Ultrafast Photonics within the European Research Council (ERC) project TIMING (2019)

A three-and-a-half year studentship which covers fees and living expenses.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

The Emergent Photonics Lab  http://www.sussex.ac.uk/physics/epic/ of the School of Mathematical and Physical Science (MPS) is pleased to offer a funded PhD position in the field of Ultrafast Photonics.

The core interest of the Emergent Photonics Lab is Ultrafast Photonics with two major research lines in Terahertz Photonics and Complex Photonics. TIMING is a multidisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council (for a value of about 1.7 Million of GBP). It involves novel approaches to imaging and exotic nonlinear field-matter interactions, including processes that generate Terahertz waves.  Key to the project success are elements directly inherited from the propagation in complex optical media.

This project transversely intersects the kernel of our research interests. The outcomes are likely to have a key impact in several domains, from environmental detection to metrology, security, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical and others.

This PhD project will complement our efforts in diagnostic technologies based on nonlinear field-matter interaction with ultrashort pulses. The candidate will gain access to the Emergent Photonics Laboratory, a 110m2 facility that comprises a very large spectrum of state-of-the-art photonic equipment (representing a total investment exceeding 2 Million of GBP from different funding sources):

-High energy ultrafast optical sources (5mJ@90fs  Ppeak>50GW)

-Several types of ultrafast laser oscillators (Ti:Sa,  Er-doped fibre oscillator, optical parametric oscillators).

-30m2 of optical tables

-Two atomic-clock stabilised ultrafast optical combs

-Ultrafast microwave-on-optics diagnostics (i.e. generators, modulators and detectors)

-Ultrafast electronic acquisition systems (80GS/s with bandwidth >36GHz)

-Several diagnostic workbenches for terahertz, mid-Infrared and optical ultrashort pulses.

-Terahertz imagers

-High Energy Terahertz sources


The PhD candidate will be involved in the requisition of further major equipment.

The project goal is the establishment of a novel complex imaging approach potentially deployable (but not limited to) in the domain of Terahertz waves. The scientific production of the supervisor can be found here https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marco_Peccianti. More details about the project will be discussed at the interview stage.

The project deploys within a fertile international collaboration of researchers. The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team and is expected to aim for an aggressive publication/dissemination strategy.

The project will be supervised by Prof Marco Peccianti.


You will receive:

  • fully-funded tuition fees for 3 and a half years 
  • a tax free bursary for living costs for 3 and a half years. For 2018/19 this is £14,777 per year.
  • a research training support grant for 3 and a half years of £1,650 per year.

You may also supplement your income with paid teaching (with your supervisor’s agreement).


You should have or will soon complete a UK Master's level degree in physics or electrical engineering, or the non-UK equivalent.

You should have a strong interest in research coupled with outstanding technical and/or theoretical skills.  You must have the ability to manage resources, be able to work independently and to organize and lead small team activities. 

Applicants must have English ability above IELTS 6.0


31 August 2019 0:00 (GMT)

How to apply

Informal enquiries are very welcome.  Contact Professor Marco Peccianti


Apply via the University of Sussex on-line system at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/pgapplication/

Apply for May or September 2019 admission, selecting the PhD in Physics and stating in the Financial Information section of the form that you are applying for this award, supervised by Prof Marco Peccianti.

Provide a statement explaining


-your interest in the research field

-the skills you can bring to it (including any IT or electronic abilities)

-your overall suitability for the research

-your familiarity (if any) in producing publication-level scientific manuscripts.


Contact us

Informal enquiries are very welcome. Contact Dr Alessia Pasquazi: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/physics/epic/people

Email mpsreasearchsupport@sussex.ac.uk if you have a question about your eligibility for the project.


Early application is advised because the post will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found

Possible Start dates at Sussex: May 2019, September 2019

First payment of bursary: Within the first month


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
31 August 2019 0:00 (GMT)


The award is available to people from these specific countries: