About the Role
PhD Vacancy
In this collaborative, industry-focused, research degree you will develop and explore innovative new schemes for the optical characterisation of particles by deriving complex refractive index information. The integration of this function into laboratory-class particle characterisation instruments and the application of this new functionality to important applications will also be part of this research project. Particles are everywhere! They are found and used in a wide range of applications including medicines, food, minerals, novel materials, biology, and environmental sciences. Knowledge and understanding of how particles behave has never been more important.
This is a unique opportunity for an ambitious and talented early career researcher to embark on an exciting PhD programme of original research, drawing on the expertise, knowledge and the state-of-the-art facilities of three world-class organisations: The School of Physics at the University of Bristol, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Malvern Panalytical Ltd. The successful candidate will spend time at each organisation and candidates should be aware that there is an element of relocation with this project.
You will be co-supervised by a team from all three organisations, including Dr Henkjan Gersen (University of Bristol, H.Gersen@bristol.ac.uk), Dr Caterina Minelli (NPL, caterina.minelli@npl.co.uk) and Dr Jason Corbett (Malvern Panalytical Ltd, jason.corbett@malvernpanalytical.com) who are all available to discuss the project.
This Bristol-NPL-Malvern Panalytical PhD scholarship represents a great opportunity to start your postgraduate research career, working with world-class scientists in a supportive research, training and development environment, focused on your future success. This is a challenging project which requires enthusiasm, interest and application, and you will get all the support you need whilst working in a fully professional structure typical of a major multi-centre development.
What is the broader environment for this PhD?
  • University of Bristol - The University of Bristol’s School of Physics is one of the leading Physics departments in the UK, addressing some of the most fundamental questions in science and are pushing the boundaries in emerging fields such as nanotechnology and smart materials. The student would be a member of the Materials and Devices research theme (www.bristol.ac.uk/physics/research/materials ), and a member of the Physics Graduate School of 200+ research students from a wide range of countries and backgrounds.
  • Malvern Panalytical Ltd Malvern Panalytical Ltd is a world-leading materials characterisation business developing advanced instrumentation, novel applications and methods, and providing new scientific understanding in a diverse range of fields including big pharma, food, minerals, pharmacology, environmental science, novel materials and natural resources.
The scholarship will cover living expenses at the UKRI rate, full University tuition fees at the home student level (see www.bristol.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/2021/sci/phd-physics/), and research training and support expenses. We also welcome applications from outstanding international students.
Start date will be in October 2021 but we can be flexible if appropriate.
This studentship is fully funded with a tax-free stipend for 4 years at the standard UKRI rate (£15,609 for 21/22 academic year). University tuition fees are covered at the rate for UK residents. A fee waiver for non-UK residents may be available.
To apply, you will need to provide the following information and documents through the University of Bristol application system. Please select ‘Physics PhD’ on the Programme Choice page. 
  • A CV which describes your achievements and qualifications.
  • A Personal Statement, which is a one- to two-page document introducing yourself and outlining your motivation for PhD research, and why you want to apply to Bristol for this opportunity.
  • A transcript of any qualifying degrees (completed and/or underway).
You do not need to include a research proposal in your application. You should address why you feel you are suited to this opportunity, and what you would bring to the project. Applicants will be assessed on merit, and interviews will be held for shortlisted applicants.
About You
This role requires a first degree in physics or a related subject, normally at a level equivalent to at least UK upper second-class honours, or a relevant postgraduate master's qualification.
About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.