STFC PhD Studentship: Novel Detectors for Astronomy and Nuclear Science

University of Sussex - Semiconductor Materials and Devices Laboratory

Start Date: 25th September 2017

Applications are invited for a prestigious fully-funded 3.5 year STFC PhD studentship to join a world-leading research group working on new instrumentation for astronomy, space science, and nuclear physics. The successful applicant will become an expert on high performance X-ray and electron detectors made of synthetic (CVD) diamond.

The project provides a unique opportunity for experimental and theoretical work at the cutting edge and intersection of semiconductor physics and astronomy. It also provides an unparalleled opportunity to combine the best of academia with the best of industry:  the student will split their time between the Semiconductor Materials and Devices Laboratory at University of Sussex, where the detectors will be characterised and modelled, and Micron Semiconductor Ltd in Lancing, West Sussex, where the detectors will be fabricated.  Frequent travel will be expected between the two sites (approx. 25 mins by car).

The successful applicant will play a major role in the development of instrumentation which can operate in the most extreme conditions. Example applications of the instrumentation include planetary science (e.g. spectrometers for investigation of the radiation environment at Jupiter); monitoring of nuclear reactors; and future experimental particle physics. 


Required: Good Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in physics (or closely related subject). 

Required: Ability to work independently and be self-motivated.

Desirable: A separate postgraduate Master’s degree, preferably obtained at a different institution to the undergraduate degree.

Desirable: Business or industrial experience (e.g. obtained through family business or employment).

Applicants must have been resident in the UK for at least the last three years immediately preceding their application. Overseas students are ineligible for this project.


The studentship will be allocated as soon as a suitable candidate is found. Review of applications will commence on 26th June 2017 and will continue until the position is filled.  Early application is advised. 

To apply

Please visit: (N.B. For your application to be considered, you must select Engineering PhD as your programme of study and specify Dr Anna M. Barnett as your preferred supervisor.)

For more information

Please email Dr Anna M. Barnett

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