Jobs and Studentships
The PPPA group considers applications for STFC PhD studentships from the start of the academic year. In general studentships are allocated by Easter. If you expect to obtain a first or upper second class degree in single or dual honours physics please feel free to contact us. Please note that STFC studentships are only available to British residents, and we do not have very many funding avenues for foreign nationals. We regret this, but STFC rules are not under our control!
STFC-funded PhD studentships are available only to students who graduate with a First or Upper Second class degree in a relevant discipline. All other things being equal, a candidate with an MPhys or MSci degree will be preferred to a BSc, but all other things are usually not equal and candidates expecting to obtain a good BSc degree are encouraged to apply. A postgraduate MSc degree is considered by STFC to be equivalent to an increase of one grade in your first degree, so students with a lower second class degree followed by an MSc are eligible.
Information about the PhD research available with the PPPA group can be found here. For informal enquiries, please contact our postgraduate admissions coordinator, or fill out the department's online enquiry form. To make a formal application, visit the University's research degree application page where you can either apply online or download the forms to apply by post.
MPhil by research
The department does not have a taught MSc course in particle physics or astrophysics. However, we do occasionally accept students to do an MPhil by research, which includes some taught courses but is dominated by a short research project written up as a Master's thesis. Usually, this route is taken by overseas students who have some personal funding but not the guaranteed three years required for a PhD degree. MPhil registrations can be upgraded to PhD, subject to satisfactory performance, if more funding becomes available.
If you are an undergraduate student in your penultimate year (i.e. third year of an MPhys/MSci or second year of a BSc), there are a number of schemes that fund summer internships:
- The IOP "Top50" scheme, which funds placements both in industry and in academic departments;
- The SURE scheme for University of Sheffield students;
- EPSRC vacation bursaries, administered by the Department as part of its EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership grant—these are not available for pure particle physics work, which does not fall under EPSRC's remit, but may be awarded for work on some of our applied research, e.g. neutron screening for air cargo.
This funding is competitive, but in the past we have been very successful, and we had two IOP students in summer 2014. Application deadlines vary but are usually early in the second semester: contact our postgraduate admissions coordinator for further details.