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We offer fully-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) studentships through a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

You can search our studentships or find out more about funding.


The EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences – from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.

In response to the new UKRI eligibility criteria, we are pleased to announce that we will be offering International fee discounts for successful UKRI applicants. The fees will be discounted to the home fees level. This approach ensures that students regardless of nationality or financial means will be able to apply for our prestigious UKRI studentships. Successful applicants will receive a fully-funded studentship and will not be charged the international fee difference.

EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

Our EPSRC DTP offers fully-funded PhD studentships in a variety of projects, across our Academic Schools and interdisciplinary Research Institutes. Students will benefit from an excellent local research environment as well as a comprehensive programme of research and professional skills development.

Project areas

PhD projects are available across a range of topics that align with Cardiff’s research strengths and EPSRC's priorities. Projects will be rooted in an academic school but may work at the interfaces with other disciplines, be connected to an interdisciplinary Research Institute, and involve collaborations with other scientific researchers, industrial partners and other organisations. Projects will be made available via three routes:

  • Standard Studentships
  • Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hubs
  • CASE Studentships

We will shortly be announcing our new EPSRC Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hubs. These Hubs will enable students to join a small cohort of researchers in an interdisciplinary training environment. More details on these Hubs and how to apply will be published here.


Our objective is to train the next generation of research leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in the physical sciences and engineering, by:

  • equipping students with advanced research skills, supported by expert supervision, a well-funded infrastructure and dynamic research culture
  • supporting them to communicate their research through seminars, external conferences and networking
  • fostering interdisciplinary research through groupings of engineering, physical, chemical, biological, medical and social scientists
  • offering a comprehensive programme of professional and career development opportunities
  • hosting cohort activities that encourage interactions of doctoral students across disciplines
  • engendering a commitment to research excellence and impact, and explorations of new ways of thinking.

Contact us and indicate your interest in EPSRC funding and if you want to be kept up-to-date with any further studentships that are published under this scheme.

EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training

As well as the DTP, EPSRC also has two Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) that are recruiting students:

EPSRC Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hubs

We are pleased to announce our new EPSRC Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hubs. These hubs will enable students to join a small cohort of researchers in an interdisciplinary training environment.

Information about each of the five hubs can be found below.

All available projects are searchable via our funding search page. Please search for 'EPSRC' or the hub name in the keyword search box.

Research area and aims

Understanding the Physics of Life is a fundamental research challenge, with the potential to make a transformative impact on major societal issues. Physics can help unravel molecular dynamics and pathways through cells, the structure and function of cellular membranes, host-pathogen interactions, the mechanisms of bacterial growth and division, and the packing of DNA, to name just a few key questions. This, in turn, can help tackle issues such as infections and diseases and contribute to better drug discovery and therapeutics.

The goal of this hub is to train the next generation of scientists to think, learn, discuss and work innovatively at the physics/life sciences interface. Research goals specific to the Physics of Life Hub, reflecting strength and expertise at Cardiff University, will include:

  • single molecule tracking across scales inside living cells and tissues
  • quantitative image analysis of complex 3D multi-cellular systems
  • next-generation biosensing with multiplex capabilities
  • understanding quantum coherences in biology
  • understanding emergent properties of biological systems arising from molecular interactions.

Research environment and training programme

Unique benefits of undertaking cohort study through this hub:

  • PhD projects are jointly supervised with Schools from both the Physical Sciences (PSE) and the Life Sciences (BLS) college, as a truly integrated approach to tackle PoL research goals.
  • Projects start with two three-month mini-rotation projects across the labs of the joint supervisors, to ensure that the students experience the environment of both labs.
  • Projects may include collaborations with industrial partners, through visits, secondment opportunities, co-supervision, access to equipment etc
  • Cohort development will be stimulated through joint quarterly research meetings in which students and others in related groups will present the progress of their research work and discuss current developments in the literature.
  • Joint cross-disciplinary training for the cohort will be provided through a “Physics of Life” summer school in 2022 and a workshop in 2023. At these events, the student cohort will learn cross-cutting knowledge and share experience and project research outcome. Notably, the workshop will be organised by the student cohort. This will be an excellent training experience in planning skills and scientific networking.
  • Through a shared portal, students will have access to seminar programmes across all the Schools involved in the hub and will be encouraged to attend. Regular interactions between students of different schools will be further supported via a dedicated monthly newsletter item, edited by the students and posted on the portal.

For more information, please contact this hub’s Academic Lead, Professor Paola Borri.

Aims and research areas

This hub involves an integrated postgraduate-research training and research programme that addresses the urgent need for state-of-the-art biosensors and diagnostics. Biosensors find application in medicine but also in environmental monitoring, defence and security, food/processing control and pharma. Biosensors underpin a growing USD 18 billion global market in medical diagnostics.

The hub focuses on the key challenge in diagnostics to combine ultra-sensitive detection technology with easy-to-use devices. By combining Physical Sciences (Chemistry, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Engineering and Physics) with Life Sciences (Medicine and Bioscience) we address the entire pathway from patient sample treatment, using fundamental understanding of physical aspects of pathogen detection, to sample readout by a healthcare professional.

Current medical diagnostic tests are often sub-optimal in sensitivity and specificity, time-to-result, and cost. Early and correct diagnosis allows rapid intervention, leading to better healthcare outcomes, reduced costs, improved antibiotic stewardship, etc. Detecting pathogens in patient samples therefore has a significant impact on society. Similarly, biosensors for environmental monitoring allow early intervention in outbreaks of pathogens (eg. in water resources). Bacterial pathogens can be detected and identified by unique DNA sequences while viral pathogens can be detected by unique RNA sequences. Unfortunately, the matrix in which pathogens are found (blood/saliva/urine/stool samples) is not ideal for detection and DNA concentrations are often low. To address these challenges we have assembled a multidisciplinary team with complementary expertise.

In addition to recruiting PhD students to this programme, we invite further applicants who wish to align an alternatively funded PhD with this hub to contact us.

Research environment and training programme

Research into developing biosensor sensitivity and diagnostic performance, while addressing the entire sample pathway, is intrinsically interdisciplinary. In this hub, interdisciplinarity is reflected in the involvement of six Schools (Chemistry, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Engineering, Physics, Medicine and Bioscience).

The need to work across discipline boundaries has dictated the PhD projects and training provision. The collaborative experience is enhanced by assigning each student supervisors across at least two of the Schools. Students will have a lab in their School and a shared lab where the cohort works together. Students will interact often with colleague PhD students and with other supervisors in the hub. This provides students with a great opportunity to become an expert in their research project while learning how their research fits with the overall objective of developing biosensors. Further collaboration will be with researchers from various disciplines, public-health bodies and industry.

Research is supported by an interdisciplinary training programme. Students will have induction, introductions and facilities tours and take advantage of the training opportunities provided by the Schools and training provided by Cardiff University’s Doctoral Academy.

Specific training will be organised by the hub. Postgraduate research-led monthly project-update meetings involve all postgraduate researchers in the hub, including students aligned with the hub. A key aim is to help postgraduate researchers develop a common scientific language across the disciplines to allow them to work together effectively to solve challenges in biosensor development.

A bespoke series of seminars will be offered on topics relevant to the hub:

  • general & specialist research techniques
  • scientific integrity
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • translation of biosensor research to diagnostic applications.

For more information, please contact this hub’s Academic Lead, Professor Simon Pope.

Aims and research areas

Current research into sustainable transport focuses on advances in the following key sectors:

  • aerospace
  • automotive
  • rail
  • marine.

However research is often fragmented with topics considered in isolation and work to meet the demands of a merged industry not yet widely seen. This hub will be unique, delivering cohort-based doctoral training to address these issues, generating new interdisciplinary solutions.

We will bring together internationally leading researchers in engineering, computer science, psychology, and geography and planning, alongside excellent facilities to train the next generation of future leaders, providing them with coherent training fully aligned with industrial needs for sustainable transport/smart mobility.

We will use a whole-system approach to deliver:

  • a rapid transit/public transport system
  • transport networks and policy innovation for active travel/emerging micro-mobilities
  • cleaner vehicular technologies
  • cleaner fuel technologies.

Addressing the challenges associated with delivery under these four key themes will form the key research goals of the hub.

Research environment and training programme

Students will need both a detailed understanding of their own PhD focus and the relationship between this and the integrated transport system as a whole. This can only be achieved through a cohort approach. Training will be based on developing this understanding, as well as the skills needed to successfully complete their PhD and prepare for their future careers. This will be managed/delivered by colleagues across the Schools involved as well as external trainers/speakers.

The training programme will be based on a hub orientation event followed by two training schools per year focused on delivering both scientific and transferrable skills. Students will be expected to enrol on complementary courses offered by the respective schools at master's level and to complete a number of deliverables.

Students will benefit from placements at cutting-edge facilities in different schools to maximise interdisciplinary collaboration.

As well as their immediate supervisor team, students will have an external supervisor eg. from industry, and wherever possible will benefit from industrial training/secondments to provide engagement with external stakeholders.

A Career Development Plan will be developed with the supervisory team, tailored to the student’s needs, guiding their training and setting measurable objectives.

The hub will run alongside the DTE (Decarbonising Transport Through Electrification) Network+. However, the hub will have a wider scope, being not only aligned to electrification as a potential alternative power supply for transport.

For more information, please contact the hub’s Academic Lead, Professor Carol Featherston.

Aims and research areas

The area of focus for this hub is cybersecurity analytics – the fusion of AI, cybersecurity and risk – which considers the applications and implications of new and emerging technologies across these three lenses from both a human and algorithmic perspective. Here at Cardiff University, we are one of the foremost authorities in this area. Future industrial leaders in this area will need to be critical and innovative in designing new technology-driven systems, recognising that cybersecurity and AI are human-centred challenges that cannot be achieved with technology alone. They will need to be trained early on in their career as reflexive practitioners who understand the limits of AI, the challenges of ethical integration into socio-technical systems, and the potential for misuse.

Our unique programme provides a holistic training perspective that aims to develop future leaders who can communicate (and debate) the best ways to address the challenge of fusing cybersecurity, AI and risk, to the benefit of future generations. Without this cohort-based training environment, we argue that future leaders will miss opportunities to co-create a world with a much richer interdisciplinary understanding of AI and cyber threats from a systems and human perspective. This would result in new technologies containing inherent exploitable vulnerabilities that will have an exacerbated impact as we become more dependent on interconnected autonomous systems. The interdisciplinary co-creation of new research that leads the way in addressing these topics sits at the core of the research goals in the hub.

We expect our graduates to take up employment across a range of sectors where the cybersecurity of new technologies such as AI is critical. Expected roles include:

  • strategic research directors
  • legal and governance practitioners
  • social policy officers
  • technology developers
  • data scientists
  • human factors experts.

These are just a few roles from an increasing number of areas where the advancements of new technologies are vital.

Research environment and training programme

We offer fully-funded PhDs that are all supervised across three different Schools within the University:

  • Computer Science and Informatics
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences.

The core theme of Cyber Security Analytics will be delivered through two cross-cutting skills and knowledge-oriented pathways:

  • Beneficial and Adversarial applications of AI in Cyber Security. This is the data science and most algorithm-focused AI pathway.
  • Human Factors in cyber and new tech and study motivations of Cybercrime. This pathway draws on Human Factors, Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Criminology, and Sociology.

The pathways align with an original set of training needs identified jointly by the academic team and external partners through regular engagement via existing collaborative research programmes, ideas exchange events, and advisory groups. We have extensive research excellence in these areas and the pathways act as a mechanism to maximise disciplinary overlap and develop a clear focus for the research challenges to be addressed within the hub, which relate to the UK Government vision for the industrial strategy. All students will have a supervisor from both pathways to ‘design-in’ interdisciplinary and cross-cutting challenges and thought development.

Why study cybersecurity analytics with us?

Government and industry recognition for research excellence

We are recognised by EPSRC and NCSC as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). We are one of only 19 ACE-CSRs in the UK and seen as a leading institution for cybersecurity analytics. This is evidenced in industry by our recognition as Airbus' only Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics in the world. Our academics are involved in significant internal research and development programmes at Airbus, leading both AI for cybersecurity technical programmes and human factors psychology programmes within Airbus’ Digital Transformation Office, thereby driving industrial uptake of these combined concepts. Social and technical aspects are considered equal within the hub.

Excellent facilities

We have invested significant funds in research infrastructure for this topic, including a state-of-the-art cyber range and immersive cyber-attack and defence lab shared across the School of Computer Science and Informatics, and the School of Psychology. The facilities in the lab underpin experimental research for human and technical aspects of cybersecurity and developing evidence-based knowledge and understanding of next-generation cyber threats including:

  • vulnerability testing a range of large next-generation virtualised infrastructures by threat hunting to identify where cyber-attacks could impact them
  • determining the optimum approaches for ensuring security by design - ie. ensuring the threats are mitigated before the digital environment is rolled out in the real-world
  • developing and testing novel automated cyber-attack and defence solutions
  • training and skills development in both technical cyber-attack and defence methods, and human factors surrounding susceptibility to attack and communication/decision making responses to attack stimuli and cyber intelligence under stress while exposed to attack.

For more information, please contact the hub’s Academic Lead, Professor Pete Burnap.

Aims and research areas

Plastics continue to attract unparalleled media and political coverage, from issues associated with plastic waste in the environment to new manufacturing methods for more sustainable materials. The national and international research landscape is fragmented - pockets of internationally excellent research and skills exist but the opportunity of bringing this together has not yet been taken. EPSRC-remit research has the opportunity to make a significant difference in this area, moving polymers manufacture to a more sustainable footing. And yet this research rarely considers environmental and societal challenges, even though these are key to providing the necessary specification constraints to build more sustainable plastics. The same is true of student training which inevitably focuses on narrow technical aspects, so that students are equipped with only a rudimentary knowledge of these wider issues. This is particularly a lost opportunity since students are typically passionate advocates for this research.

Our objectives for this Hub are:

  • To deliver cohort-based training for physical science PhD students.
  • To deliver original, high impact research within three key themes: 1) routes to sustainable polymers – from synthesis to applications; 2) novel recycling methods; 3) methods for smart accelerated degradation.
  • To engage with industry, policy makers and other end-user communities to co-design relevant PhD investigations, and to use this engagement to enhance the student experience.
  • To build a track record of interdisciplinary collaborative research in this area with Cardiff University, putting us in a position of strength for future funding calls, both within and beyond the EPSRC remit.

Research environment and training programme

This is an area where a cohort approach is ideally and uniquely placed to provide the training that the end-user community, including industry, academic and policy makers, requires. A cohort approach will allow us to upskill PhD researchers in one discipline, with a more robust, scholarly and inter-connected knowledge across all of the disciplines that are required to tackle real-world plastic challenges. The students graduating through this Hub will have a deep, scholarly knowledge in one area of polymer research, as appropriate for the PhD level. But they will also have a good understanding across the breadth of research concerned with plastics, allowing them to make more informed decisions in this area during their careers, to correct facile conclusions from a position of knowledge, and to be more nimble and resilient employees in line with the requirements of modern industry.

Students will be assigned PhD projects that will require supervisor teams composed of a traditional EPSRC-facing lead supervisor, and a secondary supervisor from another school. It is envisaged that most time will be spent in the lead supervisor’s laboratory but to ensure interdisciplinary working all students will complete a ‘Research Broadening Sabbatical’ (RBS) in a co-investigator’s group in another School. It will be expected that at least one chapter of the thesis be of interdisciplinary nature. Building on our experience leading cohort-based CDTs, the course structure will enable and embed interdisciplinary collaborative ways of working.

For more information please contact this Hub’s Academic Lead, Professor Duncan Wass.

Contact us and indicate your interest in EPSRC funding and if you want to be kept up-to-date with any further studentships that are published under this scheme.