XFEL Physical Sciences Hub – Jointly funded PhD Call 2023
17 Jul 2023



The XFEL Physical Sciences Hub call for proposals for a fourth cohort of PhD students is now open




The XFEL Physical Sciences Hub is now welcoming proposals for a fourth cohort of PhD studentships.

Since 2020 the XFEL Physical Sciences Hub has jointly funded 21 PhD studentships, supporting a diverse range of experimental and theoretical projects in XFEL-based science. By funding these PhD projects, the Hub aims to further grow and support the UK academic community wishing to access cutting-edge facilities such as the European XFEL.

Each PhD studentship would be up to 4 years and would be expected to commence in October 2024 but may be able to start earlier if required. The PhD studentship can be in any scientific of technical area provided it aligns with the remit of the Hub to support the Physical Sciences community in performing XFEL-based science. Topics could include experimental and theoretical science, or technical development in areas such as sample preparation, detectors or software. The Hub will fully fund up to 2 years of the studentship including a limited contribution towards T&S and consumables. We especially welcome submissions from academics with limited experience of using XFEL facilities.

A small number of projects may be eligible to be jointly funded by the XFEL Physical Sciences Hub and Diamond (as well as the host institution), should the project have relevance to the development of Diamond as well as XFEL Science. To be eligible for this form of joint funding additional eligibility criteria may apply. You will need to speak to a potential Diamond co-supervisor as part of your submission in this case. Please contact James Green for more details first in this case.

To Apply - please email James Green (james.green@stfc.ac.uk) with a proposed title of the PhD project and a completed project application form. These can be downloaded here:

XFEL Hub - PhD project application

The deadline for proposals is 15th September 20​23. All proposals will be reviewed by the XFEL Physical Science Hub's oversight committee along with selected external referees with relevant expertise. Prop​osals will be assessed primarily on the following criteria:

  • Scientific excellence
  • The planned use of XFEL beamtime (or XFEL data) to meet the project's objectives
  • Relative experience of the applicant in XFEL science or associated technology
  • Community balance (across disciplines and institutions)

If you are new to XFEL science and are unsure about how feasible your project objectives are with respect to using XFEL beamtime (or data) then please get in touch as we may be able to put you in touch with a relevant instrument expert who could discuss aspects of your proposal before you submit. In this case, or if you have any other questions then please contact james.green@stfc.ac.uk​

Contact: Green, James (STFC,RAL,CLF)