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PIADS Centre for Doctoral Training PhD Studentships

PMO-15E PIADS Centre for Doctoral Training PhD Studentships

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term   Commencing: September 2021

We have 5 prestigious PIADS PhD positions available. Students will join an exciting and well-established Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) hosted by IPIC (the Irish Photonics Integration Centre) in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), and in partnership with Queens University Belfast and the University of Glasgow.

Graduating PIADS doctoral students are equipped with the high level scientific and engineering research skills needed to address the challenges of developing new integrated photonic technologies for diverse applications as well as with the entrepreneurial, leadership and teamwork capabilities needed to lead and operate at the highest levels in industry.  The programme is a gateway to a vast array of career paths from data storage, semiconductors, telecommunications, biophotonics, medical technologies and more. PIADS CDT students can progress into a range of research and development, technical and management roles in industry or academia.

The ROI students will be based at one of the IPIC academic partners; Tyndall National Institute, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork, and will have access to an advanced structured training programme, to world class facilities and academic expertise that spans the partners above and University of Glasgow and Queen's University in Belfast.

Why Apply?

As a student on the programme you will join a vibrant, supportive and engaging cohort of over 40 students and will have the chance to travel and attend a bespoke week long induction programme with students from all three partners, an annual Winter & Summer School and have access to advanced training courses in areas such as semiconductor fabrication, packaging, biophotonics and entrepreneurship. In addition, IPIC and PIADS have many industry partners that will open up many research and career opportunities.

Students can apply to one of 5 Research Themes that include:

  • Monolithic and Heterogeneous Integration: ‘Printed photonics on anything’ - This Theme is developing a range of essential semiconductor material, device and integration technologies, with a key objective being to find new ways to combine photonics and electronics together on multiple substrates (silicon, ceramic, polymer etc.) with unprecedented simplicity and cost-effectiveness, using transfer printing.   
  • Packaging and Hybrid Integration: ‘Breaking the packaging cost barrier’  - The high cost of photonic packaging, which can amount to as much as 80% of total product cost in some applications, has restricted the deployment of photonics to a relatively small number of mass and niche markets to date (albeit markets of enormous value). This Theme is developing optical and electrical wafer-scale assembly and packaging processes and low cost cooling technologies that aim to ‘break this cost barrier’.
  • Communications: ‘Coherent everywhere: migration of coherent communications to the network edge’ - The future real-time internet will require a converged wireless/optical edge cloud with unprecedented ability to dynamically reconfigure in the wavelength and time domain, in response to rapid and massive bandwidth fluctuations and latency-critical service demands. Coherent communications systems offer the potential to deliver this vision, but are currently orders of magnitude too expensive. This Theme is addressing the question: can we build an ultra-low cost coherent transceiver and, if so, how will this transform metro-scale access network design?
  • Biomedical: ‘World’s smallest integrated imaging system for guided surgery’ - Today, surgeons are seeking the ability to generate high quality, diagnostic images deep within the body using micro-scale instrumentation, such as endoscopes and arterial guidewires. This Theme is developing new innovations in micro-scale cameras and surgical platform integration technologies, multi-spectral diagnostic imaging and in-body optical powering and data transmission to address this need and deliver a number of world firsts.
  • Research Frontiers: this aspect of the programme is exploring emerging new areas of photonics and electronics research spanning from theory through materials, devices, integration and packaging to advanced systems that will shape the future of optical science and engineering.

The 2021 student projects for each of the Research Themes are currently undergoing selection and will be added to this advert as they are selected.

Currently Available Projects:

  • Biomedical: Compact Multi-Spectral Imaging for surgical guidance and diagnostics.
  • Research Frontiers: Heterogeneous integration onto a polymer platform for quantum photonics

Further details can be found at:

Any queries relating to this position can be forwarded to Melissa Walsh by email

What we offer: A fully-funded PhD position that includes a stipend of €18,500/year for up to four years and full coverage of academic fees.

Application Instructions

Step 1 – Click here to download the Application form and indicate the Job Reference PMO-15E.

Step 2 - Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter, indicating your preferred research theme to

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations ( Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.