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Overview of PhD application process for Exeter Astrophysics (2021 entry)

Overview of PhD application process for Exeter Astrophysics (2021 entry)

We anticipate being able to offer several funded PhD positions this year, for students intending to begin their study here in 2021. We will post more details about the (centrally-managed) official application process in due course; we anticipate that applications will open in November 2020 and will remain open until mid-January 2021. As a broad guide, we aim to interview shortlisted candidates and make our first offers in February 2021.

When you make a formal application, you will need to list which supervisors you are interested in working with (you may list as many as you wish). Below is a list of faculty members who have expressed an interest in recruiting a student this year, along with indicative project titles and descriptions. If you list more than one potential project/supervisor, please indicate whether you have a clear preference between these.

Astrophysics faculty members who are accepting applications this year, with proposed project titles:

(in random order; note that some supervisors prefer to list only general topics of research rather than specific projects)

Stefan Kraus: “Imaging the dynamical processes in the inner regions of protoplanetary discs”

Tim Harries: “Rings, Gaps, and Spirals: Signatures of planet formation in protoplanetary discs?"

Isabelle Baraffe: “State-of-the-art atmosphere models and synthetic spectra for the smallest and most abundant stars in the universe”

Matthew Browning: “Angular momentum transport in stars and planets”

Nathan Mayne: “Exoplanet Climatology”

Chris Brunt (Project 1): “Predicting the weather by watching airplanes: Mapping of water vapour by using interferometers to observe the refraction of radio broadcasts from aircraft.” Note that this project is in collaboration with the UK Met Office and has a separate application process (deadline 8 January 2021); see here for details and project description.

Chris Brunt (Project 2): "A new method of measuring atmospheric refractivity" 

Note that other astrophysics faculty may be willing to consider acting as supervisor for students who are applying for external scholarships (e.g., China Scholarship Council), for which separate procedures apply. If you are particularly interested in working with a specific member of staff, you may wish to contact them for more information or advice.

General information about entry requirements

In general, applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. All students must meet the University’s minimum English language requirements by the start of the project.

We receive many more applications than it is possible to accept (or fund). As a rough guide, virtually all successful applicants will have undertaken a substantial research project before beginning the PhD, will have excellent reference letters attesting to their work, and will have strong academic records in relevant coursework.

General information about course and funding

At Exeter, the PhD normally lasts for 3.5 years, and “funded” positions typically include a living stipend (and payment of tuition, etc) for that time. The PhD must be completed within four years of the start of study (barring extenuating circumstances and assuming full-time study). International students are eligible (and encouraged!) to apply, but may not be eligible for all potential sources of funding.