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Warwick Astronomy PhD Opportunities

The application round for STFC and university funded Phd places starting in October 2021 has closed. The next round will reopen in November 2021.

Below on this page are the list of our key research themes and academic advisors, along with likely available PhD projects for this application round. Projects can be tailored to the interests of individual students.

In all cases, a completed application is necessary for us to consider you for interview. The applications are submitted through the on-line forms linked from our Physics postgraduate admissions pages ('How to Apply'). Be sure to state clearly that you are interested in a place in the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group, and specify projects you are interested in from the below list. We encourage applicants to identify more than one potential project. For funding, you can mention University related funding, with the Physics department as contact detail.

Scholarships: Students interested in applying for distinct scholarships such as the Bell-Burnell, Chancellor's or others should contact their preferred supervisor directly. In these cases projects may be available with any member of staff. Please make contact well in advance of any scholarship deadlines.

MSc / PhD self-funding: Self-funded shorter projects suitable for the 1-year MSc by research degree are also available. For further information please contact individual group members. Applications for self-funded places, for MSc or PhD, can be considered at any time in the year, but it is very helpful to contact a potential supervisor before making your application.

Available projects for October 2021 start

Stellar Variability and Exoplanet Characterisation (Cegla)

Extrasolar planetesimal belts (Kennedy)

Stellar and planet formation history across the disk and halo of the Milky Way (Tremblay - ERC funded for 4 years)

The Population of Compact Double White Dwarf Binary Stars (Marsh)

Remnants of planetary systems around white dwarfs (Gänsicke)

Exoplanet atmospheres at high spectral resolution and simulation of future observations of bio-markers (Brogi)

Overview of research areas

Stellar Astrophysics

Key staff: Gänsicke, Marsh, Steeghs, Tremblay

Our main interest is the study of compact stellar remnants, both single and in interacting binaries. We pursue population studies using large surveys, precision studies with custom high-time resolution instruments as well as detailed theoretical modeling.

Extra-solar Planetary Systems

Key staff: Armstrong, Bayliss, Brogi, Gänsicke, Pollacco, Tremblay, Veras, West, Wheatley

Our exoplanetary activities include observation, instrumentation and theory. We are actively engaged in detecting and characterising exoplanetary systems across the full spectrum of size (gas giant, ice giant, super-Earth, terrestrial, asteroidal, dust), time (formation & evolution, main-sequence, post-main-sequence) and host-star characteristics (M stars, G stars, white dwarfs, binaries). We study planetary atmospheres, composition, habitability and dynamics.

Protoplanetary and Debris Disks

Key staff: Kennedy, Meru

We study the disks that orbit other stars like our Sun using theory and observation. Some of these disks are in the process of forming planets, and others are similar to the Solar System’s Asteroid and Kuiper belts. These disks reveal information about the origins of other planetary systems, and help place the Solar System in context.

High-redshift Universe

Key staff: Stanway

Understanding where and when galaxies formed the majority of their stars is key to understanding the processes of galaxy assembling, stripping and merging which have shaped them into the complex systems we see today. There are various approaches to this: through direct observation of young distant galaxies, through unravelling the history of today's systems, or through comparison to stellar population synthesis models.

Gravitational Wave Astrophysics, Gamma-Ray Bursts and Exotic Transients

Key staff: Stanway, Steeghs

We have an interest in exotic and energetic transients where we chase the transients themselves as well as the host galaxies they occur in. Of particular interest are short gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption events and electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources. For the latter, the group is leading the deployment of the GOTO robotic telescope.

If you are interested in a PhD or MSc place in Astronomy at Warwick, and would like further information, please get directly in touch with the postgraduate admissions coordinator for astrophysics.

To make an application, please complete the on-line forms linked from our Physics postgraduate admissions pages. Be sure to state clearly that you are interested in a place in the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group and specify potential projects from the given list.