Annual “Sam Edwards” PhD Thesis Prize

Terms of reference

The Committee of the Institute of Physics Theory of Condensed Matter Group will offer an annual thesis prize for the author of the PhD thesis that, in the opinion of the Committee, contributes most strongly to the advancement of theoretical condensed matter physics. Runner-up prizes may also be awarded. The prize shall be named the “Sam Edwards PhD Prize”.


Applications for the 2018 prize are encouraged across the entire spectrum of theoretical condensed matter physics. Entry is open to all students from an institution in the UK or Ireland, whose PhD examination has taken place since 1st January 2017 and up to the deadline for submissions.


The submission deadline is 30th April 2018.

Submission format

  • A four page (A4) summary from the student of the key research findings contained in the thesis.
  • A one page (A4) citation from the PhD supervisor, including confirmation of the date of PhD examination, that the student passed and whether the thesis has also been submitted to another IOP group for a PhD thesis prize.
  • A one page (A4) confidential report from the external examiner of the PhD thesis.

Entries (PDF documents preferred) and any queries should be submitted by email, with "IOP TCM Thesis Prize" as the subject header, to Rudo Roemer ( Any queries should also be directed to Rudo Roemer.

Candidates are asked to note that if a similar thesis prize is offered by another IOP group (such as the Computational Physics Group), the TCM committee intends to liaise with that group so that both prizes will not be awarded to the same applicant. We hope to announce the prize at the annual TCM "Theory Day".

List of recipients

YearPrizeName and InstitutionThesis title
20171stArnold Mathijssen
Oxford University
Hydrodynamics of micro-swimmers in complex fluids and environments
 Joint secondFlaviu Cipcigan
University of Edinburgh
An electronically coarse grained molecular model of water
 Joint secondSarah Morgan
Cambridge University
Ultrafast quantum effects and vibrational dynamics in organic and biological systems