University of Exeter funding: Dynamical systems and applications

Dynamical systems and applications to number theory, Mathematics – PhD (Funded) Ref: 3816

About the award


Academic Supervisors:
Dr Jimmy Tseng, University of Exeter


Mathematics, Streatham Campus, CEMPS, Exeter

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Exeter in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter under the supervision of Dr Jimmy Tseng.  For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,009 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in the Department of Mathematics at the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter and would part of two research groups within the department:  the Number Theory, Geometry and Algebra group and the Dynamical systems and Analysis group.

Project Description:
In recent years, there has been much growth in the applications of dynamical systems to number theory, leading to a greater understanding of and solutions to some outstanding problems in number theory.  This project, which will be concerned with dynamical systems, especially certain systems preserving a measure such as diagonal flows on homogeneous spaces, and the subfield of number theory called Diophantine approximation, will be part of this growth.  The student will study the basics of dynamical systems and Diophantine approximation and will employ tools from these fields to study the behaviour of orbits and the interpretation of this behaviour in terms of Diophantine approximation.  In particular, the student will focus on Farey sequences and their generalisations or related topics.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,009 per year tax-free stipend.  Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. 

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in September 2020.

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 mathematics.  It is desirable (but not essential) to have some research experience in mathematics and a master’s degree in Mathematics and/or allied fields.

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)
• Names of two referees familiar with your academic work. You are not required to obtain references yourself. We will request references directly from your referees if you are shortlisted.
• 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 31 January 2020.  Interviews will be held at the University of Exeter and/or by Skype on Friday 14 February 2020.

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 the main supervisor, Dr Jimmy Tseng,


Application deadline:31st January 2020
Value:£15,009 per year for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Office +44 (0)1392 722730 / 5150