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Early-Stage Researcher in European Industrial Doctorate project MOCCA - Multiscale optical frequency

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, September 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

prestigious three year postgraduate position as Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the European Industrial Doctorate project MOCCA. The project is supported through the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).
MOCCA- Multiscale optical frequency combs: advanced technologies and applications - is a European Industrial Doctorate (EID) consortium of high profile universities in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany including academic partners Aston University, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, as well as, the industrial partners AMO GMBH (Germany) and THALES (France). Within MOCCA four Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be trained to develop a new generation of optical frequency comb (OFC) techniques.

Background of the Project

The growth of the Photonics market and the great potential of Photonics in addressing global challenges create a huge demand in innovative solutions and qualified experts with multidisciplinary skills in photonics and micro and nano-technologies, able to advance photonic technologies towards applications ranging from spectroscopy to LIDARs. EID MOCCA responds to the huge demand of qualified experts, by providing for 4 early-stage researchers (ESRs) a world-class advanced training programme (TP), which will bring them to the level of the next generation of leaders in the field of photonics. The TP will be implemented through the unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements and advanced inter/multidisciplinary/inter-sectoral training, to attain scientific skills (nonlinear optics and laser physics, micro- and nano-technologies) and transferable skills. MOCCA underpins innovative technological development across the entire range of photonics-based disciplines: laser physics and engineering, micro- and nano-photonic components and circuits. The unique Research Programme addresses demand in innovative solutions by developing a new generation of optical frequency comb (OFC) techniques, based on the expertise of world-leading academic and industrial partners. Research outcomes will result in new products, services and markets, based on advancing OFC generators with required characteristics in science, industry, and healthcare.
More information on the project can be found here:
Training and Secondments: Successful applicant will spent 18 months of his/her appointment at one or more of MOCCA industrial partners (AMO GMBH (Germany), THALES (France).
The position is available from July 2019 (subject to negotiation) for the duration of 36 months.


The successful candidates will be employed on a full-time basis with a competitive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for ESRs and the personal circumstances of the applicant. The successful candidate will receive a financial package consisting of the MSCA living allowance and a mobility allowance, together a sum of £37,000 per annum.
Eligible candidates with family will also receive an additional family allowance according to the rules of the MSCA.

Person Specification

MOCCA is looking for candidates with exceptional skills in theoretical and experimental physics, applied mathematics, or electrical engineering. Preferred skill requirements include experience in experimental work, knowledge of scientific programming and computing, physical optics, communications. Knowledge in theory of differential equations, mathematical physics, numerical analysis, information and communication theory is an asset. At a minimum, the successful applicant should have a outstanding BSc (first class or upper second class honours degree) or equivalent qualification in physics or engineering. Applicants holding a Master of Science degree (or expected to be awarded one soon) in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or equivalent, are especially encouraged to apply.

For informal enquiries about this project and other opportunities within the AIPT, contact Dr. Misha Sumetsky by email: .

The successful applicant is expected to register for a PhD at Aston University and therefore will have to comply with minimum PhD Entry Requirements to be found in the section “Entry Requirements” detailed here. The position includes a PhD tuition fee waiver to the level of UK Home/EU fees. Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between ‘Home/EU’ and ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, the difference currently being £12,290 pa in 2018/19.


• BSc or MSc qualification in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or equivalent.
• Experience in theoretical and experimental work, knowledge of scientific programming and computing, particularly in the context of application to theoretical and experimental physics and photonics.
• English Language: Minimum requirements can be found in the section “English Language Entry Requirements” detailed here
• Comply with MSCA eligibility and mobility criteria as listed below.

MSCA Eligibility

Applicants must be Early Stage Researchers (ESR), i.e. be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers, and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.
Full-time equivalent research experience is measured FROM the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited) – even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Research Experience is measured TO the first day of the MOCCA employment contract of the researcher.

MSCA Mobility

Researchers may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the first day of MOCCA employment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
As part of your application form, you will need to attach the following documents:
• Degree Certificate(s). If your qualifications are from an overseas institution please provide transcripts of the marks you have already achieved with your application
• English Language Certificate if appropriate
• A copy of your passport (All pages)
• Completed and signed MSCA Compliance Form
Additional studentships and speculative applications to AiPT
AiPT is always open to speculative applications from students to projects other than MOCCA.
The online application form, reference forms and details of entry requirements, including English language are available at
Such applications must also be accompanied by a research proposal giving an overview of the main themes of the research, and explaining how your knowledge and experience will benefit the project.
Details of how to write your project proposal are also included in the How to Apply section.
For informal enquiries about speculative applications and other opportunities within the AIPT, contact Prof. Sergei Turitsyn by email: .
Further details: University Information
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Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via

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