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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

The Fusion CDT strives to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning and research environment for students and staff across all partner universities, institutes and companies. We endeavour to recognise the inequalities and challenges faced by underrepresented groups in physics, engineering and material science, and to provide support to counter these challenges. We appreciate our centre’s role and responsibility in attracting and retaining a future fusion, plasma and energy sector workforce that reflects the diversity of the society it serves, and we aim to act beyond our own boundaries to influence and encourage good working practice throughout the sector. We expect students and staff to develop an understanding of the challenges that we face and enable them to be catalysts for change.

To that end we are creating a Fusion CDT framework that will guide us in our efforts to achieve these goals. These principles will be centred on three pillars: Equality (Equity), Diversity and Inclusion. We will draw on the experience and advice of experts, existing bodies and charters that have been set up to deal with the challenges we all face. Once this has been finalised it will be made available on the Fusion CDT website.

2023 Entry

Potential project descriptions for autumn 2023 entry are available on the “Projects” webpage. More projects will be added over the coming weeks, so please check regularly.

The deadline for York, Liverpool & Durham plasma strand applications will be as follows:

• Main application deadline for autumn 2023 entry: TBC

Deadlines for materials strand projects may vary – please email the relevant university contact below to enquire about this.

If you are applying for a social sciences project offered by University of York, please see the application deadline on the project description and apply via the application link shown there.

If you have any questions please contact us by email, or phone +44 (0)1904 324907 and we will be happy to help you.

How to apply

You will need to apply directly to the university that offers your chosen PhD project. You may apply to more than one university if you wish. The links below will take you to each university’s Fusion CDT web page from where you will be signposted to the application pages. Please mention on your application form that you are interested in the Fusion Centre for Doctoral Training.

You do not have to have in depth knowledge of fusion when you apply. If you are accepted onto our programme, you will benefit from a series of training courses, which will enable you to then embark on an exciting research project at the forefront of the field.

Potential Projects for Sept 2022 entry are shown on our website. Please indicate on your application form your preference for which project/s you are interested in. We will use your project preferences as a guide, but you may also be considered for other projects.

On the application form you will find a section entitled “research proposal”. It is useful, when looking at your application, to know which area of research interests you most. To help you identify this you could think about including any or all of the following:

  • The title of any of the advertised projects in which you are interested and briefly describe why the projects interest you. You can include as many as you like, there are no limits.
  • Your relevant interest in the research areas.
  • What interests you – analytic theory, simulation, modelling, experiment (or all of these).

Other things to think about including in your application are:

  • Your motivation for applying for the PhD in Plasma Science and Fusion Energy and why you believe you are well qualified for the programme.
  • How will you benefit from the programme (both the taught element and the research), and what you expect to bring to the Fusion CDT.
  • Using the advertised research projects as a guide, provide an overview of the research you would find most interesting and explain why.
  • Any barriers or adversity that you have faced in your education/career.

Alongside supporting flexible working the Fusion CDT welcomes part-time applications. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In addition to the usual considerations including funding and suitability for doctoral study, assessment of part-time applications will include, typically in discussion with the candidate following interview, whether the requirements of the project are compatible with the applicant’s non-PhD commitments. Offers for part-time study can only be made when the registering university offers part-time doctoral study and when it is known that two consecutive years of the taught portion of the programme can be delivered.

If you are interested in part-time study please contact the relevant project supervisor to discuss. Please also contact the Fusion CDT programme director (Roddy Vann – to discuss the taught programme.

As well as making the formal application to the Universities below please complete this short form in order that the lead university can coordinate all applications and keep in touch with all our applicants.
Application procedures for each university can be found by following the links below:

Durham University – How to apply
University contact: Prof Marco Cecconello (Plasma) and Prof Damian Hampshire (Materials).

University of Liverpool – How to apply
If you are interested in applying for one of the Fusion CDT postgraduate research projects hosted at Liverpool, you should follow the link above and complete the online application form. For the question about studentship funding, you should write “Fusion-CDT”. We strongly recommend that you first contact the project supervisor, as given in the project description, and/or the University contact as shown below, before making your application.
University contact: Dr Mark Bowden

University of Manchester – How to apply
University contact: Dr Ed Pickering

University of Oxford Materials – How to apply
If you are interested in applying for a Fusion CDT project at Oxford, we strongly recommend that you contact Professor David Armstrong before making an application.
University contact for Oxford Materials: Professor David Armstrong

University of York – How to apply
University contact: Dr David Dickinson

(Please note, if you are applying for a social sciences project offered by University of York, please do not use the ‘How to apply’ link above. Please follow the instructions on the project description and apply via the application link shown there).


Additionally, students interested in a PhD or Masters degree in fusion research may want to attend the Fusion Energy Open Day, organised in collaboration with the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE): several leading universities will be in attendance to describe opportunities in fusion and related research.

Don’t forget you could also subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of this page if you would like reminders about important dates, news and events.