Scholarships & funding opportunities

Semiconductor disk lasers for applications in sensing and quantum technologies

This scholarship is to fund a PhD project in the Institute of Photonics. Further details can be found in the project section.


Institute of Photonics

The Institute of Photonics (IoP), established in 1996, is a commercially-oriented research unit at the University of Strathclyde, the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2012/13 and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14.  The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics.  The offices and laboratories of the IoP are based in Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus.  We are part of the Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) initiative and co-located with the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics.  Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics.



  • Value Full funding
  • Opens 2 February 2016
  • Deadline 1 October 2016
  • Help with Tuition fees
  • Duration 3.5 years


To enter our PhD programme applicants require an upper-second or first class BSc Honours degree, or a Masters qualification of equal or higher standard, in Physics, Engineering or a related discipline.  Full funding, covering fees and stipend, is available for UK and EU nationals only.

Project Details

The unique combination of spectral flexibility and frequency precision that can be achieved in semiconductor disk lasers makes then an enabling tool in atomic physics and spectroscopy. Such precision tools are the building blocks on which future growth in key areas such as quantum technologies and sensing will be based.

Quantum technologies and sensing are priority topics at national and European level, and hence extremely fast moving. Strathclyde has played an important role in shaping research on semiconductor lasers for these applications and this studentship is designed to keep it at the forefront. Hence, working with key partners such as the National Quantum Technologies Hub for Sensors and Metrology (Prof. Kai Bongs), the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (Dr John-Mark Hopkins), this project will seek to develop semiconductor disk lasers in a robust format and in a sub 5 litre form factor. This improvement in robustness and reduction in size have been identified by the National Quantum Technologies Hub as essential for the next generation of mobile optical clocks. If such clocks can be built, they will open up applications in, for example, gravitational surveying for civil engineering and satellite free navigation for submarines. These high impact, real-world applications have driven the significant governmental investment in quantum technologies.