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PhD Project Opportunities

We currently have three pathways to PhD projects within our Centre.

  1. Directly funded projects
  2. Indirectly funded projects
  3. Externally/self-funded projects

You will find further details and links in the relevant sections below.

Please ensure to read through the following information paragraphs about our research and doctoral training centre before deciding whether to apply for a certain project or project idea.

Innovative, Novel and Relevant Research

The University of Exeter's Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation (CMRI) is one of the largest hubs of metamaterial research in the UK. We lead the UK's Metamaterials Network (funded by EPSRC and Dstl) and have multiple large funded research programmes (e.g. A-Meta). Our centre is uniquely positioned to solve multi-faceted research questions, address national and global priorities (e.g. healthy living; efficient computing; communication and security) and industry challenges. Our academic expertise spans electromagnetism (from visible and infra-red through to THz and microwave), acoustics and fluidics. The materials we work with have wide application, e.g. imaging; sensing and spectroscopy; acoustic and RF signature reduction; energy storage and harvesting.  

A Cohort Doctoral Experience

You will join the Doctoral Programme for the CMRI and benefit from an interdisciplinary, creative and supportive environment. You can be confident that your research is both at the cutting edge of the discipline, and also relevant to the world today. Since its inception in 2014, our programme has been home to more than 100 PhD students. You will work within collaborative cohorts, learning together in targeted courses, self-driven activity groups, while gaining exposure to industry and scientific background knowledge beyond your areas of study.  You will be offered opportunities and training budgets that enable you to build your CVs, equipping you with transferable professional skills such as creative thinking, project management, and leadership, while undertaking state-of-the art research embedded in strong academic groups. Our graduates have gone on to take up leadership roles in a wide range of sectors: read about our alumni destinations here

Projects and Funding

At Exeter, the PhD is normally 3.5 or 4 years of full-time study. Our “funded” positions (typically funded by EPSRC, Government or industry) include a living stipend (at least at standard UKRI/EPSRC rates) direct payment of your tuition fees, and a budget to support costs associated with your specific project and your training (technical and professional development).  

International students are encouraged to apply, but may not be eligible for all potential sources of funding. Note, Exeter offers up to 50 PhD scholarships each year in collaboration with the China Scholarship Council; for details please see here


The projects below have been allocated funding, and are advertised individually as well as available to those that apply via this advert.  Please click the project titles for more information.  

Project title Industrial partner Stipend

THz and mm-wave detection through silicon luminescence (4782)(*)


3.5 years full time, at least £18,622 per year

2D-heterostructure devices for nanoscale quantum Sensing (5114)  

3.5 years full time, £19,237 pro rata p/t

Artificial Intelligence Design of Tailored Light-Matter Interactions (51104)


3.5 years full time, £19,237 pro rata p/t

Energy storage at the nanoscale in quantum batteries (5111)


3.5 years full time, £19,237 pro rata p/t

Metamaterials for Wave Power (5105)


3.5 years full time, £19,237 pro rata p/t

Shedding New Light on Agrochemicals: Exploration of Nanoparticles as Delivery Vehicles

for Enhancing Translaminar Movement (5115)

  3.5 years full time, £19,237 pro rata p/t

Spin somersaults: Chirality-induced spin polarisation to engineer the quantum dynamics of radical pairs (5113)

  3.5 years full time, £19,237 pro rata p/t

Ultrafast control of valley and spin qubits (5108)

  3.5 years full time, £19,237 pro rata p/t

(*) Projects marked with an asterisk are limited to UK and Irish applicants only.


Our academics have also suggested a number of exciting projects that we hope to run next year.  You are encouraged to look through this list, and if you have a strong interest in a particular project or projects, then please make an application - we will endeavour to source funding for excellent candidates. Funding for studentships can become available at any point during the year, therefore please apply early and we will contact you with opportunities as they arise.


If you have external (international or employer) funding or intend to self-fund your PhD, then you are welcome to make an application and identify one or more projects. Please make your funding source clear in your application.

The University of Exeter has provided this webpage summarising the different ways of funding a PhD.