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Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

The Atmospheric Dynamics of Tropical Expansion. EMPS College Home fees Studentship, PhD in Mathematics. Ref: 4320

About the award

Supervisors

Lead Supervisor:

Dr William Seviour, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter

Co-supervisor:

Dr Stephen Thomson, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter

Location:

Department of Mathematics, Streatham Campus, Devon, University of Exeter

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:

Many features of Earth’s climate and atmospheric circulation are linked to the width of the ‘tropical belt’, including the subtropical dry zones, Hadley cells, and midlatitude jet streams. Even small changes in the positions of these features can have important societal and ecological consequences.

It is now well-established that many features of the tropical belt have shifted poleward over the past several decades, a trend in which anthropogenic warming has likely played a significant role. However, the dynamics of this ‘tropical expansion’ remain poorly understood. Recent work has shown there disconnect between the expansion of lower atmospheric metrics (such as rainfall patterns), and upper atmospheric metrics (such as the subtropical jet) which is not predicted by established theory or conceptual models. It is also unclear what impact tropical expansion may have on the stratosphere, and whether it may have had a role in a recent surprising decline in lower-stratospheric ozone concentrations, contrary to the more widespread ozone recovery following the Montreal Protocol.

This studentship will use cutting-edge computational and data analysis tools to better understand and predict tropical expansion. The project will involve a combination of idealised modelling, analysis of global climate models, and observational data sets. A particular focus will be the use and development of the open-source atmospheric modelling framework, Isca (https://execlim.github.io/IscaWebsite/), developed within our group. Isca is a uniquely flexible framework that can be used for simulating the atmosphere at varying levels of complexity, and so is an ideal tool for probing fundamental mechanisms. With support from the supervisors, the candidate will be encouraged to shape the focus of the research to suit their interests.
 

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 an appropriate area of science or technology, such as Mathematics, Physics, Meteorology, Oceanography, Computer Science, or a related field. Knowledge of scientific programming languages (e.g., Python, Matlab, R) and experience with independent research would be advantageous, but is not essential. 

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 24th January 2022.  Interviews will be held online on the week commencing 7th February 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 w.seviour@exeter.ac.uk

Summary

Application deadline:24th 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