Centre for Doctoral Training

Full details of this centre can now be found at the dedicated site: https://www.polymercdt.org.uk

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Polymers, Soft Matter and Colloids


Polymer science and engineering has been identified as a UK priority area with a projected major skills shortage in the future. As part of a national competition, EPSRC agreed to fund a £7.0 M Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) at the University of Sheffield in November 2013. This new single-site CDT draws upon the forty-eight academic members of the Polymer Centre as PhD supervisors. The CDT is supported by a wide range of industrial companies, who part-fund research projects, provide efficient routes for technology transfer and offer advice regarding our strategic direction.

Five cohorts of ten PhD students per annum are planned over the next five years (fifty PhD studentships in total). The CDT brings together the brightest postgraduate scientists/engineers, academic staff and various industrial partners in a unique research environment. Our aim is to tackle the challenging technical problems currently facing industry and our wider society.

Industrial Relevance

Industrial sectors that have substantial interests in polymer science and engineering include:

  • Home and personal care
  • Coatings
  • Pharma and Healthcare
  • High value manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Oil and gas
  • Automotive manufacturing

If you are an industrial scientist and you are interested in sponsoring a PhD project as part of this CDT, please contact us.

Research areas

Broadly, the areas of science and engineering that will be available to our PhD students include:

Advanced materials e.g. polymer synthesis, macromolecular self-assembly, conducting polymers, characterisation of materials using advanced methods, morphology, advanced manufacturing (including 3D printing), polymer processing, materials science, surfaces and thin films, computational modelling, (nano)composites, tribology, polymers in sports and mechanical engineering applications such as lubrication.

Electronics and Photonics e.g. many of the areas above for applications in photovoltaic devices, light emission and sensing.

Biomaterials and healthcare e.g. tissue engineering, biocompatible polymers, biologically-derived materials, polymers for healthcare, dental materials and facial prosthetics.

PhD students will be involved in fundamental science, applied research and technology transfer. For more details of the research interests of our academic staff, see the members directory.

Studentship Opportunities

We are currently recruiting excellent graduate Scientists and Engineers, who have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree, to join the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Polymers, Soft Matter and Colloids at the University of Sheffield in October 2018. This funding is only available to UK nationals.
Successful candidates will have the opportunity to work closely with world-class academics at the University of Sheffield and also with scientists working at their industrial sponsor. The training programme includes:

  • A choice of CASE PhD projects offered by various industrial sponsors
  • An intensive one-week training course in Polymer Science
  • Monthly seminar programme led by industrial scientists
  • Annual residential summer school in Years 1 and 2
  • Business Enterprise module comprising 12 interactive workshops in Year 2
  • Funds to visit an overseas academic institution of your choice to pursue a collaborative project
  • Six-month secondment with your industrial sponsor in either Year 3 or Year 4
  • A tax-free stipend of at least £17,000 per annum for four years.

Applicant Requirements

A 1st or 2:1 degree in chemistry, physics, engineering, materials science or other relevant discipline.
  • UK Home tuition fee status
  • Genuine enthusiasm for both fundamental and applied research.
  • An enquiring mind and excellent scientific understanding.
  • An interest in real-world problems

We are currently accepting applications for the 2018 cohort. If you would like to be considered for interview, please send a CV and covering letter to the general enquiries email address below. 

Contact Information

General Enquiries

Dr Joe Gaunt
0114 222-9440

Prof Steve Armes FRS