Closing date: Please see individual adverts

Key Information

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Swansea University is in receipt of major funding from the UK research and Innovation (UKRI) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Functional Industrial Coatings.

The CDT, led by Professor James Sullivan and Professor David Penney, has been co-created with a range of industry partners to produce 50 doctoral graduates who will develop the next generation of functional coated products. These include next generation energy producing coatings, smart release anti-corrosion systems and antimicrobial systems for healthcare. The centre will accelerate the translation of academic research from the laboratory to the factory whilst developing the industry leaders of the future.

The CDT will enrich graduates with additional professional, ethical and communication skills that will enhance their career prospects. Our graduates will actively engage with the wider community to promote coatings and STEM more generally with a view to increasing participation across the population.

“Coatings are ubiquitous throughout day-to-day life and ensure the function, durability and aesthetics of millions of products and processes. The use of coatings is essential across multiple sectors including construction, automotive, aerospace, packaging and energy and as such the industry has a considerable value of £2.7 billion annually with over 300,000 people employed throughout manufacturers and supply chains.

Most coatings surfaces are currently passive and so an opportunity exists to transform these products through the development of functional industrial coatings. For example, the next generation of buildings will use coating technology to embed energy generation, storage and release within the fabric of the building. Photocatalytic coated surfaces can be used to clean effluent streams and anti-microbial coatings could revolutionise healthcare infrastructure.

This CDT will provide a cohort of 50 Engineering Doctorate research engineers with a holistic knowledge of functional coatings development and manufacture, and I am positive that their work will have a significant impact across multiple industrial sectors” – Professor James Sullivan


The COATED brand of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Functional Industrial Coatings is encompassed within the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A), a £25 million project funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) via the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO).  The aim of the project is to increase the affluence of Wales and the UK by delivering highly skilled individuals that can enter the industrial sector and drive the knowledge economy, improving employment prospects and prosperity for all and will offer 300 Doctorate as well as a significant number of MSc by Research places over its lifetime.


Candidates must normally hold at minimum (or expect to obtain by the start date) an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level. See ‘country specific information for European and international applicants (available at the bottom of the page)'.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 6.0 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent. Details on the Swansea University English Language entry policy can be found here

Studentships for October 2023 entry are open to candidates of any nationality; however, please note:  

  • International students (including EU countries) can apply, but due to UKRI funding rules, no more than 30% of the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Functional Industrial Coatings projects can be allocated to international students. Once the cap is reached, studentships will only be open to applicants eligible for tuition fees at the UK rate, as defined by UKCISA regulations.
  • Further details about eligibility, including information about the ‘international cap’ can be found at: Eligibility (identifying if you are a home or international student) - UKRI.

NB: If you are holding a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility.  

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


Each scholarship covers the full cost of tuitions fees and a tax-free stipend (currently £22,000 p.a.), each for a period of four years, subject to meeting University progression requirements.

How to Apply

Please visit the individual project advertisements for details of how to apply. New projects will be added as they become available.

Further information about the CDT can be found on the M2A website.

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact