Students complete 2 Mini Projects of 8 weeks duration and a 13-week Midi Project during their 1st year. These projects are designed to help expand the research horizons of students, before they decide on their PhD topic. The midi project is normally expected to continue on into a PhD.
The Mini projects are 8 weeks length (Nov – Jan and Feb – Apr), and run alongside other courses that students take during their MRes year. These projects give students an exposure to day to day research environment, and also help them explore new research areas that they have not worked in previously.
The Midi project is 13 weeks (May – Jul) and helps students test the ground with their PhD topic / PhD supervisor and Research Group before committing to doing their PhD in that area. Most students tend to continue on from their Midi to PhD in the same group.
PhD Project Topics
Throughout their 1st year, students are actively speaking to potential PhD supervisors around the University to help define a PhD project that fits their interests as well as the NanoDTC research themes and other requirements. This process is facilitated by the NanoDTC through opportunities to meet people from different groups soon after they start the programme.
The actual choice of PhD projects is made in March – April, from a list of projects that students may have asked potential supervisors to submit, or ones that supervisors might have submitted themselves. These proposals are all vetted by the NanoDTC External Advisory Board for ambition / risk and fit to NanoDTC themes before students choose one project that they are most interested.
Students then flesh out their chosen PhD proposal and defend it in front of a viva panel in July before embarking on their PhD in September. Brief descriptions of the PhD projects undertaken by our students are included below.