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UK Call for 2024 European Nuclear Society PhD Award nominees

Do you know someone who has recently completed a PhD in nuclear science and engineering?  

The European Nuclear Society (ENS) organises an annual Award to recognize an outstanding PhD thesis work. The ENS High Scientific Council (HSC) acts as the Selection Committee, and the Nuclear Institute, as the UK Member of the ENS, nominates the UK candidate for this prestigious award. 

UK candidates will be assessed by an NI team headed by Professor Laurence G Williams OBE FREng FNucI, a member of the ENS High Scientific Council. 

The successful candidate will become the UK Nominee for the HSC PhD award. A UK nominee has won the award in recent years. The winner of the UK competition, as well as going on to the European final, will be awarded a one-year free Associate Membership of the Nuclear Institute, as well as an invitation to the NI/NIA Annual Dinner in London in December 2024.

You are invited to nominate a candidate for 2024 competition.


ENS HSC PhD Award Criteria

  1. The competition is open for candidates, who have obtained a PhD in the field of nuclear science and engineering from a UK University.
  2. Only candidates who obtained a PhD degree after April 2022 are eligible for the competition.

Documents to be provided (in English)

-           CV, including a contact email and phone number of the candidate.

-           A copy of the Ph.D. Diploma/Certificate showing the date it was awarded.

-           A recommendation letter from the person who is nominating the candidate. The letter should introduce the PhD work and highlight its significance in the research field, its originality, its importance and the impact of the results of the PhD.

-           An extended summary of the PhD thesis.

-           A copy of any accepted publication directly related to the candidate’s PhD studies.


UK Nomination Process

-           Nominations open from 1 October 2023 with deadline of 9 February 2024.

-           Nominations should be sent to Professor Laurence G Williams OBE FREng via and copied to

-           The NI will submit a successful UK candidate to the HSC in Spring 2024.

-           In April 2024 the ENS HSC will select four shortlisted candidates.

-           In October 2024 the four shortlisted candidates will present their PhD thesis’ results to the HSC in Brussels, Belgium. The HSC will apply commonly accepted selection criteria in the selection process.

- The winner of the prestigious ENS HSC PhD Award will be offered a publication in the Open Access Journal EPJ-N and a prize money of €2000.  An Award ceremony will be organised in conjunction with an ENS Member Society conference.

Note: candidates are expected to personally attend the audition in Brussels; the NI will support the travel expenses of the UK candidate should he/she make it to the last four.


UK Nomination 2022 

The winner of the 2022 competition was Dr Matthew Lukacs of Imperial College London. Matthew’s PhD was on the Development of a Regulatory Framework for the Licensing of a Fusion Power Plant. He is now working for the UKAEA of fusion power plant safety.  

A very close runner up was Dr Megan Owen of Bangor University, now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Imperial College London. Megan’s PhD was on the Role of alloying Elements on Grain Boundary Complexions in Nuclear Materials.

Third was Dr Ben Reant, who is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Manchester. Ben’s PhD was on the Synthesis and Characterisation of f-Block Silanide Complexes.