Skip to main content


Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advance Data Storage


PhD & EngD Applications for 2023 Now Open

Several fully-funded Places

We welcome applications from suitably qualified applicants to join the programme in September 2023.  We have several fully funded places available for "home" students, including an exciting mix of PhD and EngD studentships with research projects delivered in consultation with our industry partners.

We operate a rolling application process and will recruit monthly until all positions have been filled. We would strongly encourage you to make your application as early as possible.

We are also delighted to be able to recruit up to 2 international students to undertake a PIADS PhD as part of the 2023 cohort. Please note that our international places have been filled for September 2023 entry.

Please note that all students should be available to begin their studies from 8th September 2023.

Click here for details of industrial PhD and EngD opportunities available for 2023 entry.

The PIADS Enhanced PhD and EngD Studentship 

PIADS PhD and EngD students have their annual university tuition fees paid and they receive an annual maintenance stipend of £18,622 (PhD) and £23,622 (EngD). They also access a generous budget of up to £27,000 to support their individual research costs such as start-up equipment, access to facilitates, research consumables and conference participation.

Academic Background Requirements

The 4-year PIADS programme provides a range of scientific and research training which bridges physics, chemistry and engineering. As such, our cohort brings together research students from diverse backgrounds including physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Applicants should have, or hope to have, a 2:1 (or equivalent) in a cognate physical sciences or engineering discipline, such as physics, materials science, electrical engineering, chemistry or chemical engineering. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the suitability of your academic background and encourage you to get in touch by email or phone to Kirsty Annand. We can also put you in touch with current students from similar backgrounds who will be happy to share their experiences on the PIADS programme with you.

International Qualifications    

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information for International Students   

International students wishing to apply (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.

*Taken within the last 2 years. For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

Personal Attributes

The PIADS programme gives unique and unparalleled access to academic excellence and state of the art research facilities across the partner institutions of Queen's University Belfast, The University of Glasgow and the Irish Photonic Integration Centre in Cork/Dublin and our wide range of industrial partners. We train PIADS doctoral researchers in photonic integration & advanced data storage technologies and to prepare them to lead and operate at the highest technical levels in cross-geographical distributed environments. Our students spend time at each of the partner institutions, undertake industrial placements, attend national and international conferences and are actively engaged in all aspects of the Centre's activities through the CDT Doctoral Forum and our external engagement and science outreach activities.

Therefore, in addition to the necessary academic background, successful applicants to the PIADS programme will be motivated to take full advantage of these opportunities and will demonstrate a commitment to engaging with staff and students across the PIADS partnership throughout the entire 4-year programme.  

Our procedures will be weighted to ensure that we select candidates who can satisfy both the academic requirements and the personal attributes required. These will be assessed through the written application stage and at the interview stage.  

Funding Eligibility

Studentships are available to UK nationals/citizens resident in the UK for the previous 3 years as ‘Home’ students.

A limited number of fully-funded PhD places (2) will be available to those not meeting the ‘Home’ status detailed above.  Competition for these places is likely to be intense and as fully-funded positions for international applicants are rare, we would expect the candidate to have obtained a 1st class degree (or equivalent), to have English language proficiency (with IELTS certification if relevant -) and have ATAS clearance. Please note that our international positions have been filled for September 2023 entry.

Please contact if you have any queries regarding your eligibility for funding.


Apply Now for 2023 Entry

Queen's University Belfast Crest

University of Glasgow Crest