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Warwick Astronomy PhD Opportunities

* Two New PhD projects for October 2022 start *

Two new PhD positions (starting Oct 2022) in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group 2022 are now open for applications. Interested applicants should directly email the supervisor(s) listed below. The deadline for applications is 20 June 2022. The positions are available to UK domestic students.

(1) The University of Warwick and Andor Technology Ltd invite applicants for a fully funded PhD position to characterise the new generation of scientific CMOS imaging cameras for high precision photometry of transiting exoplanets. The PhD is funded by the UKRI Industrial CASE scheme, and comes with an enhanced stipend of £17,062 pa. The project will involve the use of the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) telescopes at Paranal Observatory in Chile. The successful applicant will spend 9 months at Andor Technology Ltd in Belfast as part of the project. Applicants with a background in astronomy, physics, or engineering are encouraged to apply. For more details on the project and how to apply, please contact Dr Daniel Bayliss (d.bayliss@warwick.ac.uk).

(2) The Warwick Centre for Space Domain Awareness invites applications for a fully funded research position on our PhD programme, starting October 2022. Space Domain Awareness involves the study of Earth’s local environment and includes the remote study of artificial satellites and space debris. With our increasing use of space this area is of increasing importance. This position is in the general area of satellite characterisation and astrodynamics, with a focus on the interpretation of colour light curve data of satellites. The successful applicant(s) will ideally have a good honours degree in a quantitative and preferably experimental science, although those with a computational background will also be considered. For more details on the project and how to apply, please contact Dr Paul Chote (p.chote@warwick.ac.uk).

PhD projects for October 2022 start

Applications for regular PhD places starting October 2022 are now closed.

The new Warwick Prize Scholarships in Astrophysics are available in this round to enable talented national and international scholars to pursue postgraduate research.

Below on this page are the list of our key research themes and academic advisors, along with 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 pagesLink opens in a new window ('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.

Funding: All places allocated through the normal round are fully funded. Funding is available through the Warwick Prize Scholarships, as well as university funding, STFC allocations and direct research grants. Students interested in applying for distinct external or other scholarships such as the Bell-Burnell or Chancellor's should contact their preferred supervisor directly. 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. 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.

Potential projects for October 2022 start

Astroclimes: Tracking greenhouse gases using astrophysical observations (Armstrong/Brogi)

Stellar variability and exoplanet characterisation (Cegla)

Observations of new classes of explosive astrophysical phenomena / Accretion and outflow physics of cataclysmic variable stars (Coppejans)

Remnants of planetary systems around white dwarfs (Gänsicke)

Observing explosive transients in their infancy with robotic telescope networks (Lyman)

Planet formation by dust growth and disc fragmentation in protoplanetary discs (various projects available, Meru)

Earth-Sun analogs from the ESA PLATO mission (Pollacco)

Investigating stellar populations across cosmic time (Stanway)

Time-domain astrophysics with the Gravitational wave Optical Transient Observer (Steeghs)

Simulations of stellar convection and accretion of planetary debris (Tremblay)

Simulations and theory of evolved planetary systems (Veras)

Overview of research areas

White dwarfs and the local stellar neighbourhood

Key staff: Coppejans, Gänsicke, Marsh, Steeghs, Tremblay, Veras

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 planets

Key staff: Armstrong, Bayliss, Brogi, Brown, Cegla, Gänsicke, Pollacco, Strom, 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.


Circumstellar Disks

Key staff: Kennedy, Meru, Veras

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.


Stellar populations across cosmic time

Key staff: Lyman, 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.


Explosive Transients and Multi-messenger astronomy

Key staff: Coppejans, Lyman, 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.

Space domain awareness

Key staff: Chote, Pollacco

We tackle issues relating to the safety and sustainability of satellite operations in the space domain. Research activities include:

  • the timely acquisition of precise datasets to detect, track and/or characterise objects in orbit;
  • the fusion of physical and human-based information for improved object tracking;
  • the modelling and prediction of space weather, and the quantification of associated risk.

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.