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Fully Funded EPSRC & STFC PhD Scholarship: Holographic Composite Higgs

Swansea University - Physics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,285 p.a. (for 2020/21)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 26th November 2020
Closes: 31st January 2021

This scholarship is funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Start date: October 2021


This theoretical project aims at constructing a new formal framework for the study of certain classes of composite models emerging from strongly coupled theories that are difficult to solve otherwise. The natural application of this framework is in the context of particle physics, as it can explain the fundamental origin of the recently discovered Higgs boson, but it has a much broader range of applicability, in statistical mechanics, condensed state physics, and cosmology. It emerges from formal developments within theoretical physics that sit at a crossroad with mathematical physics.

Rigorous mathematical theorems relate the non-trivial phenomenon of spontaneous symmetry breaking to the emergence of light degrees of freedom (called Nambu-Goldstone bosons), and Effective Field Theory (EFT) techniques allow to describe their properties (masses and couplings) in a systematic way. The innovative use of holography (also referred to as gauge-gravity dualities) —borrowed from mathematical physics and string theory—can revolutionise calculability and predictivity in this context, with ground-breaking potential applications.

The candidate will work within the context of supergravity towards developing a new formal laboratory devoted to the examination of new (and old) phenomena, complementing traditional methodologies, and aiming at applications. The project supervisors have long-standing records of supervising postgraduate students to completion, have established international reputation in the diverse fields of string theory, supergravity, formal field theory, effective field theory and phenomenological model building, and have extensive networks of international collaborators. The candidate will join a diverse, international, and interdisciplinary, world-leading research environment, benefiting from daily interaction within a group of staff and students counting approximately forty researchers, and from the extensive programme of research seminars, journal clubs and training opportunities of the Particle Physics and Cosmology Theory group at Swansea.


Candidates must have a First, Upper Second Class Honours or a Master’s degree with Merit, in a relevant discipline.

For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.5 (with 6.0 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests. We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.

In addition to UK students, international and EU students are eligible to apply for these studentships but should note that they may have to pay the difference between the home UKRI fee and the institutional international student fee.

Additional Funding Information

This three-year fully funded scholarship covers UK tuition fees and an annual stipend set at the minimum UKRI level (currently £15,285 per annum for 2020/21 for full-time students, updated each year).

RTSG support of £1,000 per annum is also provided.

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