PhD Research in High Energy Physics (Disclaimer)

This document describes postgraduate study leading to the degree of PhD with the Southampton High Energy Physics Group (SHEP) in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton.

  • Research Interests (from the main SHEP pages)
  • Research Training
  • How to apply: centrally through the University. There is a section for `Topic or Field of Research' propose and you should indicate here your preferred research area (High Energy Physics/Theory, School of Physics & Astronomy). When your completed application form is submitted, it will be forwarded to the relevant Admissions Tutor.
  • Reading List

We find financial support for two to three research students per year from STFC, a similar amount of SEPnet Studentships is normally available through the PhD Grand Challenges scheme plus we can offer at least one Faculty funded bursary per year in the form of a Mayflower Scholarship, which incorporates some teaching duties.

Recently, the University has launched a multidisciplinary institute: the SHEP group and the Astronomy (Astro) group in the School of Physics and Astronomy together with the General Relativity (GR) group in the School of Mathematics have forged closer links and come together to create the Southampton Theory, Astronomy and Gravitation (STAG) Institute. The latter pursues a number of initiatives and these include joint studentships, up to three of them (SHEP/Astro, SHEP/GR and Astro/GR) each year, whose features include four-year funding, joint supervision across the two groups involved plus training and research on topics at the overlap borders between their respective research interests.

SHEP is often member of European networks of various type in the context of the European Framework Programmes, some of this offering PhD positions. Currently we are part of the "Elusives" network, which is a European ITN project within Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020) and focuses on Neutrino and Dark Matter phenomenology and their connections. For PhD positions on this network applicants must apply via this webpage where more information can be found, including information on current vacancies.

Possibilities of 4-year PhD Studentships within the Next Generation Computational Modelling Doctoral Training Centre (NGCM DTC), co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry, comprising a one-year taught component leading to 3 years of PhD research on a particle physics project, also exist.

SHEP is also involved in the STFC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) Data Intensive Science Centre in SEPnet (DISCnet), providing a platform upon which to train a new generation of data intensive scientists in a variety of disciplines. The CDT offers 4-year PhD Studentships, financed either by STFC directly or departmental funds.

For potential PhD students with a mind into Web Science (possibly including exploitation and development of the World Wide Web in relation to physical sciences), we could consider a project based bid to the Web Science Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) held by Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).

We always encourage those with other (even partial) means of support to apply to us. In fact, other than the possibility of raising School matching funds on an ad-hoc basis (like, e.g., £2,000 Hercock Bursaries) , we also have formally the chance to access (on a competitive basis) part-funded Post-Graduate Research (PGR) Studentships offered by the University through the `PGR Scholarship Fund' (open to any nationality) to enable self-supported students with partial financial means to carry out PhD studies with us (we have to apply on behalf of a potential student). Additional similar routes exist through our own Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE) in the form of the Deans Scholarships for international students and the FPSE PGR Scholarships for all nationalities (see the table below for links). Finally, see here for general information about PG applications and Studentship Awards in our School. Please notice that all such Scholarships should not be applied for directly, as a member of staff should do it on behalf of actual or potential applicants.

Furthermore, notice that the University is offering bursaries covering (part of) the tuition fees to support China Scholarship Council (CSC) sponsored PhD candidates as well as CONACYT supported PhD students from Mexico. Applicants falling into this category and wishing to be considered for an award should come forward before February of the year in which their studies begin. Finally, open to all external sources for part funding also exist, like for example the The Grundy Educational Trust, with which we had successes over the years.

In all generality, we are always keen to sponsor international students, either through subject-specific School/University or external funding: see here for non-subject specific information and the table and links at the bottom of this page for funding usable towards a PhD degree in physics.

Once a student is enrolled with a PhD with us, he/she will automatically receive a Research & Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £1,200/year for the entire duration of the PhD, which is meant to enable the student to attend summer schools, workshops, conferences, symposia, etc. as well as well as to pursue research collaborations outside of SHEP.

Normally, only candidates with first class honours are accepted. We do not offer places to students until we have met them at an interview and given them the opportunity to interact with our group. Unfortunately, we cannot pay expenses for visits to the School. However, nowadays we regularly carry out interviews through the internet (e.g., using institutional video conferencing facilities, Visimeet, Vidyo, Skype, etc.).

Once enrolled with SHEP, you will undergo subject-specific training within the NExT PhD School and also be able to access the multi-disciplinary activities offered by GRADnet (the SEPnet Graduate Network).

The academic contact for high energy physics applications is Prof S Moretti,

You may also consult some specific funding information from UK sources in the following table:

Description Source
STFC Postgraduate Studentships STFC
SEPnet Studentships SEPnet
NExT Studentships NExT Institute
STAG Studentships University
Mayflower Scholarships Faculty
ITN Studentships H2020
NGCM Studentships EPSRC
DISCnet Studentships STFC & Departments
Web Science Studentships RCUK (Digital Economy)


The University webpages illustrating P/G funding opportunities by subject area can be found here. Below is instead a list of some International organisations offering funding for postgraduate study. The University is not involved in the selection and award of these scholarships and applications should be made directly to the funding body following the instructions on their website.

Chevening Scholarships Prestigious awards that enable overseas students to study in the United Kingdom, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations.
Commonwealth Scholarship & Fellowship Plan Scholarships to enable Commonwealth citizens to study in the UK on a programme of taught or research postgraduate study.
Fulbright Commission Awards are offered to US citizens to be used towards tuition fees and maintenance costs in their first year of a Masters or PhD study in any discipline at any UK university.
Entente Cordiale Scholarships Prestigious awards that fund French students who wish to study in the UK for one year at postgraduate level
Marshall Scholarships Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom.
China Scholarship Council Scholarships for Chinese PhD students studying abroad.
UK-Indonesia Dikti Scholarship Scheme New scholarship programme to fund Indonesian lecturers to undertake doctoral study in the UK.
The Regen Center Scholarship An annual scholarship to all students of South East Asian "ASEAN" descent to help in the furthering of their educational goals. Provides a $1,500 Dollars (€ 1200 Euros ) cash prize to the winner of an essay contest.
Funds for Women Graduates - Foundation Grants Women graduates from UK and overseas, up to £4,000 towards the living expenses of one year's academic study or research. Various bursaries to the value of £500. Postgraduate Scholarships – 9 annual PhD scholarships to support PhD study in any subject at universities within the EU
Aga Khan Foundation - International Scholarship Programme For outstanding students from developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies.
CONACYT - Scholarships for Graduate Studies Applicants must be Mexican professionals who wish to pursue postgraduate studies in scientific and technological, social and humanistic quality in an institution recognized abroad.
Science Without Borders Sandwich PhDs Applicants must be Brazilian nationals.
Inlaks Foundation Indian citizens who have done their first degree in India.
Lanekassen Support for Norwegian students studying abroad - part grant, part loan.
Pinchuk Fund For citizens of Ukraine up to the age of 35.
Google – Anita Borg Scholarship Female students with an excellent academic record, an award of €7000 or equivalent per year.
Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities For students with a disability studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Informatics, or a closely related technical field.
Beit Trust For students who are domiciled in Malawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe to attend a university in the UK.
Canon Collins Trust For Southern African students wanting to study in the UK.
The Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund For Sudanese students studying for a postgraduate course in the UK, who intend to return to Sudan at the end of their studies.
Islamic Development Bank – Merit Scholarship Programme for High Technology Must be a citizen of an IDB member country, and a permanent employee of an academic institution or a research centre of his/her country. Pays tuition fees, cost of living allowance, health insurance cost and travel ticket cost and dependency allowance for Ph.D. students.
Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) Must have UK refugee status and have worked as a paid Lecturer or Researcher in a University or higher education institution in your home country.
Croucher Foundation For permanent residents of Hong Kong to devote themselves to a period of full-time study or research in natural science, medicine or technology in approved academic institutions outside Hong Kong. Normally comprises an annual maintenance allowance, assistance towards air passage, plus tuition fees up to and including the third year of the relevant PhD studies programme.
Wingate Scholarships Additional costs in the final year of a PhD/DPhil, e.g. additional fieldwork, dissemination or extension costs.
The Erasmus Mundus EUPHRATES programme Coordinated by the University of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain), it includes mobilities from India to Europe for students/researchers at the following academic levels: Bachelor, Master, Doctorate (PhD), Postdoctorate (PD) and Administrative-Teaching Staff.


Finally, the following sites can be used to search for further funding opportunities: | | | | |  British Council | Turn2us


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