Applied Optics Group

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PhD and MSc by research

The Applied Optics Group hosts students studying for 3-year PhD and 1-year MSc (by research) degrees in the School of Physics and Astronomy

In addition to funded positions, which are advertised when they become available, we welcome applications from self-funded students at any time, and can also support strong candidates in applying for external funding. Various university scholarships are listed on the ‘Find a Scholarship‘ page.

Research areas

PhD and MSc projects are available in a broad range of areas around biomedical imaging and sensing technology, including in optical coherence tomography, photoacoustic imaging, confocal microscopy and endomicroscopy, optical design, light-tissue interaction and modelling, optical sources and fast tunable lasers, signal processing methods and GPU processing. See the research overview and research projects pages for more details.

A list of potential projects  is below, these are not exhaustive, please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss alternatives within our broad areas of work. Funded projects are advertised on the vacancies page:

List of MSc Projects 

List of PhD Projects 

Research environment

AOG postdocs and research students are all housed in dedicated space in the University’s Photonics Centre, a few minutes walk from the Ingram Building, with all the necessary optics research facilities on hand. The group is highly collaborative; you will be work as part of a friendly international team with a range of expertise. We have weekly group meetings and monthly internal research seminars, as well as regular external speakers to complement the wider School of Physical Sciences colloquium programme. All of our students are expected to regularly attend national and international workshops and conferences, and we often host events here in Kent. A range of training and networking opportunities are available through SEPnet and the Kent Graduate School, and with the agreement of your supervisor, there are opportunities to be involved in outreach and undergraduate teaching. The Kent Postgraduate handbook provides more details on studying for a PhD at Kent.

Application process

Applications are made through the University’s main admissions site, but we prefer candidates to make contact with a potential supervisor (Prof Adrian PodoleanuDr George DobreDr Adrian Bradu or Dr Michael Hughes) to discuss opportunities before applying. If you are unsure who would the best match for your interests, please direct general inquiries to the Head of Group, Prof Adrian Podoleanu. When applying via the admissions site, select either MSc Physics or PhD Physics, and be sure to include the name of your preferred supervisor. You do not need to provide a detailed research proposal (unless required for a particular Kent scholarship scheme) but should clearly set out your motivation for obtaining a research degree in applied optics, state the project or area to you wish to focus on, and highlight your skills and experience.