PhD in Particle Physics

You can submit an on-line application here

Applications for funded 2024 PhD entry are welcome at all times. The main round of interviews is generally in January-February for entry in October of the same year. In case not all places are filled during the first round, more interviews take place later in Spring. Applicants interested in applying outside the main recruiting cycle should contact us for more information.

Each year we have several research-council funded places, and a limited number of University Scholarships for home students (UK nationals and EU nationals with (pre-)settled status). International students are welcome to apply. Please make contact to investigate alternative funding possibilities.

Please see information below, and instructions on how to apply. For more information please contact the PhD admission tutor:

Dr. Miriam Watson
Postal: School of Physics and Astronomy
The University of Birmingham

Experimental High Energy Physics in Birmingham

There could hardly be a better time than the present to begin a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics at the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham! We play central roles in cutting-edge experiments, present and future, addressing a broad range of issues in modern particle physics.

We are heavily involved in data analysis at the ATLAS experiment, and members of the group have played major roles in the discovery of the new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. Besides, our ATLAS group works on heavy quarks physics (beauty and top). Our LHCb group studies rare decays of particles containing the beauty quark, and the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model. We also study CP violation and matter-antimatter asymmetry at LHCb.

Beside LHC experiments, we are searching for new physics in very rare strange particle decays and for processes that violate Lepton Flavour Universality through our work on the CERN fixed target NA62 experiment.

The group also has growing activities on novel detectors for light dark matter searches at the NEWS-G experiment and elsewhere.

Looking at a more distant future, we are heavily involved in LHC upgrades and in work towards future electron-proton, electron-ion colliders (LHeC, EIC), electron-positron colliders (ILC, CLIC, FCC-ee), and proton-proton colliders (FCC-hh).

The group also has a strong R&D programme on silicon detectors for the LHC Upgrade and beyond, and for Medical Physics applications.

We accept excellent students to work for a PhD on all our research projects.

Doing a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics at Birmingham University

We have a large particle physics group, with currently around 40 academic and support staff members and 25 PhD students, and extensive local facilities.

The particle physics group is housed in recently renovated offices with excellent computing facilities, near to the centre of the University campus. Students work closely with their supervisors, but also with other academic and research staff, participating fully in the life of the group. In addition to the research work on their selected experiment, students spend part of their first year on a taught graduate course, including lectures on particle physics theory and experimentation. The course culminates in the Rutherford Laboratory Summer School on Particle Physics held at the end of the first year. As part of their training, students also usually attend a CERN or other major international Summer School relevant to their research at the end of their second year.

The remainder of the course is focussed full-time on research. This usually involves a mixture of detector development or operation and analysis of experimental data, the exact mix depending on the experiment and the student's interests. Students usually spend significant time on site at their experiment, for example at CERN (Geneva), working closely with our international colleagues. This may be in the form of a long-term attachment of perhaps a year, or else several short visits, depending on the project and the student. The extensive analytical, scientific, computing, presentational and team-working skills obtained by particle physics PhD students provides a solid foundation for post-doctoral employment, either in research, industry, or business.