This is an exciting opportunity to undertake a 4 year funded integrated PhD and MSc in Fluid Dynamics.

A key feature of this Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is that your supervisory team come from a range of disciplines from across the University. You will therefore be expected to have broad interests and be willing to learn beyond your core expertise. There will also be the expectation that you will spend an extended period working with either an industrial, environmental or external academic partner as part of your project.

You will be part of a cohort of research students with different academic backgrounds, all focusing on different aspects of fluid dynamics. During the selection process we will be looking for students who will be enthusiastic about learning with and from their peers, as well as the ability to undertake their own in-depth research.

During your time in the CDT you will develop substantial technical and transferable skills enabling you to build a successful career and become a leader in industry or academia. In addition to a wide range of computational, modelling and experimental techniques, you will have many opportunities to develop team working, communication and problem solving skills.

Duration: 4 years
Start date: 1 October 2021 (induction activities commence end of September)
Application deadline: 13 January 2021
Number of places: up to 10
Course structure: download

As part of the University of Leeds, the CDT works to the University’s Equality and Inclusion Strategy and Framework, more about how we are committed to this is available in our current Action Plan for Equality and Diversity.


Year 1 (Semester 1)

In semester one, you will undertake the following three compulsory modules. You will take a 30 credit Foundations of Fluids module, which is designed to allow students from different backgrounds to develop or reinforce understanding of core material including mathematical theory, numerical methods and experimental techniques. Alongside this, you will take a 15 credit Computational Fluid Dynamics Software module where you will be introduced to open and commercial packages to develop understanding of the use and limitations of CFD software, and introducing the fundamentals of high performance computing. You will also take a 15 credit Professional Development module which will enable you to begin developing a range of transferable skills, including: team-working, problem-solving, managing your PhD, project management, commercial awareness, technical and non-technical communication, etc.

Year 1 (Semester 2)

In semester two, and over the summer of your first year, you will make a provisional selection of your PhD project and supervisors, commence the background reading for your topic, and refine the specification of your chosen project so as to develop a clear set of research questions. In parallel with this, you will undertake a 60 credit Multidisciplinary Group Project, which will require you to work in teams of 3-5, supervised by staff from different disciplines, and mentored by a collaborator from industry. Your group project will involve both experiments and simulations, and your cross-disciplinary team will be expected to utilise the different strengths and backgrounds of its members. The process will include project planning, equipment and resource allocation, technical delivery and dissemination of results. You will also undertake a 15 credit Fluid-Structure Interaction module which explores theories of linear and nonlinear elastic and viscoelastic solids, techniques for coupling fluid flow and structure equations, and the development and application of appropriate numerical methods. Finally, you will take a further 15 credit Professional Development module which includes a short industrial placement.

Years 2-4

In year 2, you will complete the remaining 30 MSc credits by undertaking a further 15 credit Professional Development module and your choice of a 15 credit optional MSc module which is most suited to your own PhD research. You will also complete the initial phases of your PhD project. By the end of year 2, you will be expected to have: a thorough understanding of existing research related to your topic; developed the core scientific skills in order to be able to undertake your planned research; a clear description of the expected contribution to knowledge to come from your project; and a plan of action, and timeline, for achieving these goals, and writing your thesis, over the following two years.

In addition to undertaking your research in years two to four, you will be expected to take advantage of an enormous range of personal development activities that will be provided as part of the CDT. These include: undertaking a long-term (e.g. 3 months) placement with an industrial R&D group or with another internationally leading academic research group; attending, and contributing to, regular seminar series, workshops, conferences and other academic activities; developing further technical and transferable skills and applying them in your research and beyond (e.g. dissemination, knowledge transfer, etc.)

Please click here for a link to the Programme Catalogue.


A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,407 in Session 2020/21), together with a maintenance grant (£15,285 in Session 2020/21) paid at standard Research Council rates and a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG).

There are a number of highly competitive EPSRC Fully Funded Studentship Awards for Session 2021/22 covering the full cost of University of Leeds Fees plus Maintenance. Applications are open to both Home and International fee rated applicants, however the number of awards open for International applicants is limited by UKRI. Some additional places are also available for students who have their own funding.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

We are able to consider flexibility in how the programme is studied for those students unable to join the programme as a full time student. Please get in touch with us if you would like to explore this.

Entry requirements

A degree equivalent to a UK first class honours, or a high upper second class, in an engineering, mathematics or science discipline.

How to apply

All student are recruited to the CDT via two options: 1) Recruitment to industry specific research areas, or 2) Research project chosen in semester 2 rather than at recruitment stage.

To apply please complete a formal application for Integrated PhD study (click on ‘Apply online’).

  • Select ‘Research Postgraduate’ for type of form.
  • Please select ‘EPSRC CDT Fluid Dynamics’ as the course.
  • Start date: 1 October 2021 (induction activities will take place towards the end of September).
  • Please enter ‘CDT Fluid Dynamics’ in the ‘Research Area’ section. A research proposal is not required.
  • Please include a CV
  • Please include all transcripts and certificates for your degree(s).
  • Please also include a personal statement of your interests within the subject area – not more than half a side of A4.
  • After you submit your PhD application on-line you may get a message requesting you to send hard copies of your degree transcripts and references in sealed envelopes. Please ignore this. The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences do not require hard copies of your degree documents at the application stage, we only require these when you arrive in Leeds to register for your programme. References are requested by the Graduate School Office on your behalf at the point your application is received. Your referees are emailed a Faculty Reference Form to complete and return by email. If your referees want to provide their reference on headed paper an emailed scan is sufficient for our purpose.

Application deadline: Wednesday 13th January for September 2021 start
Number of places: up to 10

Selection will be determined by:

  • Formal application, CV, personal statement and transcripts of first degree.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a formal interview. Please note, we are able to reimburse travel expenses for UK applicants and we can facilitate online interviews for overseas candidates.

Selection will be based upon: academic performance and ability; aptitude for inter-disciplinary study and research; potential to contribute to, and benefit from, the cohort-based approach of the Centre; aptitude for undertaking independent study and research; and openness to develop new skills and capabilities.

Please note that we are able to facilitate an online interview if you are not based in the UK, and travel expenses will be reimbursed for applicants travelling to the University for an in person interview. Full details of this will be shared with you if you are invited to interview.

If you require any further information please contact the CDT team: