students with a background in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science, and related subjects. Applicants must have a first or upper second-class degree (or equivalent) from a recognized university, and a solid grounding in Optics/Electromagnetism. The studentships are fully funded for 3.5 years, including tuition fees and a tax-free bursary.

UK, EU and international applicants are welcome.

For informal enquiries please write to Prof. Nikolay I. Zheludev, FRS ( or Dr Nikitas Papasimakis (

Apply online at selecting “PhD ORC” as degree and “metamaterials” as field of study.

The PhD programme
The Zepler Institute (ZI) PhD comprises a solid education for a research career. The structured first year involves attending our training programme running in parallel with carrying out your research project. This provides a smooth transition from your degree course towards the more open-ended research that takes place in the following years under the guidance of your project supervisors. We expect the vast majority of our students to present their work at international conferences and to write papers in leading academic journals as their research progresses. Students will emerge from the PhD with skills at the forefront of future fiber laser research and will benefit from the many opportunities to interact with the wider community of PhD students across the Southampton Campus through academic, sporting and cultural events.

The ZI is the leading photonics research institute in the UK and possibly in Europe. It comprises state-of-the-art cleanrooms for optical fibre, planar photonics, silicon and bio-photonics fabrication and over 80 laboratories. Computer simulations will benefit from Southampton’s high performance computing cluster Iridis, one of the largest supercomputers in the UK. A PhD at the ZI has enabled our past graduates to make successful careers in academia, in national scientific laboratories, and as scientists or business leaders in industry. Our research papers, patents, spin-off companies and these successful alumni taken together place Southampton amongst the top institutes worldwide.

Key facts
Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2019 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: typically three years (full-time)

Funding: full tuition plus stipend of £14,777 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Assessment: nine-and 18-month reports and viva voce determine progression to PhD; progression reports, viva voce and thesis examination

Start date: typically September


Nanophotonics Group
Location: Highfield Campus
Closing Date: Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference: 1071718PN
Supervisor: Prof. Nikolay I. Zheludev
Co-supervisor: Dr Nikitas Papasimakis

For more information, please visit:

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