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Interdisciplinary Research

There is extenisve collaboration between the Departments of Physics and Chemistry. A new, state-of-the-art joint research building is under construction which will develop these links even further. If you are a graduate in Physical Chemistry, you may be interested in a PhD or MSc project in one of the condensed matter physics groups - please contact Dr. Gavin Bell. Likewise, physics graduates can find opportunities in the Chemistry Department.

The Physics Department is also involved in a number of Interdisciplinary Centres witin the University of Warwick. Many of these offer taught and research postgraduate degrees, as outlined below. The usual pattern is for any taught component to be delivered through the relevant Centre, following which students choose a PhD research project and become associated with one or two of the participating department, while retaining the benefit of working in an interdisciplinary team. Enquiries should initially be made through the relevant centre but can also be directed through Physics.


iMR CDT LogoThe Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Magnetic Resonance provides four year PhDs in the Universities of Warwick, St Andrews/Dundee, Southampton, Nottingham and Aberdeen spanning the fields of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation. The programme is open to graduates who will typically have, or be on course for, a 1st class degree in Physical Sciences. You should be looking for a challenging, interdisciplinary research training environment and have an active interest in the development of new technologies.

The Centre for Scientific Computing (CSC) facilitates computationally driven research throughout the sciences and engineering. It is formed by academics from participating departments, hosts various high-performance computing initiatives and interdisciplinary research projects, and offers a number of opportunities for postgradutes.

There is a taught MSC in Scientific Computing with about half of the credit from largely lecture based modules offered by Physics and other academic departments within CSC and a dissertation component with a Physics (or other discipline) based supervisor.

A small number of places are available for integrated research training in high end computing (HEC). Students follow a four-year PhD programme, with at least 25% of their time spent on training modules. At the end of the programme, students will have a PhD and a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering.

MSc and PhD research degrees are also available within CSC.

Further details of all these CSC programmes and eligibiity requirements may found on the CSC web pages. In each case applications should be made online, mentioning interest in both Physics and CSC.


The Complexity Science Doctoral Training Centre aims to train a new generation of complexity scientists at PhD level, teaching knowledge and skills to understand, control and design complex systems, and to do innovative research in complexity science via critical thinking, interdisciplinary teamwork and end-user interaction.

The main programme of the Doctoral Training Centre consists of four-year long integrated Masters+PhD training, starting in October 2007 for which a draft list of PhD projects is available. Application can be made online, specifying a Physics PhD with interests in Comlexity DTC. Initial enquiries may be directed to Prof Robin Ball.


Biology and Life Sciences: MOAC, Systems Biology and the Life Sciences DTG offer world-class interdisciplinary research opportunities -


“The MAS CDT degree is a combined MSc + PhD programme:

1 year MSc in Molecular Analytical Sciences

3 year PhD in Analytical Sciences, designed to train students for multi-disciplinary research.

The first year of the programme may also be taken as a stand-alone MSc.

MAS offers a four year degree programme (MSc + PhD) in Multidisciplinary Science which aims to develop new techniques and methodologies and apply them in creative ways to solve real-world problems. The disciplines covered include chemistry, physics, statistics, mathematics, biology, engineering and computer science. Candidates with a first degree in any of these subjects are invited to apply.
All PhD projects will involve a combination of basic research into analytical techniques focused by the demands of an application area. The supervisors include Warwick Analytical Science Centre (WASC) academics as well as industrial partners such as instrument manufacturers, technique users, pharmaceutical companies, consultants and analytical instrumentation users. Each MSc or PhD research project will be aimed at the creation of new instrumentation and techniques or improvements to existing methods to solve problems that cannot be tackled now.

Studentships are available for UK citizens for 2015 entry (full fees + consumables budget and minimum £13.7k stipend). EU students can apply for a limited number of stipends covering tuition fees and a consumables budget.”


Systems Biology aims to understand biological systems through the mathematical and computational modelling of the interactions of the systems's components. Early studies within this emerging field have led to the realisation that a genuine understanding of biology, health, disease and medicines requires an integrated approach to studying the processes involved.

The aim of the Systems Biology DTC is to provide state of the art training in the skills needed to underpin these more broadly-based research approaches, using a similar four year integrated MSc/PhD programme to MOAC (above). Systems biology requires a collaboration between modeller/theoretician and experimentalist such that the former understands the biological system and takes part in the design of new experiments, while the latter appreciates the principles of converting biological information into mathematical descriptions. A key aim is for the DTC to promote and develop such a two-way integration, and provide students with the requisite skills that could not possibly be provided by most life sciences PhD programmes.

Life Sciences PhD: Warwick Life Sciences Doctoral Training Grant

The new DTG is funded by the BBSRC and represents a new PhD track with excellent opportunities for training and research. The DTG is cross-campus, incorporating all of the departments and centres carrying out Life Sciences research. Chief among these are the Departments of Biology and Chemistry, together with Warwick HRI. Key associated centres include Warwick Systems Biology and Warwick Medical School.

All these centres are engaged in research of a particularly high quality and all departments received very high ratings in the latest RAE assessment exercises. Between them, they cover a spectrum of topics in Life Sciences research ranging from whole-organism animal and plant research to single-molecule structural biology. Interdisciplinary research is an increasingly prominent theme, with numerous groups engaged in collaborative studies on small- and large-scale biological problems. Finally, Warwick hosts a fantastic set of state of the art analytical technologies including mass spectrometry, sophisticated bioimaging facilities and many more.

The PhD programme will start in October 2009

Two types of entry are planned:

  • 4 year PhDs incorporating a 9-month training course and
  • 3-year PhDs for those already holding an MSc or other professional qualification or experience.
For more information please click here