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Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
Group of Bernd Braunecker

Joining the group

We are always looking for excellent and highly motivated PhD students and postdocs. If you are interested the best is to make a first informal contact with Bernd Braunecker. After some exchange or a discussion it is usually clear how to proceed.

The only criterium we use to select candidates is excellence, and it does not matter for us who you are and from where you come. If you are good and enthusiastic, if we have the capacity and if we can secure funding then you are welcome. Condensed matter physics has still a large deficit of women though, and we wish to encourage you specifically to apply.

Potential PhD projects are described at the bottom of this page.

PhD students

Please feel free to get in touch with Bernd Braunecker at any time, even if you are undecided about whether it would be the good place or a good idea to do a PhD. If you wish to proceed with an official application you can use the official application site of the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Your first approach should be to not worry about funding and just contact us or apply. Listed below are, however, some scholarships that may be of interest if you come from one of these countries.

For students from the mainland China a number of PhD fellowships is available through the China Scholarship Council, and details can be found on the dedicated website on the CSC programme of the university. Check out the closing dates carefully (as they tend to change considerably). Notice that an offer from St Andrews must be made before the CSC makes its selection. This means you should contact us well in advance to the deadline. Notice also that a proof of fluency in English is required already at the stage of application.

Additional scholarships for applicants from Commonwealth countries are available through the international Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. There are various programmes depending on the country of origin. Deadlines are usually once per year but the closing date is different for each programme, and the availability of a specific programme is also a fluctuating factor unfortunately.

The university has a page on postgraduate funding that has a considerable list of funding opportunities.


There are two ways to join us as a postdoc. By direct funding through a grant from us, which is not available currently. Or by a personal grant from you. There are a number of funding possibilities around, The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Fellowships, Royal Society Newton International Fellowships, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, Stephen Hawking Fellowships, EU Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships, Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships, Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Furthermore if your home country is not the UK then there be postdoc grants from your national science foundations. It is best to get in touch directly with Bernd Braunecker to discuss the options.

Whenever there is an opening sponsored through us it will be announced here.

Potential PhD projects

The descriptions below contain some potential PhD projects. Notice that these projects are mainly indicative. The fields of research are evolving rapidly and new interesting topics are coming up quickly. Adjustments following your interests are also always possible. We are in addition very open to discuss other projects if they are promising for everyone involved.