Details for 2021 Applicants

Application Details Below

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.

EaSI-CAT PhD Positions at St Andrews

Up to five EaSI-CAT PhD studentships are available at St Andrews with a start date of September 2021. The deadline for applications is Friday 8th January 2021, however, we will assess the number of applications at this stage and may extend the deadline if necessary. Further details on what to include in your application can be found below.

EaSI-CAT PhD Positions at Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh

EaSI-CAT PhD studentships based at Heriot-Watt or Edinburgh will be advertised here 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:

ESI Programme V2.png

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

  • At least one “letter of support” from an academic supervisor, line manager or equivalent
    (Letters of support can be included in your application. Alternatively, your referee can send the letter directly to criticatrecruit@st-andrews.ac.uk).

Completed applications should be sent to criticatrecruit@st-andrews.ac.uk. Applicants are also asked to carbon copy their application to Kevin Jones (kj34@st-andrews.ac.uk)


St Andrews: The deadline for applications is Friday 8th January 2021, however, we will assess the number of applications at this stage and extend the deadline if necessary.

Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh: Deadlines for applications will be made available in due course.

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. 


Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview 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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