Who should apply?
We welcome applications from outstanding and ambitious students, with the potential of becoming extraordinary scholars. We select less than 2% of the applications that we receive, and the only selection criteria is excellence.
Successful applicants have a very diverse background, including engineering, mathematics, physics, biology, etc. Our research group is very diverse for gender, race, nationality, career ambition, etc. We strongly value the diversity in our group, and thus applicants from under-represented groups in academia are strongly encouraged to apply. Find here the minimum entry requirements by country.
Being fluent in both spoken and written English is essential. We accept the following English language qualifications at the minimum grades specified:
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component
- TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section
- PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores
- CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components
Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
Our research focuses on the fundamental fluid mechanics underlying the force generation of rigid and flexible bodies within a fluid. Within this remit, we will consider any interesting project in one of the following applications:
- Wings/blades in unsteady flow conditions
- Aerodynamics of yacht sails
- Aerodynamics of seeds (e.g. the dandelion seed) and bioinspired drones
- Wind and tidal energy harvesting
If you are interested in one of the above, we are confident that we will find a suitable project that aligns within our research strategy and fits your research interests. To ensure that we always undertake cutting edge research and that we tackle relevant and actual research questions, we will not be able to discuss research projects before few months before the beginning of the project and, typically, after the student has secured the fundings.
Examples of possible PhD projects include:
- Unsteady Aerodynamics of Micro Drones
- America’s Cup yacht hydrofoils
- Aerodynamics of offshore wind farms
- Aerodynamics of high-performance yacht sails
- Aerodynamics of porous wings for unsteady load alleviation of micro aerial vehicles
- Aerodynamics of the gliding seeds of the Javan cucumber vine
- Bio-inspired morphing blades for wind and tidal turbines
- Characterization of the vortex flow of the dandelion fruit
- Fluid Mechanics of a bio-inspired autonomous vessel
- Oscillating-foil tidal energy converters
How to apply
To be accepted for a PhD programme within VOILAb, you must apply through the online University system. This is necessary both for externally funded students seeking to enroll in a PhD programme, and for those who are also seeking a PhD scholarship from the University of Edinburgh.
It is important that you highlight your background in fluid mechanics and any other skill and expertise relevant to the project, and that you explain your motivation to work within VOILAb.
You can either submit your own research proposal or indicate on which of the above research areas you are interested to work. In any case, the project that you propose, or select, is not definitive. We will chose a project together after your application is accepted, based on your research interests and expertise (see section PROJECTS above). If you are applying for University of Edinburgh fundings, submitting a research proposal could increase your chances of success because it will be used as part of the evaluation process for the award of the scholarships. Proposals are primarily used to assess research planning skill and scientific writing skill. Please do not seek help from any VOILAb member on writing the research proposal. To ensure that your application is forwarded to the VOILAb team, state in the online form that you want to be supervised by Dr I.M.Viola.
Within the application, you must state if you intend to self-fund your studies, if you have secured funds from a sponsor (and which one), or which scholarships to you intend to apply for.
For any query on the online application process, please contact directly the Postgraduate Office of the School of Engineering: EngGradOffice@ed.ac.uk.
We will be shortly recruit for a project on the friction resitance of marine coatings in collaboration with AkzoNobel, the world leader company in protective marine coatings. A project description will be soon available. A strong computational fluid dynamics background is expected to be essential. The project will start in early 2021.
Other PhD positions are also available for self-funded students and students with their own scholarship. Funds for the living costs and tuition fees can be provided privately by the student (self-funded), or through scholarships awarded by external sponsors. Self-funded and externally-funded students should state clearly in their application and any informal enquiry that they have they own funds because this will increase your chances of success (because they will not compete for a closed number of available positions but will be assessed based on the merit of their application).
For any query on the scholarships, please contact directly the Postgraduate Office of the School of Engineering: EngGradOffice@ed.ac.uk.
Applications must be submitted through the online University system. Informal enquiries (excluding questions on the application process and scholarships) can be sent by email to Dr Ignazio Maria Viola at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please clearly state your questions in the email. Questions on the application process and scholarships should be directed to the Postgraduate Office of the School of Engineering: EngGradOffice@ed.ac.uk.
Within your enquiry, it is strongly recommended that you attach a detailed CV including all of the following:
- Details of every qualification
- Academic career history, including explanation of any gap and interruption
- Explain any academic success in detail. For example, state how you ranked in your class and of how many students was your class made of; provide factual and verifiable statement of how prestigious are every award you received; state how many people competed for any scholarship you received; etc.
- If you have published any conference or journal paper, clearly state your contribution
- State if you intend to self-fund your studies, if you have secured funds from a sponsor (and which one), or which scholarships to you intend to apply for.