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EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage

Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage


The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is a partnership between Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the University of Glasgow (UoG). We provide opportunities for applicants to research novel scientific and engineering developments in highly manufacturable photonic and integration technologies with far-reaching applications related to the storage of digital information, telecommunications, healthcare and beyond.


Our 4-year PhD programme leads to a unique joint research degree from both universities. We provide 4-year studentships which cover tuition fees and provide an annual maintenance stipend of £14,553. In year one, our students spend time at both universities, completing a range of scientific and technical courses and engage in exploratory research projects, before choosing and embarking on their PhD research project.


CDT students undertake courses and skills training in entrepreneurship, leadership, management and innovation, which are completed on an interdisciplinary basis with other PhD students from QUB and Trinity College Dublin, leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

During their PhD, students also manage their own research and training budget that covers bench costs and supports travel between the universities and to conferences/meetings.

Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage
Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage


CDT students undertake a diverse and exciting range of topical doctoral research projects which cut across physics, materials and electrical and optical engineering. They benefit from access to state of the art experimental and computational facilities in Physics and at the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at UoG, alongside the Centre for Nanostructured Media at QUB.

PhD research projects broadly fall under five themes:

  • Ultra-reliable semiconductor lasers operating in a hostile environment
  • Low cost planar lightwave circuit platforms for coupling lasers into passive waveguides and suitable for volume manufacture
  • Novel nanoplasmonic devices and antennas capable of operating in extreme environments
  • Advanced materials for magnetic recording optimised for high temperature fluctuations through composition, layering and patterning on µm and nm scales
  • Characterisation and failure analysis using scanning probe and electron microscopy and x-ray material analysis


The programme has been designed and delivered in close consultation with our impressive range of industrial partners.

All students benefit from ongoing opportunities to engage with our industrial partners, such as conferences, seminars, placements, site visits and have exclusive access to the tailored ‘Teamwork and Collaboration Skills in a Cross-Geographical Environment’ module which is delivered by Seagate Technology as part of their Global Leadership programme.

“The Global Leadership course included a well-balanced composition of multicultural skills and concepts delivered by very supportive Seagate Technology staff mentors using the highest standards of training materials from the Harvard Business School. The WebEx virtual meeting training demonstrated practically how the various concepts could be implemented in real global business situations. For me it gave a real insight to the skills needed to undertake collaborative research with partners in different geographic locations.” - Ali Mugahid (Cohort 2014)

Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage


Applicants must be of UK/EU nationality and have at least a 2:1 BSc/Masters in physics, chemistry, materials and electrical engineering or chemical engineering.

*For residency T&C’s visit


E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0) 289097 3049 (CDT Executive Manager, Brenda Morris)
Twitter: @CDT_PIADS

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