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University of Southampton, Institute for Complex Systems Simulation

Complex Systems Simulation
Join the largest and most diverse
Complex Systems PhD programme
in the world!

20 Fully Funded PhD positions for
October 2013 entry.



The Institute for Complex Systems Simulation is jointly funded by the EPSRC (£6 million) and the University of Southampton and its partners (£6 million).  It brings together world-class simulation modelling research activities from across the University of Southampton and hosts Southampton's Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Complex Systems Simulation, offering a doctoral training programme that is the first of its kind in the UK.

There are 20 fully funded 4-year PhD studentships available this year, providing a £16.5K p.a. tax-free premium stipend, covering all tuition fees, and support for attending academic conferences, etc. Applications for October 2013 entry are invited now.

PhD Researchers Simulating Complex Systems
Complex systems simulation is an attempt to better understand systems where the interactions between component parts give rise to global behaviour that is not straightforward to explain. This is characteristic of many important and intriguing domains: climate, ecosystems, drugs, cells, brains, cities, markets, the Internet. The ICSS is active in modelling complex systems across many scales and domains: from quantum dynamics to global ocean processes. The growing significance of understanding and managing such systems means that complex systems research is increasingly being recognised as a critical area by industry, government and science itself.


PhD Researcher
The Institute's doctoral programme is four years in length, comprising a one-year taught component followed by a three-year research component.

The taught component involves modules on core  skills, concepts, tools and methodologies for complexity science and high-performance computational modelling.  In addition, each student takes optional modules chosen to complement their research interests and skills.  These modules introduce and expand on relevant complex systems domains and advanced modelling methods.  The first year culminates in a student-selected 12-week research project applying the concepts, skills and tools that they have learned to a modelling problem from a chosen domain.

Over the next three years students carry out independent doctoral research on a project defined jointly with their supervisors.  In addition to a truly exceptional research environment at the University of Southampton, opportunities to spend time seconded to an industrial research lab, and extensive transferable skills training will help our students transition from the PhD programme to become research leaders in applying complex systems simulation to the most pressing scientific and engineering challenges of the 21st century.

Shell 4 Year PhD ProgrammeExamples of the complex systems that our current students are modelling include: neuronal activity at the knee joint, habitat permeability for mammalian wildlife, economic, social and transport networks, systemic risk in the financial services industry, ecosystem dynamics in the atlantic ocean, micromagnetism, co-ordination of unmanned air vehicles, and self-organisation in cell membranes.

The Institute recruits graduates from across engineering, computing, biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, earth sciences, geography and mathematics plus, where appropriate, the quantitative social sciences (e.g., economics). There is an expectation that applicants should already possess or expect to achieve a first-class undergraduate degree or equivalent. Our intake will be theory-minded, math-literate and computer-literate, but in other respects we expect there to be considerable diversity – indeed we think this variety is an important asset.

For more details, and how to apply see: www.icss.soton.ac.uk

University of Southampton Campus

Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS), University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 5776



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