Postgraduate Research

LFCS has an active community of research students, with around 40 currently studying for a PhD. They are drawn from the UK, Europe, and overseas, and play a full role in the life of the research institute.

You can apply now. There are scholarships available for postgraduates of any nationality.

All students are part of the Informatics Graduate School, which provides central support and information on pursuing a research degree at Edinburgh.

Research areas

LFCS researchers study the mathematical foundations of computer science, and more broadly of informatics. The aim is to develop mathematical theories adequate for modelling and reasoning about computational systems and concepts of all kinds. At the same time, there is an experimental dimension to the work of LFCS: theories are embodied in formal notations, languages and software tools.

Every research student is under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff. The key to a successful application is to identify a research area that is of interest to both you and a potential supervisor. To help you with this, the graduate school keeps a list of research areas for each staff member. If you are interested in postgraduate research at LFCS, please look at this list and contact someone on it to discuss possible supervision.


Students studying for a PhD undertake full-time research for a minimum of 36 months. It is also possible to study for an MPhil degree, taking at least 24 months of research.

For their first year, students attend the Laboratory's own taught postgraduate course in the theory of computation. This provides a broad background in theoretical computer science, highlighting current research in LFCS, and preparing students to do their own research work. In addition to this, the graduate school arranges various research training activities.

LFCS students run research clubs and the weekly lab lunch. Aside from study, they also form a lively social community, organising the annual summer barbecue and the Lab Christmas Party.


General information on PhD grants · Fully funded awards

The Laboratory and the School fund studentships open to applicants of any nationality. UK and EU students can also apply for one of several grants awarded to the School by the EPSRC. More details about these and other sources are described on the pages linked above.


Applications can be made at any time; we are currently considering students for admission in September. The graduate school provides full details on how to apply. If you would like to come for a visit, please contact your prospective supervisor or the admissions secretary. For informal enquiries, get in touch with Wenfei Fan.