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Up to 16 fully-funded four-year PhD studentships are available each year for graduates in physics, chemistry, food science, engineering, (applied) mathematics and related subjects.

****The 2018 programme commencing September is now full. Please monitor this website early in the New Year for details on future cohort recruitment.****

A full list of available project studentships for Cohort 5 (2018/19) will be posted on the website in due course.

A list of PhD studentship topics and the supervisors/supervisory teams who will be offering PhD projects for the 2017 cohort (Cohort 4) can be found on the PhD Studentships web pages -

Applications to join the SOFI CDT will be accepted through the Durham University online application portal and applicants should complete the Online Application Form.

Notes for completing the University Online Application Form;

  1. Program Applied For. The course code for SOFI CDT is F1A101 - PhD in Soft Matter & Functional Interfaces (EPSRC CDT).

  2. Department. When asked to indicate an academic department please put Chemistry. This does not imply that you will be joining a chemistry program! This is required since all PG students must be registered with a department and the chemistry department will be administering SOFI CDT admissions.

  3. Accommodation. All successful applicants will be offered (acceptance is not compulsory) accommodation and membership of the SOFI CDT home college - St Marys’ College.

  4. Field of Study. Please feel free to describe your field(s) of scientific interest.

  5. Finance and Funding. All successful applicants will be offered a SOFI CDT PhD studentship which covers both tuition fees (at UK and EU level) and a living allowance. However the studentship will not cover tuition fees for international/overseas students. International students are welcome to apply but will need an additional source of funding to cover the additional fees for international students. Further information can be found at the Fees and Finance web pages.

For further information on determining fee status for non-UK applicants please visit the UKCISA Fees Status website.

Please also complete and send the following forms via email to

  1. The SOFI CDT pre-registration form (click the title to download)
  2. A full CV (including undergraduate module marks and exam results)


Please ask two academic referees to complete the reference forms. These should be returned to the SOFI CDT directly (either via email to or by post to the address below) in a sealed and signed envelope. Referees may download the form (Word format) using the link above.

Please note, your application cannot be considered until we have all this information.

Contact Information

Miss J McLoughlin
SOFI CDT Administrator
Department of Chemistry
Science Laboratories

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 334 2002
Fax: +44(0) 191 334 2051


Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a good first degree (2.1 honours or higher) in an appropriate physical science subject, food science, mathematics or engineering.
Information about equivalent entry qualifications for international students can be found at

Non-native English speakers require an English language qualification, such as IELTS (6.5 with no element less than 6.0).