PhDs in Materials Science

Study for a PhD in the emerging field of Materials Science at a top ten UK University.

Develop your own PhD proposal

A student checks on the work of a 3D printer

Materials Science PhD

Our Materials Science PhD offers you an exciting opportunity to undertake and manage your own research project, gain valuable laboratory experience and forge important relationships in the professional sphere.

Areas of research fall within (but are not limited to) the diverse portfolio of our academic staff – chemistry, engineering, physics, health and medicine.

Materials Science PhD

Funded PhD Opportunities

Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO) PhDs

The Materials Science Institute, based at Lancaster University is an interdisciplinary institute tackling grand challenges in society and industry. The Institute has 9 fully-funded 3 year PhD studentships available to start in October 2020. The studentships are part of the £4.4m Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO) Project. GISMO is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and will engage over 250 innovative SMEs in the Cheshire and Warrington in the chemicals, aerospace, automotive, energy, applied healthcare, and life sciences sectors, solving industry-driven challenges through innovations in 'smart' materials.


  • GISMO Graduate Researcher Studentship: Functionality through design for additive manufacturing.

    Early submissions are encouraged for this position.


    Stipend: The studentship is for 36 months with an enhanced stipend for the first two years due to the expected level of industry engagement, the position is due to commence in October 2020.


    This fully funded 3 year PhD studentship is part of the Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO) Project – a £4.4m European Regional Development Fund programme that will benefit SMEs in the Cheshire and Warrington areas. Participating businesses will gain access to research and development expertise and specialist technology to solve industry-driven challenges through innovation in ‘smart’ materials.

    There will be a cohort of nine studentships associated with GISMO across a variety of material science related topics linked to the Materials Science Institute at Lancaster University. The studentships will offer extensive topic specific training and will see students work closely across the various fields of material science whilst also providing extensive experiences at working with industry collaborators.


    Functionality enabled through a design for additive manufacturing approach: implementation for industrial applications.

    The field of additive manufacturing is witnessing significant growth, particularly for applications across many industrial sectors where opportunities for improved design, complex geometries, materials specification and product functionality become important. The potential to improve manufacturing agility, productivity and sustainability offers a significant opportunity, particularly for applications where low-volume, high-value, customised production is a viable commercial consideration.

    This PhD will consider the principles of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), working with a range of companies to realise commercial, environmental and productivity benefits. Investigation will focus on the potential, by applying DfAM principles, for improved functionality of components, structures and assemblies that can be fabricated using a range of additive manufacturing technologies (including, but not limited to, material extrusion (FDM/FFF), laser powder bed fusion (e.g. SLM, SLS), etc). Engaging directly with companies, establishing their needs and developing solutions will be an essential part of this research in order to fully appreciate the impact that additive manufacturing can make to existing company approaches to manufacturing and production.



    Minimum of a 1st Class BEng (Hons) in Mechanical / Manufacturing / Industrial Design Engneering or similar discipline, ideally with previous experience of engineering design and/or computer-aided engineering and/or additive manufacturing technologies.

    Application details

    To apply for this opportunity please apply by email to with the subject “GISMO: Functionality through DfAM” and include:

    • A CV (2 pages maximum)
    • Cover letter
    • Names and contact details for 2 references
    • University grade transcripts

     Funding Notes

    The studentship for UK /EU citizens is fully funded with the first two years at an enhanced stiped rate of £19,750. In the final year of study the stipend will drop to £17,600 due to the reduction in industry engagement at this time of the project.                                

    Lancaster University

    Lancaster University is among the best in the UK. Ranked in the top 10 in all three major national league tables, we’re also highly ranked in international league tables such as the QS world rankings. We have invested over £450m into our campus in the last ten years, including our new Engineering building, the refurbishment of the Library, Physics and Chemistry facilities and a £20m sports centre and facilities, with a further £135m investment planned.  Lancaster is the best in the North West for graduate prospects, according to The Good University Guide and one of the top universities in the UK for overall student satisfaction according to The National Student Survey.

     Contact Us

    For informal enquries applicants should contact Allan Rennie, Lancaster University Engineering Department.

  • Design of novel alloys and microstructures for additive manufacturing

    Launch your career in R&D with an industry-based three year funded PhD in new materials science designing new alloys

    There is a growing need from industry for developing new materials for additive manufacturing/3D Printing. Through this PhD project, you will explore the ability to compositionally tailor alloys for additive manufacturing, with a focus on powder bed laser technologies. Thermodynamic and kinetic principles will be employed to design alloys, which will subsequently be produced and processed. Applications aimed for include high-temperature alloys for aerospace, ultra-strong steels for tooling, medical implants and nuclear applications.

    Testing of novel components will include mechanical, corrosion and fatigue. The newly designed alloys and their build will thus be compared with wrought counterparts, and the technology transferred to members of our regional consortium.


    The minimum academic requirement for admission is an upper second class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng, MPhys, MChem etc, or a lower second with a good Master's, (or overseas equivalents) in a relevant subject. Background in thermokinetics and physical metallurgy is required.

    Knowledge in crystal plasticity and dislocation theory is preferred. A good basis in computer programming is essential for the post. Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to prepare presentations, reports and journal papers to the highest levels of quality. Excellent interpersonal skill to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary project area of research.

    Why Apply?

    • Join a cohort of 9 PhDs and work in an exciting community of like-minded peers
    • Work directly with leading industry partners
    • Be mentored by internationally recognised researcher leaders
    • Work across various fields of materials science and gain extensive topic-specific training
    • Gain experience of modelling and problem solving for scientific and industrial applications
    • Help develop new products, processes and services
    • Build academic and industrial networks and have both a scientific and industrial impact with your research
    • Receive an enhanced stiped rate of £19,750 for two years then £17,600 for the final year
    • Gain a postgraduate qualification from a world-class university
    • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market


    The studentship for UK/EU citizens is fully funded with the first two years at an enhanced stiped rate of £19,750 and £17,600 in the final year of study.

    Application details

    To apply for this opportunity please apply by email to with the subject “GISMO: Novel Alloys and Microstructures” and include:

    • A CV (2 pages maximum)
    • Cover letter
    • Contact details for 2 references
    • University grade transcripts

    Early submissions are encouraged.

    Contact Us

    For informal enquiries, applicants should contact Professor Pedro Rivera in the Engineering Department.