University of Exeter funding: The Circulation Planetary Atmospher

The Circulation of Planetary Atmospheres, Mathematics – PhD (Funded) Ref: 3861

About the award


Academic Supervisors:
Professor Geoffrey Vallis, University of Exeter

Mathematics, Streatham Campus, Exeter

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, is inviting applications for a fully-funded STFC funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.  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 Mathematics in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Project Description:
This studentship will explore the geophysical fluid dynamics and climate of planetary atmospheres. The successful candidate will investigate how the large-scale circulation of a terrestrial atmosphere interacts with radiation and a hydrology cycle to produce its climate, with particular emphasis on determining the necessary conditions for liquid water to exist at the planet’s surface, potentially providing the conditions for life to form.  The project will involve numerical modelling, using models with a range of complexities, combined with theoretical exploration. Comparison with planetary bodies in our own Solar System (Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan), past and present, will be used as benchmarks. The project may  focus on a particular planetary body or process, or seek a more general understanding of the nature of exo-planetary climates.

The studentship will cover a stipend at the minimum Research Council rate, £15,009 in 2019/20, research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements outlined by the STFC.  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 an appropriate area of science or technology. 

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 13/03/2020.  Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Streatham Campus or by Skype in mid-March.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730 or +44 (0)1392 725150.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor, Professor Vallis at


Application deadline:13th March 2020
Value:£15,009 per year for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Office +44 (0)1392 722730 / 5150