Statistical Physics of Geometrically Frustrated Lattice Walks

Eligibility: UK/EU/International students with the required entry requirements

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: This opportunity will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified. Early application is therefore recommended.

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: PhDs can start in either January 2021, May 2021 or September 2021.

PI: Professor Damien Foster.


The Research Centre for Data Science (CDS) provides a hub to develop cutting edge research in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Future Computing Technologies and Statistical and Computer Modelling. The centre has a vocation to push the boundaries of both fundamental science and practical applications.

Project details

The thesis consists of studying lattice models for polymers in solution. These models consist of self-avoiding random walks with constraints and interactions which mimic the behaviour of the monomer and solvent interactions. These models have been very successful in modelling polymers in solution, but in two dimensions, a rich array of results have been found relating to details of the lattice (geometrical frustration).

The thesis will develop novel numerical methods to study generic models in an attempt to study the behaviour of these models on different lattices. It is hoped to develop massively parallel code exploiting scientific concepts of GPU (graphic card) programming in CUDA.

The project would benefit from a prior knowledge of statistical physics, phase transitions and thermodynamics, although a strong background in Mathematics or Computing would suffice.


This project is offered on a self-funded or externally funded basis. We particular welcome applications from candidates with funding from their home governments or sponsorship from companies.

For the academic year 2020/21:  English, Welsh and EU students can apply to borrow up to £26,445 to help cover the cost of their PhD.  Find out more about PHD Loans.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College which provides support with career development activities.

The candidate for this project will work in the Centre for Data Science amongst other researchers employing similar data science techniques to a wide variety of problems and applications. With access to cutting edge techniques and high performance computing resources, the Centre for Data Science is an ideal place to pursue a PhD in Data Science, Machine Learning, or Artificial Intelligence.

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.


  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

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