SEPnet PhD Scholarships

This year has the potential to be the most exciting yet for SEPnet – a consortium of nine world-class universities focused on the future of physics. We’re now offering a range of fully-funded, prestigious PhD scholarships in 2017 to tackle these grand challenges in physics, aimed at high calibre UK and European Union students. In addition there are over 100 Physics and Astronomy PhD opportunities at SEPnet partner institutions for high calibre students from around the world.

GRADnet is the collaborative Physics Graduate School of SEPnet, the South East England University Physics Network. GRADnet is offering 9 PhD scholarships for study starting October 2017 in the following areas:

GRADnet offers you the opportunity to undertake cutting-edge Physics research in one of the most dynamic environments in the UK along with broad-based skills training to enhance your future career opportunities. Skills training includes events to expand your horizons and to see how to make the most of your PhD; ways to engage with future potential employers through summer schools and placements; and opportunities to reach out to the wider community and enhance your C.V.

Why do a PhD in the first place?

What GRADnet has to offer

SEPnet scholarships offer full funding for selected UK and EU candidates within GRADnet plus a range of further benefits including contributions to conference travel, and priority for GRADnet summer schools and other training opportunities including research or industrial placements and secondments. In particular these studentships come with an enhanced research training support grant.The training programme offered by GRADnet in 2016/17 is described here: GRADnet Brochure 2016-17 Final

A list of the types of Scholarship Projects, of other research opportunities and how to apply can be found here. Students may check their eligibility and other conditions here but applicants must satisfy the criteria of the institution providing and funding the scholarship.

Applicants are invited to submit their current C.V. and a short statement of their research interests (maximum 200 words) to Cristobel Soares-Smith by 15th February 2017. Selected candidates will be invited to attend an Open Day on February 22nd 2017 at the Royal Astronomical Society in London in order to meet potential supervisors and learn more about GRADnet.

Between them the SEPnet partners offer more than 100 Physics PhD places each year and all students will be offered leading edge training as part of SEPnet’s regional Graduate Training programme that is under development and will cover scientific and professional skills training provided in conjunction with our employer partners.

What to do after your PhD

You probably haven’t yet seriously thought about what to do after your PhD but whether your direction is to enter academia as a Physics researcher or to take your Physics PhD training into a career in the “real world” the GRADnet programme can help you make your mind up and prepare you. Here’s one of our former PhD graduates help you with what you need to know.


We welcome applications from all qualified applicants and applications are particularly encouraged from traditionally under-represented groups in science. The partners in SEPnet are committed to equality and diversity which is shown by their individual Athena SWAN award and Institute of Physics Project Juno status.  These projects show a commitment to introduce organisational practices that promote a culture of tolerance and gender equality in science and create a better working environment for all.