School of Physics

  • Head of School: Professor Jonathan Coleman
  • Director of Teaching & Learning (Postgraduate): Professor Hongzhou Zhang
  • Telephone: + 353-1-896 1675
  • Fax:+353-1-671 1759
  • How to apply: Please contact the School of Physics

School Description:

Research Programmes

The School of Physics, with 30 academic staff members, over 70 postdoctoral researchers and approximately 120 postgraduate research students, is the largest school of physics in Ireland and is an exciting and vibrant academic environment. The School has a well-established international reputation for innovative research in Magnetic, Electronic and Photonic Materials, Nanoscience, Computational Physics, Astrophysics, Quantum Science and Energy Science. Researchers in the School collaborate with groups from academia and industry across the world, funded through a broad range of national and international sources.

Many staff members of the School have research programmes in CRANN, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices ( which provide access to excellent research facilities including its Advanced Microscopy Laboratory (AML). The AML contains a suite of instrument that covers the entire resolution range within a single facility. Many of the School’s researchers are also active members of AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research), which is a Science Foundation Ireland funded centre that provides a partnership between leading researchers in materials science and industry that is also housed in CRANN. Researchers in the astrophysics have access to world-leading observational facilities and telescopes such as ALMA, the VLT, HST, LOFAR and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) through Ireland’s membership of the ESA, ESO and Trinity’s leading role in the I-LOFAR project. For computational projects, the School’s researchers have access to the state-of-the-art large scale supercomputing and visualisation facilities, for example, Research IT – Ireland’s premier high performance computing centre.

The School of Physics is committed to excellence in research and scholarship and fully endorses the university’s vision wherein scholarship and scientific discovery be further embedded in the culture of Trinity in terms of established and emerging fields. The School maintains an extensive network of Irish and international collaborations. Student exchange and extended visiting periods abroad are common during the duration of a Ph.D. degree, and contribute to widen the student knowledge and experience. In addition, the School of Physics generates many patents and several spin-off companies have been established from its research. The School has access to an annual research budget that surpasses €10 million and registers about 25 new postgraduate research students every year. It is School policy that research students are fully funded (covering fees and a stipend) from one of a variety of courses including scholarships, bursaries and research awards. Prospective students should discuss possible sources of funding with the potential supervisors and are encouraged to apply for available scholarships.

The School organises research training and educational programmes for all its postgraduate students. Research students are actively engaged in the life of the School and make an important contribution to its success, for example by teaching undergraduate students and engaging with outreach activities. Regular seminar series, induction courses and technical training are among the various activities offered to the students. Typically a Ph.D. degree takes four years, while a M.Sc. by research takes between one and two years.

How to apply for a PhD: Please visit the web pages of research groups in the School to see what areas may be of interest to you. Following contact with your potential supervisor/professor, if you are offered a place, you will be given a link to the admissions website through which you will need to make a formal application. Application requirements as well as information on available projects for the coming year are available at

In addition, applicants who wish to be notified of upcoming information sessions or funding deadlines should complete the School’s postgraduate expression of interest form at


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