Physics: Fully Funded STFC PhD Scholarship at Swansea University: Investigating Hot and Strongly-Interacting Matter with Lattice QCD

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 30 September 2018

This scholarship is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Project Supervisors:

Supervisor 1:  Professor Simon HandsSupervisor 2:  Professor Gert Aarts

Start date: 1 October 2018

Project description:

The most effective means of understanding strongly-interacting fundamental particles, such as quarks and gluons, is via numerical simulation of lattice QCD, a discrete formulation of quantum field theory, using state-of-the-art high performance computing. Working within the Swansea Lattice Field Theory group, and as part of the international FASTSUM collaboration, the PhD student will apply these techniques to one of a range of problems: our interests include excitations in the hot medium present in the first moments of the Universe and now briefly recreated in collisions between highly relativistic nuclei; theories of symmetry breaking in which the Higgs is not fundamental but rather a composite strongly-bound state; theories with a non-zero particle density applicable to the dense material found within nuclei and in neutron star cores; and theories of relativistic fermions moving in a two-dimensional plane, with applications to condensed matter /materials physics to systems such as topological insulators and graphene.

The PhD is associated with a Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science, formed in 2017 as a consortium between cognate research groups in Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea Universities. The applicant will benefit from graduate-level courses in high-performance computing, data analysis and visualisation, and machine learning, as part of a cohort of 6 students across the three institutions. In addition, the student will be expected during the third year to undertake a six-month placement at a commercial/industrial partner organisation – this will give first-hand real-world experience of working using current data science techniques on a problem which need not necessarily relate to the thesis topic. This added dimension is reflected in the enhanced funding; the studentship will be of four years full-time duration.


Candidates must have a first, upper second class honours or a Masters degree with Merit, in a relevant discipline.

For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.5 (with 6.0 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests. We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.


This fully funded four-year scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,777 updated each year.


Please visit our website for more information.

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