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Warwick Astronomy PhD Opportunities

We are excited to welcome applicants for PhD places with an October 2023 start! The deadline for submission of your application (apply hereLink opens in a new window) is 3 pm GMT on January 10th, 2023. UK-based students who reach the second round of the application process will be invited to visit during the week of February 13th-17th, 2023.

In addition to fully funded places through university funding, STFC allocations and direct research grants, we also have available up to 3 prestigious Warwick PhD Prize Scholarships in Astrophysics: these scholarships will be available to both national and international candidates, and would cover all fees and offer 4 years of stipend, as well as access to research funds to cover travel, computer equipment and consumables. You will be automatically considered for these scholarships upon receipt of your completed application.

Below are listed our key research themes and academic advisors, along with the 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: in the application formLink opens in a new window, (1) state clearly that you are interested in a place in the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group, and (2) specify projects that you are interested in from the below list. We encourage applicants to identify more than one potential project.

Regarding other funding arrangements: Students interested in applying for distinct external or other scholarships such as the Bell-BurnellLink opens in a new window or Chancellor'sLink opens in a new window should contact their preferred supervisor directly. Please make contact well in advance of any scholarship deadlines. Self-funded applications are also welcome, and at any time of the year. For general inquiries about Astronomy & Astrophysics PhD positions, please email opens in a new window.

Potential projects for October 2023 start

Investigating the nature and origins of planets in the Neptunian DesertLink opens in a new window (Armstrong) [Up to 2 places available - ERC funded, 4 year project.]

Circumbinary planets from space-based transiting planet surveysLink opens in a new window (Brown)

Accretion and outflows in extreme astrophysical environmentsLink opens in a new window (Coppejans)

The explosion environments and host galaxies of SupernovaeLink opens in a new window (Lyman)

Improving orbital tracking using optical parallax measurementsLink opens in a new window (McCormac)

Planet formation by dust growth and disc fragmentation in protoplanetary discsLink opens in a new window (Meru/Nealon) [Up to 2 places available]

Investigating stellar populations across cosmic timeLink opens in a new window (Stanway)

Time-domain Astronomy with the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) (Steeghs/Lyman)

Unusual transit observations with PLATOLink opens in a new window (Strøm)

Simulations of stellar convection and accretion of planetary debrisLink opens in a new window (Tremblay)

Overview of research areas

White dwarfs and the local stellar neighbourhoodLink opens in a new window

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 planetsLink opens in a new window

Key staff: Armstrong, Bayliss, Brogi, Brown, Cegla, Gänsicke, Pollacco, Strøm, 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 discsLink opens in a new window

Key staff: Kennedy, Meru, Nealon, 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 astronomyLink opens in a new window

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 awarenessLink opens in a new window

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.