Research Studentship in Battery Degradation for Electric/Hybrid Vehicles

4-year D.Phil studentship, available from Sept/Oct 2016 (subject to eligibility requirements below).

Research Area

Electric and hybrid vehicles are growing in popularity due to their improved efficiency, emissions, and performance. Batteries are at the heart of these vehicles; however, despite significant progress in the performance and cost of lithium-ion chemistries in the last decade, market-leading electric vehicles remain expensive and there is uncertainty about the lifetime of batteries, leading to over-engineering.

The aim of this exciting project, in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), is to investigate degradation of lithium-ion batteries in “real world” vehicle use and relate behaviour to laboratory tests. A particular area of focus is the development of accelerated ageing tests in order to understand battery capacity fade and power fade in relation to various stress factors, and develop predictive models. The project builds on our existing work in these areas and the strong relationship between the University of Oxford and JLR, and is part funded by EPSRC and JLR through the EPSRC Industrial CASE award scheme.

The student will be based at the University of Oxford as part of the Energy and Power Group and supervised by David Howey (Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering),

Award Value

The studentship covers University fees at the level set for UK students plus a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of £16,500 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two years. The studentship does cover the payment of college fees (c £2765 p.a.).


To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees) a student must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay


  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)


  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals)


Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  1. A high 2.1 or first class honours degree in Engineering or a related subject,
  2. Experience in electrical energy research, for example an academic publication or project they have authored, or appropriate industrial experience,
  3. Excellent English written and spoken communication skills.

An ability to program in Matlab is desirable but not essential.

Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship, candidates should send the following documents to

  • CV
  • Covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the DPhil and your research experience to date)
  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees


NOTE: Candidates are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria available at and a full graduate application must be made at the same time as applying for this studentship.  Your studentship application will not be considered until you have submitted a graduate application. Further details about making a graduate application are available at

Please quote JLROXF in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted. 

Application deadline:  12 noon UK time, 31st May 2016