PhD opportunities

Applying for a PhD

For prospective applicants wishing to start a PhD in our group in 2023/24, there is departmental funding available with money provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) or the Heilbronn Institute. Please see the deparmental funding page for more information.

These can fund PhD projects under the supervision of any member of staff in our group. These studentships cover stipend and support for travel and research training. Furthermore, all studentships cover the amount of home-level fees (applicable to long-term residents of the United Kingdom) and a selected, limited number of the EPSRC studentships account also for the full amount of overseas fees (applicable to international applicants). Chinese nationals with overseas status have an additional way to have the difference between home and overseas fees covered by applying to a CSC scholarship. More details are available on our funding page.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday 25 January 2023 at 5pm UK time.

Have a look at our research interests and members section to choose potential supervisor(s). Informal, general enquiries from interested candidates can be sent to Andrea Brini.

How to apply

Please use the University online system to submit your application, and see general guidance on how to apply.

The application form is in two parts. Part one needs to be filled out with your personal details.

Part two contains your choice of course applications as well as supporting documents. For this part, refer to the following instructions and required documents specific to our group:

  • Under "Course details":

    • Select "Standard PhD", "Full time", "School of Mathematics and Statistics" in the first three fields.

    • Indicate "Algebraic Geometry and Mathematical Physics" as your research topic of choice.

    • Tick "yes" by the field "Do you know how you want to fund your studies?", and then from the drop-down menu choose "Scholarship or studentship"

    • Choose "I am thinking about funding my studies this way" from the last drop down menu.

  • Under "References": upload two reference letters, or contact details of two referees who can provide you with a reference.

  • Under "Supporting statement": refer to the guidance notes on the webpage for what to include.

  • Chinese nationals only: under "Scholarship application", tick "China Scholarship Council". The other fields require you to present a research project. You may need to get in touch with your potential supervisor to discuss the details.

  • Under "Research Course Supporting Documents": we require you to upload a CV in this section. If available, please also upload your transcripts and your Master thesis work.

PhD Life In The Algebraic Geometry and Mathematical Physics Group

There is a growing number of PhD students working on a variety of areas in the Algebraic Geometry and Mathematical Physics Group. In the department there are many other PhD students to talk to working in Algebraic Topology, Number Theory, General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory, Category Theory and Differential Geometry.

The Sheffield department is quite an active one. Each week there is ample opportunity to attend a variety of seminars run by various research groups. The algebraic geometry and mathematical physics postgraduates themselves organise a weekly reading group where they work through a set of lecture notes on a particular topic.

In 2022-23 we are running a learning seminar on motivic integration.

Past topics included

  • intersection theory

  • algebraic stacks

  • toric varieties

  • algebraic surfaces

  • Donaldson-Thomas theory

  • K3 surfaces

  • parts of Ravi Vakil’s Foundations of Algebraic Geometry

  • Robin Hartshorne’s notes on Deformation Theory

  • various topics from Mirror Symmetry

More broadly, there are several postgraduate reading groups in areas other than algebraic geometry and mathematical physics. To name a few, there have been study groups on Topological K-Theory, V.I. Arnold’s book Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, Applied Topology and Galois Representations.