Mathematics of life and social sciences

The School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Surrey is inviting applications for PhD positions in the Mathematics in Life and the Social Sciences research group.


The School of Mathematics and Physics research spans the spectrum of mathematics, encompassing pure and applied mathematics and statistics. There are many exciting cross-spectrum collaborations with nonlinear mathematics regularly featuring as a connecting theme.

You will work as part of a vibrant and supportive community of early career researchers who exchange ideas and collaborate with each other and the mathematical community. You will be extensively trained for a career as a professional mathematician, which will set you on the right track for a future in academia, industry or government.

During your PhD you will also receive comprehensive training in transferable skills such as project management, communication and time management through our Faculty Graduate School. In addition, you will broaden your mathematical horizons by taking courses via national networks such as the national MAGIC consortia as well as our own in-house MSc course.

Potential areas you could research

Potential areas for PhD research:

  • Data assimilation in health applications
  • Mathematical pharmacology
  • Dynamics in ecology, crime, and sleep
  • Experimental design
  • Developmental biology, tissue morphogenesis and cancer modelling.

About the research group

You will be based in the Mathematics of Life and Social Sciences group, which is a lively and growing group, currently with seven permanent internationally well-known staff members and eight enthusiastic PhD students. The work in the group can be characterised as new mathematics for real world applications, with areas including:

  • Dynamical systems analysis
  • Delay equations
  • Experimental design
  • Data assimilation
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Biomechanics.

Contexts in which the mathematics is applied include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Ecology
  • Crime
  • Chronobiology and health, amongst others.

The group has numerous national and international collaborations in academia, industry and government. For example, we work closely with Pfizer and AstraZenica, have a project with the Surrey police, and an intensive collaboration with the Surrey Sleep Research Centre. We are also part of the LMS supported network Mathematics in Life Sciences (MiLS) and jointly organise the EPSRC network on Quantitative Systems Pharmacology.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants should have:

  • A minimum of a first-class honours degree in mathematics, physical sciences or engineering.

Preferably applicants will hold:

  • A MMath, MPhys or MSc degree, though exceptional BSc students will be considered.

How to apply

Applications can be made through our PhD Mathematics course page. In your application you must mention this studentship in order to be considered.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Cesare Tronci



Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.