Now Accepting Applications for September 2020 Start

EaSI-CAT Applications Now Open


EaSI-CAT (East of Scotland Industrial Catalysis) is a doctoral training programme operated by Edinburgh, St Andrews and Heriot-Watt Universities that incorporates the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Critical Resource Catalysis.

St Andrews Recruitment:

As part of this new centre, we have funding to support up to five PhD studentships. These positions are based at the University of St Andrews with a start date of September 2020.

  • The application deadline for positions at St Andrews is Monday 6th January 2020.

  • Interviews will be held on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th January 2020.

Details of how to apply can be found below.

Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Recruitment:

Details of the recruitment procedure for positions at Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities will be made available in due course.


Students enrolled in the EaSI-CAT programme receive research-skills training, complete a 3-month “Industry Challenge Project” and undertake a 3-month research placement within an industrial setting. Students also participate in three workshops per year to receive additional research training. An overview of an EaSI-CAT PhD is shown below:

Induction and Skills Training Week: Students begin their PhD studies with a week of skills training in which they meet other students enrolled on the EaSI-CAT programme and learn important research skills that will be reinforced throughout their PhD research.

Industry Challenge Projects: At the beginning of their second year of study, EaSI-CAT students undertake a 12-week research project in collaboration with an industrial partner. The project tackles an industrially relevant problem providing students with experience of a variety of chemical research.

3-Month Placements: Students enrolled in the EaSI-CAT programme have the opportunity to undertake a 3-month industrial placement as part of their studies. Placements are not required to align with PhD research, but rather allow students to experience new areas of research and develop complementary skills while working on a project of interest to industry.

How to Apply

Interested candidates are asked to submit an application that includes:

  • A curriculum vitae

  • A cover letter detailing why they wish to pursue a PhD

  • Transcript of grades obtained so far

  • At least one “letter of support” from an academic supervisor, line manager or equivalent.
    Letters of support can be sent as part of the application or e-mailed directly to
    criticatrecruit@st-andrews.ac.uk. Applicants are also asked to carbon copy their application to Kevin Jones (kj34@st-andrews.ac.uk).


Applications for St Andrews positions should be sent to criticatrecruit@st-andrews.ac.uk by Monday 6th January 2020. Please carbon copy your letter of support to Kevin Jones (kj34@st-andrews.ac.uk).

The Process


After the closing date, all applications will be assessed by a panel. Prospective candidates who make the shortlist will then be invited for an interview. 

Interview (St Andrews Positions for September 2020 start)

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview on Thursday 23rd - Friday 24th January 2020 in which they can meet with current PhD students and prospective supervisors. Each candidate is asked to deliver a 15 minute presentation on a research project they have been involved in. This is followed by general questions around your motivations for joining the EaSI-CAT programme. 


UK and EU students will be eligible for full fee studentships. UK and EU students will also be eligible to receive a stipend (currently £15,009 p.a.) throughout their 4-year course. Applications are welcomed from UK/EU students with, or expecting to gain, a first or upper second class honours MSci/MChem/BSc degree (or equivalent). For non-UK/EU candidates a limited number of Overseas Fees Scholarships may be available for outstanding candidates.

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What's On


EPSRC Grant: EP/L016419/1

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University of St Andrews

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