PhD Studentships in Physics & Astronomy starting September 2020 (2020)

We hope to offer up to 12 PhD studentships for September 2020 admission. The studentships are for 3.5 years, and comprise a tax-free bursary, fee waiver at the UK/EU rate, plus a budget of about £1250 per year for conference visits and additional training.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

When you apply, you are encouraged to specify your preferred project(s) and supervisor(s). You are encouraged to describe your research interests and any relevant expertise in your application

Projects on offer for September 2020 can be found on the Research Group webpages:

Astronomy & Cosmology

Theoretical Particle Physics

Experimental Particle Physics

Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics (Quantum Physics)

You are welcome to contact each group’s admissions coordinator (listed below), as well as prospective supervisors, if you have questions about a project, or want to propose your own topic


A full award comprises of a bursary of at least £15009 (19/20 amount) tax free, a full fee waiver of UK/EU fees, and a training/conference budget of approximately £1250 per year, for 3.5 years. 

For STFC funded students, supervisors may apply to STFC for Long Term Attachment (LTA) funding for the student to work at another research facility for up to 1.5 years as part of their PhD project.  LTA applications are made in the student's first year of the PhD.


The UK Research Councils (STFC, EPSRC) restrict studentship eligibility based on nationality and residency. In practice this means that most of our studentship funding in astronomy, cosmology, theoretical and experimental particle physics, quantum physics is restricted to UK/EU nationals and/or residents.

If you are a students outside the UK and EU you are welcome to apply to any of our projects, or propose your own, if you have a realistic plan for funding our studies through an independent financial sponsor (such as the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, CONACYT, etc), or can self-fund. Please contact research groups and supervisors and apply in the normal way on the link below.

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Astronomy, Cosmology, Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree. 

Number of scholarships available

We hope to have up to 12 studentships spread over the research groups mentioned here.  In addition, we may have some studentships within the DISCnet consortium.  These will be for UK/EU students.



31 August 2020 23:45 (GMT)

How to apply

Although we accept applications at any time, studentship interviews are expected to begin in early February for September starters, so fully complete applications must reach us by 31 January 2020 at the latest.

Any offers will be issued with an acceptance deadline of no earlier than the end of March 2020. 

If you are reading this advert after the deadlines, you can still apply because vacancies can arise if successful applicants decide to withdraw before registration in September.

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.

Select the PhD in Physics or Astronomy, with an entry date of September 2020. 
In the finance section, state that you wish to be considered for a Research Council studentship. 

Students from outside the UK or EU ("Overseas students") can apply at any time, for any start date, if they have a realistic plan for independent funding.  Research Council funding is not available for Overseas students.

Contact us

Admissions co-ordinators for each group:

Astronomy - Dr Kathy Romer

Experimental Particle Physics - Dr Clark Griffith 

Theoretical Particle Physics - Dr Stephan Huber

Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics (Quantum Physics) - Dr Matthias Keller

For administrative enquiries about your application, or eligibility, contact


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
31 August 2020 23:45 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: