Metamaterials PhD Studentship - 2023/24 entry

   Department of Physics and Astronomy

  Prof Alastair Hibbins  Saturday, September 30, 2023  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

About the award

Exeter's Centre for Metamaterials Research and Innovation (CMRI) is a community of academic, industrial, and governmental partners that harnesses world-leading research excellence from theory to application, and enables simulation, measurement, and fabrication of metamaterials and metamaterial-based devices. Our breadth of research is our centre's strength: our PhD students, researchers and academics solve multi-faceted research questions and challenges. Our work spans physics, engineering, maths and computer science, including electromagnetism (from visible and infra-red through to THz and microwave), acoustics and fluidics, undertaken in parallel with research on numerical, analytical and AI modelling techniques. The materials we work with have wide application, e.g. imaging; sensing and spectroscopy; communication and antennas; acoustic and RF signature reduction; mechanical and vibration control; energy storage and harvesting etc.

Since 2014, our doctoral training programme in metamaterials has admitted over 100 postgraduate students, with around 35 researchers currently working on their PhDs. You can be confident of joining a supportive research environment as part of this large pool of peers and supervisors. To encourage a strong research culture, our cohorts learn together in targeted courses, self-driven activity groups, and gain exposure to industry and wider research projects to absorb scientific background knowledge beyond their own expertise, while also equipping themselves with transferable professional skills such as creative thinking, project management, and leadership.

Our programme's success is perhaps best demonstrated via our graduate destinations: on leaving the programme they have embarked on careers in academia, industry and government, and are acting as advocates for the next generation of metamaterial researchers..


For a list of projects that are currently funded, and a list of descriptions of projects that we would like to run next year, please visit our project page

There are a limited number of funded places available; not all projects listed here will be funded.

Entry requirements

Applicants must normally have obtained, or be about to obtain, a university degree in a relevant subject that is accepted by the University of Exeter for registration as a graduate student, such as a BSc, MSc or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, or an equivalent international qualification. We also welcome applications from those with equivalent experience in professional working environments, and also those seeking part-time study. We have a strong commitment to inclusivity: we therefore welcome applications from individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, or disability status.

You will need to provide evidence of proficiency in English before enrolling:

How to apply

To apply for funding, you must do so by clicking on the ‘apply now’ button above. In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.

Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf

You will need to provide a COVER LETTER that indicates your preferred area of study and/or preferred project, 

You will also need to upload a PERSONAL STATEMENT. We recommend that you describe (a) why you would like to study for a PhD; b) why you would like to focus on th identified area/project, c) any relevant expertise and d) your future career ambitions. We would also encourage you to describe the qualities that you believe will make you a great researcher (in particular as part of a team). Note: these details are not given in the application process but shortlisting will include assessment against these criteria.

You will also need to upload

  • CV
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying).
  • Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to quoting the studentship reference number. Please indicate this when you upload their details.
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English. Please see the entry requirements information above.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Saturday 30th September 2023

We intend to undertake interviews and make offers on a rolling basis following the deadline.

Note that we cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts, unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee.

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided (if applicable).

If you have any general enquiries about the application process or the project itself please email

Funding Notes

We anticipate that multiple fully-funded 3.5-year or 4-year studentships will be available for UK students; a limited number of international places may also be available for exceptional candidates (subject to eligibility restrictions from funders). The funding available covers University tuition fees, an annual stipend (currently £17,668 for the academic year 2022/23), and a budget that covers costs associated with your specific research project and your training. We also welcome applications from applicants that can provide their own funding, for example, from their own finances; from international government scholarships; from their employer; other schemes

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