Mathematical Physics


PhD Projects and Studentships

We offer the opportunity to study for a PhD in Physics or a PhD in Mathematics by full-time study over three years or by part-time study over five years.  Part-time study is only available for UK and EU students.

The PhD is entirely by research and is assessed by a thesis and viva examination.  All students attend additional taught modules at Masters level.


Our overall aim is to create an environment conducive to discussion and research collaboration at the highest level.

Research students have dedicated shared office space close to their supervisors' offices and are supplied with a desktop computer. The Department has its own computing research laboratory containing several workstations and PCs. As researchers, PhD students have full access to the University's high-performance computing facilities.

Interaction between research students is greatly supported by the provision of a dedicated communal space and kitchen.  Research students also use this space to give seminars to their peers.  Additionally, the facilities of the Sussex Research Hive are available to all doctoral researchers and research staff.


Student progress is reviewed annually by written report and interview to ensure timely completion of the PhD. In their first year, students will have an additional, shorter Interim Interview in December.

Funding for UK & EU students

We expect to have a number of Research Council studentships in the School each year.  School-funded scholarships may also be available, for both UK and EU students.

Funding for Overseas students

Funded PhDs are occasionally available for Overseas (ex-EU) students.  Where a School-funded PhD is available, Overseas students can be considered.  However, School studentships only waive UK/EU fees, so an overseas student must have realistic plan for funding the additional fees incurred by Overseas students.

Finding Funding

All our currently-available funded PhD opportunities are advertised on the Searchable Funding database.  Funding is sometimes available for any research area in mathematics or physics, but usually it is restricted to specified projects. 


For practical questions about applications and/or funding please contact the Research & Enterprise Coordinator on .  For academic questions please contact the Research group leaders Prof Xavier Calmet (Physics) or Prof Michael Melgaard (Mathematics)

Application Process
How to Apply

Applications should be submitted through the University application pages.  For more general information on postgraduate studies at Sussex see the University Postgraduate Study page.

Deadlines for Applications

We welcome applications from potential PhD students at any time, but funded PhD positions may have a specific deadline. The normal expected start date is the third week of September, but students may also start in January or May.

Possible Projects and Supervisors

Students will be allocated a nominal project and main supervisor on accepting a PhD place. All students are allocated a second supervisor on arrival, whose share of supervision can amount from a nominal 5% (offers occasional advice) up to 45% (joint supervision).

We are also open to discussion of modifying these projects or developing ideas that candidates may have themselves. Please also feel free to contact any of the individual faculty members in relation to potential research projects with them.

Projects currently available

We welcome project proposals in any research topic covered by this research group (see our Research page). 

You can contact faculty before submitting your application for a PhD place, but they cannot make a firm decision without a full application.

You can apply with a fully worked-up proposal or with a brief outline of your main area of interest. 

All faculty on these pages are currently taking new PhD students.

PhD Supervision

All students are allocated a second supervisor on arrival.  The share of supervision can vary from a nominal 5% (offers occasional advice) up to 45% (joint supervision).

 See also