Turbulent plasma in laboratory and space

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

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

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

Application deadline: 31st March 2020

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020

For queries contact Prof Eunjin Kim or Dr Bogdan Hnat.


Applications are invited from ambitious and self-motivated candidates to study turbulent plasma in laboratory settings. Laboratory plasma flows tend to self-organise into jet-like zones and this process is believed to be fundamental to the operating principles of any future fusion reactor. As a driven and far-from-equilibrium system, turbulent plasmas need the application of modern statistical method in order to quantify their evolution.

Two full 3.5 years studentships are available for UK and EU students using Cotutelle agreement between the Coventry University and the University of Warwick. Individual students will benefit from being enrolled at two institutions, with joint supervision of each project. Candidates should hold or expect to hold a high 2.1 or 1st (or equivalent) in Physics or related subject area.

The project will focus on quantitative characteristics of non-equilibrium evolution of plasma turbulence in the magnetically confined fusion plasma. Data analysis methods derived from the information theory, such as information length, will be applied to study the temporal and spatial variability of the fluctuations in these systems.

Specifically, the project will investigate non-equilibrium statistics and self-organisation of fusion plasmas, focusing on the L-H (Low-to-High) transition -- one of the greatest discoveries in fusion research -- where plasma confinement improves dramatically when an input power exceeded a critical value. This is believed to be triggered by the suppression of turbulent transport at the edge of the fusion reactor by self-organisation of shear flow. This process is not well understood.

The project will characterise quantitatively the non-equilibrium state of the plasma during this transition using information theory. It will involve analysis of experimental data and numerical simulations of the Fokker-Planck equations for a prey-predator model of the L-H transition.


Fully funded PhD studentship, which includes bursary plus tuition fees.


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 and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

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

To find out more about the project please contact Prof Eunjin Kim.

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.

Apply to Coventry University