Skip to main content

Job Details

Please complete the sections in the form below, overwriting the information or amending as appropriate to your research project. PhD and MSc by Research Studentships are advertised on and Engineering’s website at: Funded PhD Opportunities | Lancaster University.

Project Title

Fully-funded PhD Studentship in the in-situ analysis and discrimination of insoluble beta-emitting activity for contaminated land and effluent characterisation.

Application deadline or accept year-round applications (please indicate which of these options you would prefer and provide a deadline if applicable): Application deadline please as we need to start by October 2024 as a requirement of the grant.

Funding Notes (see examples below, further examples can be found at: Funded PhD Opportunities | Lancaster University). We will update the stipend figure on your advertisement.

This project is fully-funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (fees and maintenance) for eligible UK students.

Project Description (please include any eligibility criteria, i.e., any particular qualifications or experience, for examples please consult Funded PhD Opportunities | Lancaster University).

This project addresses the requirement to detect and quantify beta-emitting activity in contaminated land and liquid effluents. Strontium-90 and hence its daughter product yttrium-90 feature prominently as products of fission and pose significant radiological consequences due to the relatively high mobility of strontium and its similarity to calcium in terms of uptake in biological systems. Further, whilst these nuclides have no discernible gamma-ray signature to enable stand-off characterisation directly, it is nonetheless important that their presence in-situ can be quantified because yttrium is relatively insoluble compared to strontium and hence presents a different dynamic in aqueous environments to strontium. The aim of this project is to determine whether these nuclides can be discerned in-situ via their bremsstrahlung emissions. A good degree in Engineering, Physics or related discipline is required, comprising ideally a significant experimental component.

Subject Areas (map your PhD project to a maximum of 10 subject areas from attached list)

Experimental physics, nuclear physics, engineering mathematics, mathematical modelling, computational physics, environmental chemistry.

Informal enquiries and how to apply (please see example text below to amend as necessary)

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Malcolm Joyce ( Candidates interested in applying should send a copy of their CV together with a personal statement/covering letter addressing their background and suitability for this project to Professor Joyce as soon as possible and by the closing date.


We specialise in:

  • nuclear safety and policy
  • radiation detection and safeguards
  • control and robotics
  • decommissioning and waste management
  • nuclear process chemistry
  • environmental behaviour
  • optimal nuclear fuel cycles

Our research capabilities are applied in the industrially and strategically important areas of decommissioning and clean up, waste management, geological disposal, nuclear safety and regulation, safeguards and security, fuel cycle development, existing operation support and new build generation III reactors and future generation IV reactors e.g. molten salt reactors.

Lancaster leads the new Lloyd's Register Foundation International Joint Research Centre for the Safety of Nuclear Energy, which is a joint undertaking with the Universities of Harbin (China), Tennessee and Coventry, is a partner in the Next Generation Nuclear Centre for Doctoral Training with Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool, and is active in supporting the work of government.

For example, we are leading a joint EPSRC/Department of Energy & Climate Change project, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, for the second phase of the National Nuclear Users' Facility, which will enable the most sensitive neutron multiplicity calorimeter in the world to be established based on Lancaster capability.

In addition, bilateral cooperation with ETHZ, Switzerland, is also carried out in the field of nuclear material analysis. Finally, optimisation of the nuclear fuel cycle combining extraction of uranium from seawater and its burning in small modular molten salt reactors is also studied at the laboratory level.

Company info
Energy Lancaster
Science & Technology Building
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert