Postgraduate opportunities

Are you an outstanding scientist or engineer who has recently completed, or expects to complete, their degree in a few months? Do you want to join our mission and help to shape the future of fusion energy with a world leading company? If so, our postgraduate opportunities at UKAEA may be for you.

Scientist using a microscope in a UKAEA lab

UKAEA works with many UK universities, which have fusion-related postgraduate opportunities in physics, materials science, technology, engineering, computing and robotics. Applications should be made to the universities directly, not UKAEA but if you have any general questions on UKAEA and its research priorities, please contact

Two UKAEA staff in the MAST Upgrade control room

Every year, we host exciting new PhD and MSc research opportunities with UK universities, addressing plasma physics, materials science and fusion engineering. 

Our postgraduate programmes usually start each October and we run a broad range of opportunities with different university departments. 

Develop your knowledge and skills by continuing your postgraduate studies with us and our professional scientists and engineers.

UKAEA and the Fusion Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) are running their annual PhD and MSc Open Day at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire on Wednesday 7 December 2022, where you can :

  • learn more about postgraduate opportunities in a wide range of fusion research and technology programmes
  • network with academics and students from a range of universities and the Fusion CDT and staff from UKAEA.
  • tour the fusion facilities at Culham
  • attend talks about specific areas of fusion research

To find out more and register to attend – please see  

Scientists inspecting laser system


Several universities run masters courses that have options for projects supervised by UKAEA staff, generally towards the end of the course, in particular:

A UKAEA researcher inspecting a robot arm

PhD opportunities

At any one time, there are at least 100 students doing PhDs with us at around 20 different universities. Many are in Centres for Doctoral Training, in particular the following, which have PhDs at consortia of universities including:

Applications are being sought for specific PhDs, fully funded by UKAEA and partner universities :

Fusion Research Fellowships at UKAEA

Each year the UK Atomic Energy Authority aims to appoint one or two outstanding scientists or engineers who have recently completed a doctorate to a two-year research fellowship in any field of fusion research conducted at UKAEA.

Candidates need to be highly motivated and show initiative. UKAEA’s Fusion Research Fellows have a high degree of autonomy and are expected to define their own research programme, which should be aligned with the interests of UKAEA. The quality of the research project proposal, together with the skills and experience of the candidate, are key factors in the selection process. Since academic excellence is one of the selection criteria, it is recommended candidates mention significant prizes or other recognition in their application.

Two engineers in the JET assembly hall

Managed and/or self-directed personal training and career development in UKAEA and elsewhere will be available. There will also be opportunities for conference attendance and involvement in scientific outreach activities. Periods of overseas placements with our collaborators will be encouraged. The appointments will be two-year fixed term staff positions and are often recruited for towards November / December every year with successful candidates expected to take up their appointments by the Summer.

Applications for 2023 Fellowships are now closed. Applications for 2024 Fellowships will be open in October 2023.

Faiz Rahman, UKAEA Graduate Mechatronics Engineer

Case study

Faiz Rahman joins UKAEA’s graduate scheme after completing his student placement

Graduate Mechatronics Engineer

Before Faiz was a graduate, he took part in a student placement with us at UKAEA in the very department that he works in now. After graduating he chose to return to our team, already safe in the knowledge that UKAEA was where he wanted to be.

current opportunities

Browse some of our current job vacancies below.

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