PhD Programme


Fuel Cells and Their Fuels

The programme is four years full-time and has taught and research components. Further information is available on the programme  course finder entry.


Green energy is vital to our future. This PhD allows doctoral researchers to make a real difference in the area of sustainable energy and is designed to bridge the gap between academia and industry by crossing interdisciplinary boundaries in the areas of chemistry, engineering and social sciences.

By combining taught modules, industry and community related projects, and practical research, a holistic approach is developed of the main energy issues to allow researchers to become future leaders.

This 4 year programme combines 120 credits of taught modules with a full research PhD. The course is designed with flexibility in mind, with tailored elements for individual skill sets and needs.

During the course of the programme, students have the opportunity to undertake three mini-projects which includes a public engagement activity in 1st  year, a collaborative project in 2nd  year and an industrial placement in 3rd  year.

Why study this course?

The fuel cell sector is rapidly expanding, with a continued demand for skilled people in the field of energy cells. By studying this course, researchers have the opportunity to become experts in sustainable energy technology. A rounded approach is developed throughout the course enabling greater skills to inform public opinion, political decision making and bridges the gap between academia and industry.

By studying from a breadth of knowledge and expertise in the consortium of universities, students have the opportunity to study an unmatched level of projects related to their own interests and skill sets, as well as interacting with other students across a diverse range of subject disciplines.


Fees and Funding


Doctoral Researchers will receive a tax-free stipend of £14,600 per annum which may be increased up to £19,600 per annum when an industrial sponsor is obtained. The home university is responsible for stipend payments, reimbursement of expenses and other financial matters.


Residence criteria

To be eligible for the full award – consisting stipend and fees – the applicant must have:(a) ‘settled’ status in the UK, meaning no restrictions on how long they can stay
(b) been ordinarily resident in the UK for a minimum of 3 consecutive years before the programme begins
(c)  spent no part of that residence wholly or mainly for receiving full-time education

  • UK Nationals Applicants who are UK nationals and who have lived all their lives in the UK will automatically satisfy all three residence criteria.
  • EU Nationals EU nationals are not required to meet residence criteria (a) and (c). They may qualify for full awards if they fulfil criterion (b). Otherwise, they may qualify for ‘fees-only’ awards.

Professional memberships

Doctoral Researchers are strongly encouraged to apply for membership of relevant institutes or professional bodies. All CDT Researchers automatically qualify for membership with MEGS (Midlands Energy Graduate School) and the Energy CDT Network (Network of Energy Centres for Doctoral Training), which offers free student membership of the Energy Institute

The MEC and MEGS 

The Midlands Energy Consortium (MEC) comprises the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick and BGS. The consortium draws on the synergies, expertise and resources across three institutions' energy research activities.

To explore the energy research investment and collaborations led by the MEC, visit their website.

How to apply

To apply please send a copy of your CV to for consideration.  Your application will be considered by the CDT board for best fit with current available research topics and if there is suitable project you will be invited to attend interview.

If successful you will be offered a project at one of the partner institutions subject to EPSRC funding eligibility and admissions criteria at the University where you would be based.  

Supporting documents

All applications must be supported by the following documents, although these may be uploaded or sent separately from the main application form:

  • Copy of CV