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Photon Science Institute

SPIE-Manchester Postgraduate Scholarship

The SPIE-Manchester Postgraduate Scholarship is a transformative program designed to increase diversity and bridge the skills gap in optics and photonics. This unique scholarship provides full fees and living allowance (stipend), specifically tailored for those interested in returning to research following a career break or time in industry, who have followed unconventional career paths, or wish to pursue part-time study due to responsibilities such as caring for dependents.

Key benefits

Two ladies wearing protective shaded glasses and peering into a a wired motor

Delivered by the Photon Science Institute in partnership with the Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, STFC SciTech Daresbury and local industrial partners, this program offers a distinctive opportunity:

  • An optional, industry-funded placement of up to 12 months
  • Collaborate with leading optics and photonics companies
  • Gain invaluable skills
  • Potentially secure permanent, highly-skilled technical roles.

The SPIE-Manchester Postgraduate Scholarship offers more than traditional funding. Become part of a collaborative cohort, receive exclusive career development programs, network with industry leaders, and achieve professional growth through SPIE membership. Scholars will also have the chance to present their research at a European SPIE meeting, with additional support available for those with caring responsibilities.


  • This scheme is primarily targeted at home-fee (UK resident) applicants, however exceptional overseas candidates can apply.
  • This scheme can be used to part-support students with other funding – please enquire for more information.
  • Applicants from under-represented groups in photonics or higher education (including women, members of ethnic minority groups, those with disabilities, those with caring responsibilities etc.) will be prioritised for this funding.
  • A first-class or upper second-class undergraduate degree and Master’s degree is desirable, but evidence of equivalent experience will be considered.

Interested in learning more?

If you meet some or all of the criteria and are interested to learn more, you are encouraged to get in touch via The scheme is open throughout the year, with PhD programs starting in September, January or April.