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Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

Metamaterials PhD Studentships - 2024/25 entry Ref: 4634

About the award

CMRI banner photos

Exeter's Centre for Metamaterials Research and Innovation (CMRI) is a community of academic, industrial, and governmental partners that harnesses world-leading research excellence from theory to application, and enables simulation, measurement, and fabrication of metamaterials and metamaterial-based devices. Our breadth of research is our centre's strength: our PhD students, researchers and academics solve multi-faceted research questions and challenges. 
Our work spans physics, engineering, maths, and computer science, including electromagnetism (from visible and infra-red through to THz and microwave), acoustics and fluidics, undertaken in parallel with research on numerical, analytical and AI modelling techniques. The materials we work with have wide application, e.g., imaging; sensing and spectroscopy; communication and antennas; acoustic and RF signature control; mechanical and vibration control; energy storage and harvesting etc.
Our cohort-based doctoral training programme in metamaterials has been running for 10 years, and is currently home to a diverse community of over 30 active PhD postgraduate researchers (PGRs). 
As a centre for innovation and research, we pride ourselves on being able to offer a stimulating, challenging and collaborative environment for PhD study. Our PGRs are supported in developing their scientific knowledge alongside transferrable and technical skills in preparation for careers across academia, industry and elsewhere. Since 2018, around 70 graduates have entered employment in industry and as postdocs in Higher Education Institutions in and outside of the UK; see our graduate destinations.


We anticipate that multiple fully-funded 3.5-year or 4-year studentships will be available for UK students only. 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. We will endeavour to link strong applicants to funded projects as soon as they become available. 
You can find a list of projects that already have allocated funding on our PhD Project Opportunities page.  You need only apply once, but please indicate your project preference in your application.
The funding is project specific, but successful UK candidates to funded projects receive an annual stipend at or above UKRI rates, and a budget that covers costs associated with your specific research and your training.  The funding normally also covers the University fees.

Further Enquiries

We would very much like to hear from UK applicants if you would like to discuss possible study opportunities, or would like to have a conversation about an area of research that you would like to develop; please contact:
We also welcome enquiries from potential applicants that can provide their own funding, including international students.

Entry requirements

Applicants must normally have obtained, or be about to obtain, a university degree in a relevant subject that is accepted by the University of Exeter for registration as a graduate student, such as a BSc, MSc or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, or an equivalent international qualification.  We also welcome applications from those with equivalent experience in professional working environments, and also those seeking part-time study.  We have a strong commitment to inclusivity: we therefore welcome applications from individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, or disability status.

You will need to provide evidence of proficiency in English before enrolling:

How to apply

You should apply by clicking on the ‘apply now’ button above.  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

You will need to provide a COVER LETTER that indicates your preferred area of study and/or preferred project, 

You will also need to upload a PERSONAL STATEMENT.  We recommend that you describe (a) why you would like to study for a PhD; b) why you would like to focus on th identified area/project, c) any relevant expertise and d) your future career ambitions. We would also encourage you to describe the qualities that you believe will make you a great researcher (in particular as part of a team). Note: these details are not given in the application process but shortlisting will include assessment against these criteria.

You will also need to upload

  • CV
  • 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. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to quoting the studentship reference number.  Please indicate this when you upload their details.
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.  Please see the entry requirements information above.

We intend to undertake interviews and make offers on a rolling basis following the deadline.

Note that we cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts, unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee.

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided (if applicable).

If you have any general enquiries about the application process or the project itself please email


Application deadline:30th April 2024
Value:Tuition fees and an annual stipend allowance at UKRI rates
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Metamaterials admissions tutor