Multi-spacecraft investigations of solar and heliospheric plasmas, Mathematics – PhD (Funded) Ref: 3008

About the award

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded STFC PhD studentship to commence in September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  Where eligible, the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,553 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student will be based in Mathematics in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.


Mathematics, Streatham Campus, Exeter

Academic Supervisor:

Dr Claire Foullon, University of Exeter

Project Description:
Heliophysics is in its golden age, with an unprecedented number of satellites providing observations of unparalleled quality, either (remotely) of the Sun or (in-situ) of the solar wind. The project will be to investigate plasma and dynamical properties using the complementarities of multi-spacecraft observations. The objective is to reveal phenomena and unravel the physics governing key regions of our Sun-Earth system in the chain of space weather events that can affect our radiation environment, our communication systems and our climate. As well as joining the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, the PhD student will directly benefit from links with the Astrophysics cluster and the nearby Met Office space weather activities. This brand new PhD project will equip the student with skills suited to address future science with Solar Orbiter, the ESA mission to be launched in 2020.
The successful student will join the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics which is part of the Department of Mathematics. This group has a number of other PhD opportunities, and an application to multiple posts is welcomed.

The STFC studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in September 2018.
The studentship will cover a stipend at the minimum Research Council rate, currently £14,553 per annum, research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements outlined by the STFC RC.  Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award but no stipend. Applicants who are classed as International for tuition fee purposes are not eligible for funding.  Further information about eligibility can be found here.

Entry requirements:
Applicants for this studentship 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, in Applied Mathematics, Physics, Natural Sciences or other appropriate discipline. 

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.

• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to quoting the studentship reference number.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English

The closing date for applications is midnight on 5th February 2018.  Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Streatham Campus and we expect to hold them at the beginning of March.
If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730.  Project-specific queries should be directed to Dr. Foullon.


Application deadline:5th February 2018
Number of awards:1
Value:£14,553 for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Postgraduate Research Office