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Research that transforms lives

Sheffield Hallam University

Research that transforms lives

At Sheffield Hallam, our approach to research emerges from our values as an institution. We believe in applied learning and multi-disciplinary collaboration. We believe universities should make material contributions to the cultural, economic, social and health challenges facing society today. Most importantly, we believe that the pursuit of knowledge has the power to transform lives.

Our ambition is to magnify that spirit of discovery and collaboration, and embed it in the world’s leading applied university – ensuring that through our teaching, every new contribution to knowledge is passed down to the next generation.

We are recognised nationally and internationally for the quality of our research - 65% of our research submitted in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 was rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Find out more about our research areas

As a postgraduate research student at Sheffield Hallam, you will be part of the University's Doctoral School and a community of postgraduate researchers across the University. Your research degree will give you opportunities to develop a range of personal and professional skills as well as becoming an expert in your chosen project area. We offer PhD and masters-level research degrees across our research areas, as well as professional doctorates in Business and Education.

How to apply

We welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates across all our research areas. We accept applications all year round, for enrolment in October, January or May. Funded scholarships will have specific closing dates.

If you have any questions about applying for a research degree, you can contact the relevant area. We recommend that you contact us early in your decision making process to discuss your research ideas.

Research that transforms lives

Fees and funding

You can find information on tuition fees and research costs on our online prospectus.

As part of our investment in research we offer a number of competitive PhD scholarships throughout the year. Available opportunities will be listed on our website.

A vibrant city

Sheffield is a welcoming, multicultural city with a rich and proud history. It is a safe, friendly and affordable place to live, which is why it is the study destination of choice for more than 60,000 students. The city also offers the best of both worlds, with all the amenities, culture and entertainment of a big city and the peaceful, green spaces of the countryside.

Research that transforms lives

Academic Units


The Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) was established in 1990 and brings together a highly multi-disciplinary team of researchers who aim to achieve the highest standards in materials and engineering research. The RAE 2008 results confirm MERI’s success in this ambition and support the Institute’s ongoing commitment to an expanding profile of international research.

Our research and consultancy activities are supported by a large advanced equipment base, ranging from the latest electron microscopes to high performance computing hardware.

Relevant research
Our research covers a broad range of topics, from semiconductors to concrete and from theoretical modelling to industrial applied coatings.

We specialise in research relevant to real life. The majority of our activities are focused on real commercial needs and many of our activities are sponsored by companies. This includes sponsorship from a broad range of sectors such as petrochemical, pharmaceutical, electronics, aerospace, automotive, biomedical and many more.

Research centres
MERI is organised into four primary research centres, plus a consultancy unit (MARS CIC). The activities of each research centre are carried out within focused research groups.

Centre for Automation and Robotics Research - Dr Jacques Penders
The Centre consists of two research groups and a consultancy arm
1.Mobile Machines and Vision Laboratory
2.Systems Modelling and Integration and Sheaf Solutions consultancy

Thin Films Research Centre - Professor Papken Hovsepian
The Centre has five research areas
1.thin films and sensors
2.physical vapour deposition
3.semiconductor characterisation
4.theory of semiconductor materials and optics
5.photovoltaics

Polymers, Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre - Professor Chris Breen
The Centre has two research groups
1.Polymers, Composites and Spectroscopy Group
2.Materials and Fluid Flow Modelling Group

Structural Materials and Integrity Research Centre - Professor Robert Akid
The SMIRC consists of three research groups
1.Centre for Corrosion Technology
2.Centre for Infrastructure Management
3.Metal Joining Research Centre

Materials Analysis and Research Services Centre for Industrial Collaboration (MARS CIC) - Dr Nick Farmilo

Postgraduate research at MERI
As an institute committed to world-class, multidisciplinary research, MERI offers a vibrant community in which postgraduate researchers work closely with experienced academics to develop their knowledge and expertise.

We can support a wide range of research opportunities. Working towards your research degree with MERI, you could benefit from

supervision by an active researcher in your chosen area
access to excellent facilities and learning resources
part-time lecturing and tutorial work to broaden your experience
funding to help with your study costs
lively debate and discussion with colleagues
Our current students are studying topics across the full range of materials and engineering research pursued in MERI, and are encouraged to disseminate their research by publishing papers and attending conferences with other MERI staff.



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