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PhD Opportunities

PhD Opportunities

Faculty members of the Cambridge Exoplanet Research Centre welcome PhD applications from students both within and outside the University of Cambridge.

Research Topics

We offer a wide range of PhD projects in exoplanetary science: specific research areas are listed in our Research Themes pages, and available supervisors are listed in the Research Directory. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to explore these pages and the personal research pages of potential supervisors to get a feel for the kind of work we do, which topics appeal, and which supervisors might be most suitable. Please get in touch with individual researchers and research groups to obtain further information. A (non-exhaustive) list of topics includes:

Exoplanet observations

Instrumentation

Exoplanet atmospheres and interiors

Protoplanetary disks

Debris disks

Tidal interactions between exoplanets and stars

Planet formation

Orbital dynamics of exoplanetary systems

The Application Process

The Cambridge Exoplanet Research Centre straddles three departments: the Cavendish Laboratory, the Institute of Astronomy (IoA), and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP). As a consequence, applying to do a PhD in exoplanets raises some administrative complications. Unfortunately there is no unified application process to do a PhD in exoplanets.

A PhD applicant must apply to one (or more) of the three departments named above, via the Cambridge University application portal (see below).   

This means an applicant must identify the group and/or supervisor he or she wishes to work with and then apply to the department housing that group and/or supervisor. Note, however, that the IoA and DAMTP share PhD applications and applicants need not apply separately to both these departments. 

General information regarding PhD applications can be found here. There you will find instructions on how to prepare and submit an application online through the Cambridge graduate admissions portal. Each department has somewhat different procedures and deadlines, however. Some of these details (and links to more information) can be found below. Potential applicants are welcome to contact faculty members for further information and advice on how to apply.

The Cavendish Laboratory:

General information about the PhD program can be found here, on the Cavendish website, and here, on the University website. It is recommended to apply before the end of January 2018. Potential supervisors located at the Cavendish include Queloz and Buscher.

The Institute of Astronomy:

General information can be found here, on the IoA website, and here, on the University website. The application deadline is 31st January 2018. Potential supervisors located at the IoA include: Clarke, Madhusudan, Parry, and Wyatt. Their group website may be viewed here.

The Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics:

General information can be found here, on the DAMTP website, and here, on the University website. The (soft) application deadline is 31st of January 2018. Potential supervisors at DAMTP include: Ogilvie, Latter, and Rafikov. Their group website may be viewed here.

Funding

All three departments can offer a small number of STFC-funded studentships to UK residents. Note that EU nationals who have resided in the UK for the last 3 years are counted as residents. EU nationals who are not resident may have their fees paid but not their maintenance; in these cases additional funds will have to be sought.

Other sources include the Gates and Cambridge trusts. To be considered for these awards, applications must be submitted before 4th January 2018.

An applicant's home country and institution might also offer funding, as do some Cambridge colleges. Applicants should consult the general Cambridge University guide to graduate funding at this website for an up-to-date list of opportunities.