Skip to main content

Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

Understanding and constraining the relationship between cloud feedbacks, the tropical circulation and the hydrological cycle. EMPS College Home fees Studentship, PhD in Natural Sciences Ref: 4315

About the award

Supervisors

Lead Supervisor:

Prof F Hugo Lambert - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Exeter.

Co-supervisor:

Prof Geoffrey Vallis - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Exeter.

Mark Webb - Met Office, Exeter. 

Location:

Department of Natural Sciences, University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Exeter Devon.

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences  is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. 

This College studentship is open to UK and Irish nationals, who if successful in their application will receive a full studentship including payment of university tuition fees at the home fees rate.

Project Description:

Comprehensive numerical global climate models (GCMs) are used to make projections of changes in 21st century climate. Because many model simulated processes are uncertain, GCMs produce a wide range of different but physically plausible 21st century predictions.  The largest uncertainty in GCM predictions of future global temperature has been traced to tropical low-level cloud feedbacks. Recent work suggests  that the strength of these feedbacks is linked by the tropical circulation to remote deep atmospheric convection associated with large thunderstorms .

This project will seek to understand the causal mechanisms underlying this cloud-circulation coupling link and to quantify the extent to which they contribute to inter-model differences in cloud feedback, and future projections of tropical precipitation and global surface temperature.

The project will use GCM simulations to understand how the effects of heating and moistening perturbations in different parts of the tropical atmosphere affect rainfall and cloud. By linking the perturbations to uncertainty in model-simulated processes in the relevant parts of the atmosphere, we will aim to understand not only how cloud feedback and the hydrological cycle are linked, but also the cause of spread in model simulated feedbacks and precipitation.

This PhD forms part of the CIRCULATES project, which seeks to constrain our uncertainty in future cloud feedbacks and climate change. CIRCULATES is a national consortium of universities and research institutes led by Exeter. The PhD student will have the opportunity to interact not only with researchers at Exeter, but also those at St Andrews, Imperial College, Reading, the Met Office, The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the U.K Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. A particular benefit will be the opportunity to collaborate with researchers using high-resolution models that, although unable to model the whole atmosphere, are better able to capture physical processes.
 

Entry requirements

This studentship is open to UK and Irish nationals, who if successful in their application will receive a full studentship including payment of university tuition fees at the home fees rate.

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, Physical Sciences, Meteorology, Environmental Sciences or a related area.

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 http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/).

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.  Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”.

• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior project work 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 pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk 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.  Please see the entry requirements information above.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 10th January 2022.  Interviews will be held online on the week commencing 24th January 2022.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor at  F.H.Lambert@exeter.ac.uk

Summary

Application deadline:10th January 2022
Value:Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Office pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk