Department of Mathematical Sciences


Interested in doing a PhD in mathematical sciences at Bath? There are many ways to join our excellent and welcoming department.

4-year SAMBa PhD Studentships

We are now accepting applications for the 2018 intake to our EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics. For more information look at our How to Apply page. Apply early as the application process is competitive. 

Project-specific Studentships

Mathematical modelling for safe, yet effective, pesticide development and usage

Lead supervisor: Jane White in collaboration with Pharmacy & Pharmacology and Syngenta.

Starting 1 April 2018 or before.

This project is about creating and analysing a series of mathematical models that can be used to compare and contrast pesticide absorption through leaf surfaces and human skin and to begin to understand how different pesticide components contribute to the optimal solution of high leaf, but negligible skin, penetration. Working with colleagues from Syngenta means that there will be data available to estimate model parameters and to validate the model outputs.

Find out more about this project.

Modern statistical techniques for assessing and predicting herbicide performance

Lead supervisor: Evangelos Evangelou in collaboration with Syngenta.

Starting 1 April 2018 or before.

This project will be at the interface of statistics and computer science with significant mathematical, methodological, and computational components. You will develop statistical models and methodology for assessing chemical compounds from their descriptive characteristics and their performance on screening tests, and accordingly compute a quantitative score for each chemical. You will apply this methodology to tackle real problems provided by Syngenta using data from their screening experiments on herbicides.

Find out more about this project.

Dynamics and Stability of Interaction Networks in Uncertain Environments

Supervisors: Tim Rogers and George Constable

Starting September 2018 or before.

How can we reason precisely about complex biological systems whose environments are not well understood? Mathematically, the project will involve the synthesis of two disparate bodies of theory – stochastic dynamical systems and random matrix theory. It will explore the application of this theory to ecological interaction networks, subject to fluctuating environmental inputs.

Component sizes of random graphs and noise sensitivity

Supervisor: Matt Roberts

Starting September 2018.

The main aim of the project is to extend results on dynamical Erdos-Renyi graphs to other random graph models. This will involve obtaining detailed estimates on component sizes of random graphs, possibly using Brownian excursions. Other useful techniques include randomised algorithms and discrete Fourier analysis; the project is mainly in probability, but has links with analysis, combinatorics and theoretical computer science.

Bayesian inference for low-resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) in porous media

Supervisors: Silvia Gazzola, Tony Shardlow in collaboration with Schlumberger.

Starting October 2018 or before.

This research project aims to surpass the current standard inference methodology by providing uncertainty estimates alongside state estimates in an efficient manner and to develop the technique for shales. This will be achieved through reformulating the problem in a Bayesian framework and applying tools from numerical linear algebra.

Find out more about this project.

On-line drill system parameter estimation and hazardous event detection

Supervisors: Kari Heine, Mark Opmeer, Rob Scheichl in collaboration with Schlumberger.

Starting October 2018 or before.

The project aims to develop statistical methods for automatic detection of hazardous events in oil and gas drilling operations, beginning within simple models and moving to more complex scenarios. The scope of the project includes developing surrogate models, using computational methods and Bayesian approaches to estimate system parameters, studying methods for hazardous event detection, and then using multilevel inference to develop an algorithm that brings all the results together.

Find out more about this project.

Numerical analysis of wave propagation problems and applications to marine seismic exploration

Supervisors: Euan Spence and Ivan Graham in collaboration with Schlumberger.

Starting October 2018 or before.

This project involves combining tools and techniques from several areas of applied mathematics, numerical analysis, and scientific computing, namely fast numerical solvers for wave problems, PDE theory, inverse problems, high-frequency asymptotic analysis, and large-scale optimisation algorithms, to gather information and analyse seismic exploration processes through optimising sensor locations.

Find out more about this project. 

Stochastic mixing in many-particle systems

Supervisors: Kit Yates and Tim Rogers in collaboration with Syngenta.

Starting October 2018 or before.

Tackling this project will require the development of individual-based stochastic models for individual seed motion, and derivation of macro-scale partial differential equations for fluid-like flow of the bulk. In order to enable optimisation of the process, ultimately, these disparate modelling regimes must be coupled to each other and further to a stochastic model for the spread of coating. Each of these steps is mathematically significant, allowing the project student to develop expertise in cutting-edge techniques across applied mathematics and probability.

Reinforced stochastic processes: theory and applications

Supervisor: Cécile Mailler

Starting October 2018 or before.

This project is a discrete probability project on reinforced stochastic processes. The main focus of the project is Pólya urns, which are the building-blocks of all reinforced processes, and in particular on very recent generalisations of this model: the infinitely-many-colour case and the multi-drawing case. The objective of the student will be two-fold: proving fundamental results about these models and applying these results to other areas of discrete probability, particularly random trees.

Find out more about this project.

Modelling of Spatio-temporal disease rates using age-period-cohort methods

Supervisor: Theresa Smith

Starting October 2018 or before.

This project will extend age-period-cohort (APC) methods by incorporating models for geographic differences in risk and developing tools to forecast the future burden of disease. In key areas such as healthcare, predicting demographic and disease rates for small administrative regions is central to planning the distribution of resources. APC models are statistically challenging because there is a structural link in the three time scales (age at diagnosis + year of birth = year of diagnosis). Recent research addressed this challenge for simple scenarios, and we will adapt this to spatial data by introducing new computational tools and model selection techniques.

Find out more about this project.

How community composition impacts host-parasite coevolution

Supervisor: Ben Ashby

Starting October 2018 or before.

This project will develop novel theory to understand how the community affects host-parasite co-evolution. Using mathematical modelling, the student will address how the nature of the community (e.g. antagonistic/mutualistic) affects the outcome of co-evolution (e.g. directional/fluctuating selection, monomorphism/polymorphism).

Find out more about this project.

Departmental PhD Studentships

Two studentships for any area within Mathematical Sciences, with priority to Pure Mathematics.

Topic: to be discussed with potential supervisors

Supervisor: any academic in the department

Starting September 2018.

Joint PhD opportunities with the Department of Biology & Biochemistry

Competitive funding is available for the following projects:

Mathematical and bioinformatics based tools to explore the impact of gene editing on the geometric principles governing the 3D structure of the genome

Supervisors: Adele Murrell and Dorothy Buck.

Feedbacks in Biological Systems: Sex Roles and the Evolution of the Sexes

Supervisors: Tamas Szekely, Chris Guiver and Bram Kuiiper (Exeter Penryn).

Interfacing UV spectral fingerprints with Bayesian machine learning to identify microbial contaminants in industrial fermentation

Supervisors: Chris Pudney, Michael Tipping, Daniel Henk and Chris Chuck.

Tests of Phylogenetic Accuracy using the Temporal and Biogeographical Distributions of Fossils

Supervisors: Matthew Wills and Evangelos Evangelou.

Dietary optimisation and the evolution of ageing

Supervisors: Ben Adams and Nick Priest.

Stochastic modelling of genetic regulatory networks and fate choice in multipotent zebrafish pigment stem cells

Supervisors: Kit Yates, Robert Kelsh and Andrea Rocco (Surrey).

The principles of biological design: Simulating the evolution of gene regulatory networks and training machines to characterise genetic complexity

Supervisors: Nick Priest, Tiffany Taylor and Michael Tipping.

Modelling seed germination under variable environmental conditions

Supervisors: Paula Kover and Kit Yates.

PhD Studentships for students from China

Our new joint programme with China Scholarship Council (CSC) seeks PhD candidates from China. Interested applicants are invited to read about our programme and apply online.

Please specify that you are interested in applying for CSC funding in the application form. Read more details about the scholarship programme.

Deadline: 8 January 2018

The Mickey Ko scholarship could also be an option for talented Chinese applicants without the means to support themselves.

PhD Studentships for students from Paraguay

Our new agreement with Paraguay’s BECAL Programme seeks PhD candidates from Paraguay. Interested applicants are invited to read about our programme and apply online.

Please specify that you are interested in applying for BECAL funding in the application form. Read more details about the scholarship programme.

Deadline: 15 February 2018