Renewables – jobs and funded PhDs

  • Great post by my colleague Alison Parkinson on career paths in renewables. More here.
  • Interested in funded PhDs in offshore renewable energy? Open to STEM students, including physics, IDCORE is an industry-related doctorate.

IDCORE is a four year programme where students follow a fully integrated programme of intensive, doctoral level, taught courses in electrical, mechanical and offshore engineering, business, economics, marine biology, renewable energy resources, and societal impacts, and a, three year, industry based research project. The courses have a strong focus on problem based learning and are designed to develop practical, team working and transferable skills alongside technical expertise. Each research project is sponsored, and led by an offshore renewable energy company.

Project sponsors range from large multinational companies to very small enterprises. They represent energy companies, supply chain companies, certification agencies, consultants, test centres and original equipment manufacturers.

There are 10 places per year funded by EPSRC and NERC.  The programme leads to a jointly awarded EngD from the Universities of Edinburgh, Exeter and Strathclyde and has a fantastic record of graduates moving into employment.

Full details at IDCORE

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Thinking of doing a PhD? Read this first…

Vitae logo

The Vitae website is written for researchers and has a really good section on careers.

According to the UK Postgraduate Research Experience Survey most doctoral researchers cite a career-related reason for their choice to undertake a doctorate. Contrary to some expectations, research into doctoral graduate careers shows that the majority of people who gain a doctoral degree enter career sectors outside academia. In addition,  a significant proportion of people starting a doctorate do not have a firm idea of what they want to do as a career.

This post gets you thinking about some of the reasons for – and against – a PhD and busts a few myths along the way.  Read more here

3 Minute Thesis Competition- physics winner

The University of Edinburgh 3 Minute Thesis Competition final took place on 22 June 2018.  Nine finalists from three Colleges competed to deliver the best research presentation in three minutes with one slide. Warwick Wainwright (GeoSciences),  Gavin Woolman (Physics & Astronomy) and Sorcha Gilroy (Informatics) represented the College of Science and Engineering. Gavin won in the ‘People’s Choice’ category with his presentation ‘Better Thermoelectrics through high pressure’.

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Looking for MSc funding?

My colleague in our Information Team, June Maguire has highlighted this funding:

We’re seeing quite a few students still looking for funding. Some of these are Masters students who’ve came from other universities, and they haven’t heard about the postgraduate student loans that have now been introduced in all parts of the UK.

Thought it was worth sending a reminder about this funding as students can still apply for it (unlike most other funding e.g. research councils, where the next round of funding will be for 2018/19 courses). For example, if you are eligible for funding by SAAS (the Scottish funding body), you can apply for funding up until the end of March 2018. The loans are up to £10,000 pounds, with up to £5,500 for fees and the rest for living costs.

Each country has its own system, and there are some significant differences in the level of courses funded, as well as the repayment systems. You’ll find comprehensive guides to these loans and how to apply here.

Students will also find information and links to the guides/application info on our website. We can also direct them to the funding section of our website to access other useful sources. Some examples:

Edinburgh 4 Learning, online portal for current students, undergraduate and postgraduate, providing details of funding opportunities available to support you through your studies. You must register with your university email address to access this database.

Research Professional – a vast, up-to-date database of research-based funding opportunities, including doctoral and postdoctoral awards, travel and conference grants, prizes, and hardship grants, and news about research policy. Staff and students of the University may register free of charge (email address must end @ed.ac.uk) to access the databases, receive daily email updates and alerts, and save interesting items and searches.

More details here

Fast track STEM teaching qualification

There is a new teacher education scheme at University of Dundee.  It’s a fast track STEM course which combines the one-year teaching qualification with the induction year.  The subjects it includes are Physics, Chemistry, Computing & Mathematics.

The benefits are that graduates will be in the classroom quicker and they are paid the probationer salary (£22,500) from the outset.  This is a two-year pilot and the first year of the course runs from January 2018 to January 2019.  You apply directly to the University of Dundee and the closing date is 17th October.

To find out more have a look at Dundee’s website

Dundee are still offering the more traditional PGDE Secondary alongside this new option.

Industry collaborative funded PhDs in Applied Photonics

CDT Photonics | Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics
Meeting industry’s need for highly skilled engineers in the photonics-electronics interface

The CDT in Applied Photonics works with companies developing photonics-enabled products and services, from consumer technology and mobile computing devices to healthcare and security. Each of their collaborations is built around an EngD or PhD student, providing them with masters-level technical and business qualifications, along with an industrially-connected doctoral research project.

What is an EngD?
The EngD is an alternative to a traditional PhD aimed at students wanting a career in industry.

Students spend about 75% of their time working directly with a company in addition to receiving advanced-level training from a broad portfolio of technical and business courses. On completion students are awarded the PhD-equivalent Engineering Doctorate.
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics has a number of FULLY FUNDED VACANCIES for Engineering Doctorate (EngD) and PhD positions in Applied Photonics. An EngD combines PhD level research, technical courses & research based in industry. EngD stipend in the region of £21,000 are available for UK students and EU students who are resident in the UK. PhD stipends are in the region of £15,000.

Visit www.cdtphotonics.hw.ac.uk for further information about the CDT in Applied Photonics,  twitter feed @CDTAP or contact EngD@hw.ac.uk

Love Theoretical Physics?

One of graduates, Tomáš Gonda,  shares his personal experience  of this interesting and alternative Masters programme.  If you want to apply, closing date is coming up fast. Deadline date of February 1, 2017

Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) is a fairly new Masters programme offered by the Perimeter Institute (PI), one of the leading research centres in theoretical physics. It was created with an idea to offer an alternative to other similar programmes by avoiding grade-chasing aspect of these. This would enable students to focus on learning whatever they are most interested in without being forced to compete with the rest of the class.

Despite the fact that there are no official grades, there is an interview after each of the six core courses. It takes form of an informal discussion on the subject which can take many directions. A certain standard is required to pass each of these courses, but it is very rare that someone would fail the programme because of this.

The courses are often being taught by guest lecturers from other institutions apart from PI faculty members. This can be a bit of a hit and miss. Most of them are very good, but from time to time a lecturer who is not familiar with the context and style of courses can have issues adapting. Courses follow slightly different structure, being only 3 weeks long with a lecture every day, which might be one of the reasons for that.

One of the most important aspects of PSI is that it gives students a unique opportunity to interact with world-class researchers and this is very much encouraged. Thanks to the generally very open atmosphere at PI and the fact that the class is quite small, it is easy to get in touch with any of the faculty members or numerous interesting visitors throughout the year. The research aspect of PSI is also reflected in a sort of thesis carried out together with anyone from PI, Institute for Quantum Computing or University of Waterloo.

And last but not least, everything that one needs during the year is provided (meals, accommodation, laptop, etc.)

New student loans for taught postgraduate courses

The Scottish government has now introduced the new student loans for taught postgraduate courses up to Masters level, available from 2017-18 academic year. The maximum loan is £10,000, with up to £5,500 for tuition fees and £4500 for living costs, and there’s no limit on the funded places.

They are for UK students who meet the residency requirement (must have been resident in Scotland for 3 years, not including for periods of study). EU students will be able to apply for tuition fee loans from 2018 academic year. Applications open in April.

There’s more information now on the SAAS website

Interested in Sustainable Energy including Nuclear?

kicAre you interested in the future of Sustainable Energy? If your answer is yes, find out the possibilities of KIC InnoEnergy Master School. International Master Programs offering unique mobility options, a combination of engineering and innovation, and funding through scholarships /tuition waivers to the majority of their students.

When: 18th October, 1 – 2pm
Where: David Hume Tower LG.06

EIT InnoEnergy believe in a network of students, researchers and professionals from different nations combining their knowledge to create and innovate sustainable solutions for the future.

KIC InnoEnergy Master School is a European based institution offering 7 different Master programs within the field of sustainable energy. Programs are supported by a consortium of 11 technical universities, 2 top business schools, 6 research institutes and 7 leading industry partners around Europe. This enables pan-European collaborations between students, institutions and industry. They believe that engineering should be combined with innovation and commercial awareness. Students therefore attend two of Europe’s top Business Schools studying management and entrepreneurship courses.

Master programs include those in:  Renewable energy, Environomical Pathways for Sustainable Energy Systems, Smart Electrical systems and networks, Nuclear Energy, Energy for Smart Cities, Energy Technologies

Partner Universities are located in

Sweden – KTH Royal Institute of Technology & UU Uppsala University
Germany – KIT Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
France – ENSTA Paris Tech & Grenoble INP
Spain – UPC Polytechnic University of Barcelona
Portugal – IST Technical Institute of Lisbon
Poland – AGH University of Science and Technology & Silesian University of Technology
Netherlands – Technical University of Eindhoven
Belgium – University of Leuven 

To register for this event, please click on this booking link.

Details of this event can also be found on MyCareerHub.