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Fully funded PhD Photonics at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton

Fully funded PhD Photonics at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton

What we’re looking for

You’ve heard of the electronic age, the digital age… well the ‘age of light’ is on its way.

Here at the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre, we want bright graduates with a background in physics, materials science, chemistry, engineering or computer science, to join our thriving research team and help pioneer a new era of smarter, faster, greener, cleaner, smaller, cheaper and safer technologies, powered by photonics.

As a successful candidate, you will have, or expect to shortly have:

  • A good undergraduate degree in a science and engineering or closely-related discipline (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree or equivalent)
  • English language: IELTS 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (click here for other accepted English Language tests).

About the programme

A PhD from the ORC is designed to give you a solid grounding in photonics, the science and technology of light. Photonics is a key enabling technology found in nearly every aspect of modern life and behind some of today’s hottest tech trends, from hardware for AI and machine learning, to lidar for self-driving cars and lasers used in pioneering medical treatments.

We have approximately 30 fully-funded PhD studentships for you to choose from. You could be working with high power lasers, super-fast hollow-core optical fibres, or even nanostructured 2D surfaces and metamaterials – no matter what, your research will impact on society for the better.

All our PhD opportunities provide the training you need to build a successful career, whether as an academic, scientist or business leader. Our programme follows a gradual transition from a taught degree to independent research and supports you in developing transferable skills such as technical writing, presenting, project management, as well as specialist technical knowledge, including experience using our state-of-the-art labs and cleanrooms.

Fully funded PhD Photonics at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton

Five reasons to choose the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)

  1. Help pioneer technologies which are providing solutions to real-life challenges
  2. Join a team where world-leading scientists and up-and-coming researchers work side-by-side
  3. Get hands-on in our £120M state-of-the-art optical labs and cleanrooms, one of the best fabrication research facilities in the world
  4. Gain transferable skills beyond your PhD – work with industry, inspire school children about science and develop your leadership capabilities through our thriving postgraduate student society
  5. Belong to a unique international community of photonics researchers and innovators, travel to conferences and become a lifetime ORC alumni member


The ORC offers one of the most attractive packages for PhD students with full tuition funding, plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Find out more:

EU students with no external funding can apply for a small number of scholarships. Students from overseas with external funding are also encouraged to apply and can choose from any of these projects.

Find out more

To find out more and see the full list of available projects, visit or contact [email protected]

Fully funded PhD Photonics at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton

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