Particle Physics Experiment

Deadline for Applications: 30th January 2016

Shortlisted UK-based students will be invited to Edinburgh for interview on 22-23 February 2016.

This is a unique time to study particle physics. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland produced its first physics collision in 2009 after 15 years of design and construction, and is currently running at 13 TeV, the highest collider energy ever achieved. On 4th of July 2012 the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the LHC announced the discovery of a new particle with a mass of ~125 GeV compatible with the long-searched-for Higgs boson!

University of Edinburgh researchers collaborate on two experiments at the LHC: ATLAS and LHCb. We are looking for exceptional PhD students to work on these two experimental projects. We also have projects on detector development (for the LHC and beyond), on LHC data storage and distributed computing, and projects in collaboration with our theoretical colleagues on understanding LHC physics.

We offer fully-funded STFC studentships (for UK nationals and UK-based students only), SUPA studentships and University of Edinburgh Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarships (for any nationality). We welcome applicants who already hold a scholarship, and also to students who wish to apply for a PhD place in conjunction with a scholarship application. Most projects include the opportunity for a fully-funded long-term attachment to CERN for up to 18 months.

More details about our PhD projects and funding opportunities are given below.

PhD Projects


  • Postgraduate students attend a comprehensive set of graduate level courses within our SUPA graduate school (see here the timetable of the current courses)
  • Students can also take a wide variety of courses from the undergraduate programme to supplement their knowledge
  • International summer schools and physics workshops
  • Data analysis training using advanced statistical techniques
  • State of the art particle detector design and development of new technology
  • Opportunities to present your results at international conferences
  • Additional training at CERN with a variety of short trips & long trips (typically 12-18 months)



  • Candidates should hold, or expect to gain, a 2:1 honours degree in physics or related subject (or international equivalent)
  • It is essential to have a keen interest in physics data analysis & computing and/or detector technologies

Financial information for PhD applicants

There are various studentships that provide funding options for our PhD students. This is one of the most crucial steps in the application process, as we very often have to turn down excellent candidates due to lack of funding. Please make sure to consult the studentships that we propose to PhD applicants on this page.

English Language Requirements

International students must have evidence of English language competency. Please see the College of Science and Engineering website for more information.

To apply

Please complete the online application form by selecting the appropriate start date (e.g. September 2016) and then clicking on "Apply" at postgraduate entry page. Please note the application is for 3 year PhD, even though your PhD course is usually funded for 3.5 years.

  • The form application form is used throughout the University and asks for more information that we actually need! Please read these helpful application notes.
    • Email addresses for referees are requested later in the process - please ignore 'upload references'.
    • For your research topic feel free to use the one of the above titles, this is not binding and can be changed later.
    • For relevant knowledge please mention any project work and any programming or hardware experience.
    • Deadline for the first round of applications is 30th January 2016 (applications reached after the deadline will continue to be considered until all postions are filled).
  • UK applicants completing the application form will be automatically considered for STFC funding.
  • Applicants (both UK and overseas) wishing to apply for the other studentships should complete both an application form and also apply separately for:
    • SUPA Prize Studentship and/or
    • Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarships (and, if you are not an EU citizen) an Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship on this form.
  • Overseas applicants who wish to apply only to the SUPA scheme do not need to fill out a University of Edinburgh application form.

In case of any questions, please contact enquiries [at] ph [dot] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk (Mrs. Liz Paterson) Tel: 44 (0)131 651 7837

Last updated: 25 Jan 2016 at 15:55