Research and Funding

AiPT invests heavily in the infrastructure and facilities we need to perform research at the cutting-edge of photonics technologies


AiPT integrates research with education to generate and advance knowledge in photonics and to translate scientific breakthroughs into technologies with impacts on industry, the economy and society. 

Recognised as a Centre of Excellence in photonics, and enjoying global international visibility, we aim to set the gold standard for research around photonics while constantly engaging with the public with a variety of outreach activities. We are ranked among the foremost academic photonics centres in the world. 

The nature of our research depends on cutting edge facilities and equipment; as a result, we have invested heavily in our facilities and the infrastructure needed to pursue our research and training activities. We also provide extensive theoretical and computational support, helping to maximise the reach and impact of our work. 

We are currently housed in a complex developed in 2018, with 30 laboratories available to us covering an area of 1500 square metres. 

Our facilities

We offer an array of advanced facilities, including: 

  • Gbit/s to multi Tbit/s communications testbeds 
  • UV and fs-laser systems for fabricating optical devices 
  • Class 10,000 (locally 1000) cleanroom 
  • Environmental test chambers 
  • A range of other equipment for laser and sensing system development.
Funding sources

Activities in support of UK, EU and international partners receive funding from a range of sources. These include: 

  • Cohort-based training activities 
  • Early Career (Erasmus EMJMD programmes SMARTNET and PIXNET, COFUND MULTIPLY, ETN and EID projects) 
  • Established Career (individual fellowships) 
  • Researcher development 
  • International collaborative projects (Horizon 2020) 
  • Industrial outreach (European Strategic Investment Fund) 
  • Blue sky and applied research (EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust) 
  • Direct industry contracts. 

We have valuable experience and a successful track record in formulating successful funding proposals, as well as supervising and administering a diverse range of projects. These include research, industrial collaboration and training.


AiPT has a strong and well-established record of mentoring PhD students, with a 99% PhD degree award rate and more than 160 PhDs supplied to academia, research centres, and industry over the last 27 years.