Universality principles and scaling theory of disordered systems at three dimensions and beyond

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

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 21)

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

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

To find out more about the project, please contact Dr Nikolaos Fytas.


Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

Project details

The theory of disordered systems is a notoriously difficult discipline mainly because exactly solved non-trivial problems, which could serve as guidance to validate approximate and numerical methods, are scarce. The aim of the proposed PhD research is to provide a new insight into problems that remain, even after 40 years of research in the field, still ambiguous. In particular, the project aims at clarifying the effects of random-field quenched disorder on the critical behaviour of Ising-type lattice spin models. The work to be conducted will be centred on the following objectives:

(i) Establish the universality class of the three-dimensional bimodal random-field Ising model (RFIM), which is the, experimentally, most relevant case. Discrete, bimodal fields have received less attention over the years due to computational difficulties connected to degeneracies in the ground-state manifold. Combining our developed toolkit of finite-size scaling techniques with a sampling method based on graph-theoretical algorithms that allows for the unbiased sampling of degenerate ground states, we will perform targeted simulations of the bimodal RFIM to investigate its critical behaviour at D = 3. (ii) Complete a complementary ground-state numerical study of the model at spatial dimensions around the expected upper critical dimension Du = 6.


Tuition fees and bursary.


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. 

Candidate specification

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit:  https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/making-an-application/research-entry-criteria/

Additional requirements

Familiarity and experience with writing C/Fortran codes in Linux environment. Experience with the use of supercomputing platforms. Experience in numerical simulations in Statistical Physics would be highly beneficial.

How to apply

For more information about his project, please contact Dr Nikolaos Fytas

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

Details of all available research opportunities at Coventry University can be found via



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