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How To Apply

How to Apply

20 fully funded, four-year PhD studentships are available in SOFI2 CDT commencing in September 2023, for graduates in the physical and biological sciences, mathematics and engineering.
We are unable to accept further international student applications at this stage. However we can still accept applications from UK students.
A selection of the available project studentships that are available for the September 2022 cohort will be found at /projects/. Additional projects for 2023 will be added over the course of the next few months.

Applications to join the SOFI2 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 name is PhD in Soft Matter and 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 SOFI2 CDT admissions.
  3. Accommodation. We anticipate that all successful applicants will be offered (acceptance is not compulsory) accommodation and membership of the SOFI2 home college – St Marys’ College.
  4. Field of Study. Please feel free to describe your field(s) of scientific interest.
  5. Research Proposal. You do not need to upload a Research Proposal to your online application. Please ignore this part of the process.
  6. Finance and Funding. All successful applicants will be offered a SOFI2 CDT PhD studentship which covers both tuition fees and a living allowance. Up to a maximum of 30% of available studentships will be available to International and EU applicants with no additional fee to pay.
  7. For further information on determining fee status for non-UK applicants please visit the UKCISA Fees Status website.

Please also consult our FAQ sheet for further information for International Students and choosing projects.

You must also complete and send the following via email to [email protected]

  1. The SOFI CDT pre-registration form (click the title to download)
  2. A full CV


Please ask two academic referees to upload their reference to the online portal when requested.

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

Contact Information

Jackie Mckenna
SOFI CDT Manager
Department of Chemistry
Science Laboratories

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 334 2002
Email: [email protected]

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have one of:

  • A minimum of an upper second class honours degree from a 4-year integrated Masters undergraduate course in an appropriate physical or biological science, food science, mathematics or engineering.
  • A 3-year undergraduate BSc in one of the above disciplines plus a Masters degree and/or one year experience in a relevant industry

We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates. UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in the Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit. We also encourage applications from mature students and students with alternative career paths, who are recommended to discuss the suitability of their preparation for the course with the Director of Recruitment ([email protected]) before applying.

Information about equivalent entry qualifications for non-UK 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).