Postgraduate Research Opportunities

PhD projects currently available in the School of Physics are listed below. If one of these projects interests you, please get in touch with the project leader, providing the necessary information needed for an initial contact. In particular indicate your degree, your final or expected mark, your previous research experience if any, why you are interested in the projects, and why you believe you are a suitable candidate.

IRC Postgraduate Scholarship Programme 2022

The call for IRC Postgraduate Scholarship Programme 2022 is now open and the deadline is 20 Oct 2022

Research Opportunities

This is a fully funded 4-year position in the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland to work on a collaborative project in the group of Prof. Cormac McGuinness. The 4 year programme is a structured PhD programme. The funding is at €19,000 per annum.


The project will involve the investigation of novel nanostructures that incorporate functional metal-porphyrin molecules through on-surface synthesis techniques. The experimental investigations will explore the electronic structure of these systems through surface science techniques and through advanced x-ray spectroscopic techniques that are available at the synchrotron radiation facilities of Europe. These techniques would include STM, AFM-Raman, XPS, and RAS in Dublin and high resolution core-level XPS, x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS/NEXAFS) and angle-resolved photoemission (ARPES) at synchrotron beamlines. Our interest is in the electronic structure arising from differing central metals in the porphyrin meshes, the influence this has on the interactions with adsorbates and the potential function of these novel nanostructures as sensors. Experiments and theoretical approaches will serve to underpin the basic applied research in this area, and will work towards new sensors and molecular electronic devices. Experimental investigations will occur via x-ray spectroscopic experiments investigating electronic structure, in-situ on-surface synthesis and chemical interactions is planned for facilities such as the BESSY II synchrotron, Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, Germany, the MAX-IV Laboratory, Lund University, Sweden and the Diamond Light Source, Oxford, UK.


The successful applicant will have a strong physics, nanoscience or physical chemistry background, they must demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Candidates will be expected to take ownership of their project. It is essential that the applicant has an enquiring and rigorous approach to research as well as good team-working, observational and communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in English). Previous research experience in contributing within any collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable, while experience in functional materials, in advanced x-ray spectroscopies or synchrotron-based experiments, or sensor research though not essential would be highly valued in any applicant. In general, training in appropriate areas will be provided.

The successful applicant will be joining a group of researchers with parallel research projects, and will be primarily based in the School of Physics in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland but will collaborate with researchers from the Senge group in the School of Chemistry, TCD and researchers from the School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, as well as beamline scientists at a number of facilities listed above.


Due to funding restrictions, only Irish, EU or UK students are eligible for this funded studentship. Exceptional non-EU students may be considered for a further University award. The start date for the PhD is from September 2023. The deadline for applications is as soon as possible but no later than 11th August 2023. The position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

For more information:

Applicants should include in their application a motivation letter, CV and contact info for 2 referees. Informal enquiries to Prof. McGuinness are encouraged ( ). More detailed information can be available upon request.

Funding Information

Some projects are associated with grants, perhaps from SFI or the EU, which pay a student's fees and a stipend. Others do not and rely on the student applying for funding. These applicants can apply for funding from the following sources: 

  • Irish Research Council (deadline 21 October)
  • TCD PG Scholarship and School of Physics Studentship schemes.
  • For Chinese students who are interested in applying to the Chinese Scholarship Council for funding. Further information on the joint TCD-CSC scholarship is available here.
  • Students that are eligible to apply for international PhD scholarships should contact a prospective School of Physics academic supervisor, for more details contact, email Physics Postgraduate