PhD Studentship: Quantum Dynamics for Understanding Excited State Properties

   School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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  Prof Thomas Penfold  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Award Summary

100% of home fees covered, and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £18,622 (2023/24 UKRI rate).


Modern experiments can investigate quantum systems undergoing dynamic change and provide important new insights of core processes relevant to chemistry, materials and quantum technologies. However, the interpretation these experiments often requires detailed quantum dynamics simulations. Such simulations are on the cusp of being able to make quantitative predictions about large molecular systems. However, important methodological challenges remain, such as computational expense and accurate prediction of experimental observables.

This PhD studentship forms part of a large, concerted research effort in this area initiated through the EPSRC funded Programme Grant, Universal Approach for Solving Real-World Problems Using Quantum Dynamics: Coherent States for Molecular Simulations (COSMOS). It will be based in Prof. Thomas Penfold’s Theory and Computational Chemistry research group at Newcastle University, and will develop and deploy new quantum dynamics strategies that will uniquely deliver impact and insight for real-world applications across a range of technological and biological domains. These simulations will be directly connected with the new experiments made possible by X-ray Free Electron Lasers. This project will therefore provide extensive training across theory and computation, programming, quantum dynamics and analysis/interpretation of new experimental data.

Highly motivated students with a physics or chemistry background are strongly encouraged to apply for this post. A good background knowledge of molecular quantum mechanics and computational chemistry is expected and basic programming skills are desirable.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

16th September 2024

Award Duration

3 years


Newcastle University


Prof. Thomas J Penfold, Chemistry, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to gain, a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed PhD project (e.g. Chemistry or Physics)

 Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills.

The studentship covers fees at the home rate. International applicants are welcome to apply but will be required to cover the difference between Home and International fees.

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal 

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.  

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:  

  •  search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8100F
  • the Research Area is: Chemistry
  • select PhD Chemistry (full time)' as the programme of study 

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Details’ section:  

  • a ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form  
  • the studentship code SNES272 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field  
  • when prompted for how you are providing your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal.

Contact Details

Prof. Tom Penfold ([Email Address Removed])

Chemistry (6) Computer Science (8) Physics (29)
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 About the Project