Designing the dynamics of coupled oscillators, Mathematics – PhD (Funded) Ref: 3301

About the award


Dr Christian Bick University of Exeter

Dr Kyle Wedgwood University of Exeter

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in January 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover tuition fees (UK/EU/International) in full plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,777 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences in Exeter.

Networks of interacting oscillatory units are abundant in nature and technology. Their function and dynamics governs crucial aspects of our lives, ranging from the stability of power grids to the dynamics of the human brain. The dynamics of oscillator networks depends on (1) which oscillators interact with which other oscillator and (2) how oscillators interact with one another. This project will contribute to the question how the interplay between these two factors shape the network dynamics.

The main aim of this PhD project is to develop theoretical and numerical approaches how oscillator networks can be designed to have specific interactions. This will allow to generate networks that exhibit a range of synchronized and locally synchronized dynamics. Moreover, the supervisor is currently collaborating with the experimental group of Istvan Z Kiss in St Louis (USA) who are working on electrochemical oscillators. Hence, there may be an opportunity to help implement the theoretical results in real-world experimental systems.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project. Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents. Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”.
• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. Please have them email the reference directly to quoting the studentship reference number.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 30 November 2018.
Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Streatham Campus or by Skype in early December

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730 / 5150. Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.


Application deadline:30th November 2018
Number of awards:1
Value:£14,777 per year for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Support Office +44 (0)1392 722730 / 5150