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PHDEC1729 Investigations into the structure of exotic atomic nuclei using state-of-the-art techniques of gamma-ray spectroscopy

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J F Smith
    Dr D O'Donnell
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The PhD project will involve the study of the structure of exotic atomic nuclei, in one of several different research themes within our group. Examples of research themes are the study of reflection-asymmetry in nuclei and measurements of properties of nuclei near the proton dripline. Our research often uses techniques of gamma-ray spectroscopy, using large arrays of gamma-ray detectors such as Jurogam-II, Gammasphere, and AGATA. Experiments are carried out at large overseas facilities using state-of-the-art methods of nuclear spectroscopy. Some of the main facilities where we conduct our research are JYFL (Jyväskylä, Finland), Legnaro National Laboratory (Padova, Italy), Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago), ISOLDE-CERN (Geneva), and Institut Laue Langevin (Grenoble, France). A new theme in our research programme is the study of laser-induced nuclear physics, studying nuclear reactions induced by the interactions of high-power lasers. As such, we are involved with the development of SCAPA facility in central Glasgow. Within this general overview of our research, the specific details of the PhD project can be discussed.

UWS is one of the founding members of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) – a pioneering research-pooling initiative which includes a Graduate School, offering a wealth of postgraduate lecture courses and other opportunities.

The studentship will start on 1st October 2017, or soon after (subject to discussion). The studentship will cover fees and provide a standard research-council stipend (currently £14,296) per year for a duration of three years. Applicants should have, or expect to be awarded, a 1st-class or 2.1 honours degree in Physics or a closely related subject. Much of our research is carried out abroad, so applicants should have a willingness to travel. There is no set closing date for applications – but it would be useful if applications were received by Friday 16th June 2017.

The studentship will be based on the Paisley Campus of the University of the West of Scotland. Paisley is located around 10 miles south-west of Glasgow, with excellent travel links to Glasgow (~10 minutes by train to Glasgow Central station) and to the scenic regions of Scotland (e.g. ~25 minutes by car to Loch Lomond). Glasgow International Airport is also located in Paisley.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will receive an annual stipend (currently £14,296) per annum for three years and payment of tuition fees (current value £4052). Applicants are advised that funding will be considered as part of a competitive round and there is no guarantee that it will be awarded. Successful applicants will be expected to contribute up to 6 hours/week to UWS academic related activities. Studentships are open to Home/EU candidates with a first degree in a relevant discipline. Non-EU students can apply, but will not receive the stipend and will be required to pay fees.


For further information, please contact Professor John F. Smith by email to [email protected] or by telephone to 0141 848 3652. We welcome informal inquiries.

Postgraduate Degree by Research Applications should be completed online at

Applications without all relevant documents will not be considered. Please quote the Project Reference Number.

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