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Fully-funded PhD opportunities

Fully-funded PhD opportunities to join the Solar and Space Physics Research Group at Northumbria University

The Solar and Space Physics research group is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship for a 1st January 2024 start. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 13th September 2023

3.5-year, fully-funded PhD studentships 

These PhD studentships are for 3.5 years and include full fees, a living allowance (this is £18,622 for 2023/24) for full time study, and additional funding to cover research costs and national/international travel such as conferences. 

Please note:

If you wish to discuss your application informally then please feel free to contact the supervisor named on the project. We are happy to provide all applicants with guidance.

Please click on the hyperlinks above to read further details of each project (each title is a hyperlink).

You do not need to submit a research proposal for any of these funded projects, since they are already defined by the supervisor. If you have your own research idea and wish to pursue that, then this is also possible - please indicate this on your application (if this is the case, then please include a research proposal of approximately 300 words).

Deadline = Wednesday 13th September 2023


Overview of the research group

We are a successful group pursuing high-international-priority research across the broad remit of Solar and Space Physics. The group demonstrates international leadership across theory, numerical modelling, observations of solar and space plasma, data intensive science, and a growing reputation for space-related hardware. You can see details of the Group *here*.

Our Solar and Space Physics research has been supported with core funding from STFC and NERC as well as funding from EU Horizon 2020, European Space Agency (ESA), UK Space Agency (UKSA), the US Air Force, the National Solar Observatory (USA), the Leverhulme Trust, and the Royal Astronomical Society. Group members sit on various national and international panels including the STFC Education, Training and Careers Committee (Prof James McLaughlin), STFC Solar System Advisory Panel (Dr Richard Morton), STFC Project Peer Review Panel (Dr Robert Wicks), UKSA’s Space Programme Advisory Committee (Prof Clare Watt) and ESA’s Space Science Advisory Committee (Prof Jonathan Rae). Members of the group, including Prof Jonathan Rae, Prof Clare Watt, Dr Shaun Bloomfield, Dr Jasmine Mann [Sandhu] and Dr Andy Smith also contribute to the ongoing UKRI SWIMMR (Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk) national space weather programme in support of the UK Met Office. The group includes 1 Future Leader Fellow (Dr Richard Morton), 1 Royal Society University Research Fellow (Dr Julia Stawarz), 1 NERC Independent Research Fellow (Dr Andy Smith) and 2 STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellows (Dr Patrick Antolin and Dr John Coxon). 


*** Come and meet the Team ! ***

You will join a strong and supportive research team. The very best way to get a taste of this is to come and visit the Research Group in person, meet your fellow PhD students, and meet the PhD supervisors.

We have funding to support all UK National applicants who wish to visit the research group (with funding to fully cover reasonable travel and accommodation costs). Please contact Head of Group Professor James McLaughlin if you are interested in visiting the Group, and we can arrange travel arrangement (and cover these costs). Also feel free to contact individual PhD supervisors if this is better for you.

It is hard to communicate the benefits of joining such a strong, supportive team. Hopefully the pictures below give a flavour of this!


Eligibility and How to Apply:

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see 

Please note: Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF23/EE/... ) will not be considered.

These projects are open for both home * and international (including EU) students. Selection criteria:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

* to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.
  • If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

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