How to Apply?

How to Apply

New PhD Projects for Oct 2020 start are now live.

We receive a large volume of applications and we would advocate submitting an application at your earliest convenience. The final deadline is 03 January 2020

All PhD applications should be made via the application online portal:

Apply for an INSPIRE PhD here.

Apply for any other GSNOCS PhD here.

Please submit only one application. Multiple projects (up to 3) can be listed on 1 application.

You will need to upload the following:

  1. An application form - Please ensure you complete the ‘References’ section of the application form very carefully, with the names and email addresses of two current academic referees as these referees will be sent a direct automated reference request within 2 weeks of an application submission. It is important for candidates to identify referees who will provide references that are detailed enough and contain sufficient information to be evaluated. A mere five-line reference is unlikely to provide the level of support necessary. Please DO NOT upload references with your application form unless they are on official University/Company headed paper, dated within the last two months and hold an original signature.
    NB: Please do not upload separate referee documents stating just your referee contact details otherwise a direct automated reference request will not be triggered.
  2. A personal statement (or complete the section in the application form)
  3. An up-to-date curriculum vitae giving details of your academic record and listing the names and contact details of two academic referees (these must be independent i.e. not involved in your target projects)
  4. Your academic transcripts - A copy of all your official degree transcripts (BSc & MSc - as appropriate). You are required to submit all individual modules and marks achieved to date for all degrees undertaken. This must be an official document from your University or an official translated copy. If you have completed both a BSc & an MSc we will require both sets of transcripts. If you are still studying an MSci then please submit transcripts received so far minus your final year.
  5. Your academic certificates - A copy of all your official degree certificates (BSc & MSc - as appropriate). This must be an official document from your University or an official translated copy. i.e. if you have completed both a BSc & an MSc we will require both degree certificates. Absence of full details about the marks/grades gained for particular degrees, in the form of an official transcript, makes it difficult for the project supervisor to properly consider an application. Candidates are strongly encouraged to ensure that full supporting documentation is provided at the time of application.
    NB: If your transcripts are not in English, at this stage of the recruitment process we would accept an unofficial translation, however if your application is taken further (to offer stage) we will require an official certified translation of your degree transcripts and certificates.
  6. A University of Southampton recognised English Language equivalent certificate (if applicable). For more information please visit the University English Language Proficiency page.

Please remember to include a short statement of your research interests and rationale for your choice of project in the Personal Statement section of the application form.

As far as possible please upload all documents in PDF format.

We encourage candidates to list 2 or 3 projects in which they are interested with a provisional ranking of preference to help us circulate your application among the pool of potential supervisors.

Remember please submit only one application. Multiple projects (up to 3) can be listed on 1 application.

You are encouraged to contact potential supervisors by email to discuss project-specific aspects of the proposed research at an early stage. General enquiries should be directed to the GSNOCS Office Team –

Our recruitment philosophy

GSNOCS seeks the best prospective research students regardless of their particular scientific interests. We put a huge amount of effort into the recruitment process to meet this objective. We receive hundreds of applicants and interview around 100 candidates a year. Those candidates invited for interview spend a whole day at NOCS getting to know the institution, meeting supervisors, and going through the interview process. International candidates will be offered a Skype interview. Please check the projects(s) for any restrictions on applications e.g. eligibility criteria before applying.


We welcome applications from strong candidates at any time outside the normal schedule if you are self-funding or have a scholarship. Most projects follow the timetable below but some externally-funded projects become available throughout the year.

The bulk of our projects are advertised from October to December with a deadline for applications of 03 January 2020 and interviews in late February / early March. Successful applicants enrol for the start of the new academic year in the following October.

Please see the different types of funding available for our PhDs.