PhD Opportunities

The Cockcroft Institute is the UK’s largest educator of accelerator science and technology PhD students, and offers exciting studentships in physics, engineering and other disciplines. We currently have around 70 PhD students studying at the Institute, around half of which are based at collaborating accelerator laboratories and institutes around the world, including CERN. Our postgraduates spend 3 to 4 years working on a specialised project in the field of accelerator science and technology. Hands-on experience is also available for our students on our research facilities (VELA and CLARA) and all postgraduates attend a two-year accelerator science educational programme. Students are registered at one of the four partner universities within Cockcroft (Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, and Strathclyde) but may also be supervised by staff at the Accelerator science and technology centre (ASTeC) within the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

If you are interested in working on some of the world’s most exciting physics and engineering projects at the cutting edge of science and technology, then a PhD at the Cockcroft Institute might be right for you. We normally have over ten fully-funded PhD studentships per year, which include a stipend to support the student’s living expenses. Prospective students should fill in the application form and apply via the procedure outlined here:   CI PhD Application Form (.docx)


Current PhD subjects include; beam optics simulations, radio frequency engineering, mathematical physics, laser-plasma interactions, THz generation, anti-matter, photonics and metamaterials, surface science, beam diagnostics, superconductivity and accelerator commissioning.

We have postgraduates working on accelerators all over the world including in Switzerland, Germany, France, America and Japan. Students will work on accelerators for a range of applications including high energy physics, synchrotron light sources and free-electron lasers, spallation sources, medical accelerators (including proton therapy), security screening accelerators.

If you have any questions, please email Dr. Hywel Owen.