• Applications should be submitted through either the University of Sheffield or the University of Manchester online application systems if applying to a UK institution.

  • Applications should be submitted to for the IE positions.

  • Guidance to help you complete the forms is available for Sheffield and Manchester.

Students come from a range of backgrounds in engineering and physical sciences and spend the first year studying core materials, programming and data analytics topics through taught courses and case studies before embarking on their PhD or EngD projects.


Applicants should have or be about to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree or a masters level degree with a merit or above in a relevant engineering discipline or in a subject such as physics, chemistry or maths.

UK Institution Applicants

Home students are eligible for full studentships covering tuition fees and a maintenance stipend for 4 years. EU nationals are also eligible for full studentships for the majority of our projects.

Applications from international students are welcome but students should arrange their own funding to cover tuition fees and living costs for 4 years. In exceptional cases, the CDT may be able to support living costs for international students who already have a fees only scholarship.

Applicants from China who meet the eligibility requirements can apply to the University of Sheffield for funding through the China Scholarship Council. Details are on application process is available here:

IE Institution Applicants

The Irish partnership in the CDT is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) which covers full fees and stipend costs for four years.  The programme will support 25 PhD students over the next five years (five students per year).  SFI also funds materials and project related costs.  Please note however that the funding covers EU fees only.  

How to Apply

UK applications should be submitted through either the University of Sheffield or the University of Manchester online application systems.

IE applications should be submitted to

Guidance to help you complete the forms is available below for Sheffield and Manchester.

Eligible applicants will be invited to an interview with the CDT management team and the academic and industrial supervisors where appropriate.

You can apply for a specific project or submit a general application where we will then notify applicants as projects become available. Offers are made on a rolling basis so we recommend submitting an early application to make sure you don't miss out.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

The School of Materials at the University of Manchester and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield have been recognised for their commitment to gender equality and each hold silver Athena Swan awards from the Equality Challenge Unit. DCU and UCD have also been recognised for their commitment to advancing gender equality for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and creating cultural change within the university with bronze Athena Swan awards.


The University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield have also been recognised for creating an inclusive workplace for lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees by being ranked within the top 100 of the Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index