Ireland - 27 PhD positions in photonics research in European training programme SPARKLE

Sparkle will train 27 fellows with combined skills in scientific excellence, product develop and manufacturing, in order to equip them to compete at the highest international levels and will ensure that Ireland and Europe remains of the forefront in photonics technology development and exploitation. This includes rapidly emerging disruptive technologies and market opportunities, for example AR/VR that needs higher resolution and energy efficient displays, autonomous vehicles that require photonics sensors to ‘see’, guided surgical instruments that utilise light to identify cancerous versus non-cancerous tissue, all part of an industry that is growing twice as fast as the global GDP and expected to reach $780.4 billion by 2023‎.

Each fellow will have a comprehensive training plan, tailored to the career path they wish to pursue. For individuals interested in an academic career, their training will include the identification and submission to funding opportunities to enable them initiate their own research programme upon completion of the fellowship. For fellows focussed on a career in industry, their training will focus on translational skills, such as fabrication and commercialisation, and they will be introduced to IPIC’s wide network of industry partners to explore those that best match their ambitions.

Sparkle aims to:

• Strengthen and raise the excellence and impact of Europe’s photonics research and manufacturing activities.

• Address the expanding skills shortage in the field of photonics across Europe, specifically at experienced researcher level.

• Drive the advancement of the Athena Swan Charter, good practice in recruitment, promote equality, diversity and inclusion in STEM, and increase female participation levels.

• Provide an opportunity for industry to shape the training programme and support Ireland and Europe’s growing photonics SMEs by providing them with highly skilled trainees.

There is an Open Call that runs continuously from Dec 2019 to the end of Feb 2022. In this period there are five regular cut-off dates, April 2020, Oct 2020, April 2021, Oct 2021 and Feb 2022. At these cut-off dates, received applications will be reviewed. Those wishing to apply should do so at any time during the Open Call through the Sparkle online application system.

An Information Pack is available for download on the official website. This includes all the details of the programme such as the conditions of the fellowship, eligibility criteria, overview of the evaluation procedures, the recruitment process, the number of available positions in each round and the career development prospects that the programme will provide. Other documents can also be found, including the Register Interest Form, Application Form and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Potential candidates are recommended to download and read all material before completing the first step, the submission of Register Interest Form and subsequently an Application Form which will be assessed through the process detailed in the Figure here. The Programme Manager is available to address any questions and is contactable at sparkle@ipic.ie.

Next Application Cut-Off Date is 30 April 2020.

Sparkle has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 847652 and from Science Foundation Ireland.