Hicks Building


We are active across a wide range of research areas. In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, we were ranked among the UK's top ten physics departments for our research output.

Research themes

Particle physics

Large Hadron Collider

We study the fundamental building blocks of nature, including the Higgs boson and super-symmetry particles.

Quantum devices

Quantum Devices

We study novel materials and build quantum nano-devices leading the way to new quantum technologies.

Gravitational waves

Gravitational Waves

Sheffield is at the forefront of gravitational wave detection research, helping to develop the detectors and the data analysis software.



We study star formation and the evolution of galaxies. We've discovered some of the biggest stars in the universe.

Biological physics

Biological Physics

We study the physics of life, tackling problems from antimicrobial resistance to how cancer spreads.

Dark matter

Dark Matter

We study how dark matter can fit into the Standard Model, and search for way to detect dark matter particles.

Theoretical physics

Theoretical Physics

We study exotic quantum matter, quantum information, magnetism, dark matter, and the behaviour of complex systems.

Molecular materials

Molecular Materials

We study organic photovoltaic devices, organic field-effect transistors and photonic devices for a sustainable economy.



Neutrinos are one of nature's greatest mysteries. We try to find out how they behave and fit into the wider Standard Model.

Image credits
Particle Physics: ATLAS Experiment © 2012 CERN
Astronomy: NASA, ESA, Paul Crowther – The University of Sheffield
Neutrinos: T2K Experiment, t2k-experiment.org

Independent Research Fellowships

Our programme for Independent Research Fellows is designed to establish you as a research leader in an ambitious, vibrant and supportive environment.

Long-term Fellows in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield get:

  • the offer of an academic position after their Fellowship
  • a PhD student to kick-start their research portfolio

Learn more and apply

PhD opportunities

Candidates for PhD research in any of the areas on this page are invited. Please see each group's website for more details on the PhD research on offer.

General information on how to apply for PhD research can be found on the postgraduate admissions page:

Postgraduate admissions