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Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group


Long term research projects of a fundamental scientific nature are of course the main function of the group. We are keen to interact with industrial partners to investigate relevant areas of interest to their own business aims. In terms of long term projects we are able to offer the following:

PhD Studentships

Traditionally these run for a period of 3-4 years and involve someone who has completed a relevant degree undertaking an extended period of research. From a collaboration point of view it should be noted that PhD students are still learning the relevant research skills and therefore cannot be expected to provide instant solutions. We are however keen to ensure that progress goals are met and that interim reporting of progress keeps sponsors informed. Various funding options exist for PhDs (for example directly or in collaboration with the research councils).

Postdoctoral Research Projects

These can take two forms, either employing one of our current members of staff or if the project is sufficiently large we ware able to take on new staff members to undertake the research. Projects at the postdoctoral level are able to be much more varied in their length and can range from a couple of months upwards. While the cost of employing a postdoctoral researcher is higher than having a PhD student for the equivalent time, this can be balanced out against the increased flexibility and experience that can be brought to bear.

Wider ranging agreements

A number of our sponsors have wider ranging agreements with the group involving greater numbers of people and longer timescales. One sponsor has been funding three posts (a student, a postdoc and a technician) for over 25 years now. While admittedly these collaborations have grown out of smaller projects, it is an avenue for collaboration that is possible within the framework of the group.


For more information and to discuss funding options, please contact Dr David Williamson, Dr Chris Braithwaite or Dr. Andrew Jardine.