RESEARCH STUDENTSHIP OR BURSARY FURTHER PARTICULARS [to be completed by the Research Institute] Research studentships are offered to students wishing to undertake a PhD programme on a full- time basis. All studentships are highly competitive and you should ensure (and demonstrate) that there is a good match between your own qualifications and interests and those being sought for the particular studentship. Research Institute where Environment, Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics (EPSAM) studentship will be held Studentship reference EPSAM 2009-02 Web link to any further www.astro.keele.ac.uk information Research topic or field - Astrophysics title Research topic or field – Projects include: extrasolar planets; Active Galactic Nuclei and gamma- full description ray bursts (GRBs); dynamics of star clusters, galaxies, and dark matter haloes; formation and evolution of star clusters; star formation and the early evolution of stars and clusters; binary stars; mass-loss from red giants in globular clusters and in the field; eruptions of novae; determination of stellar parameters; numerical simulation of stellar interiors – including nucleosynthesis, rotation; progenitors of supernovae and GRBs. See attached document. Available from (date) September 2010 Funding support Full studentships provide tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a stipend at available – Fees, the research council rate; 3-, 3½ – and 4-year studentships available stipend, duration Source of funding STFC Eligibility criteria Must hold at least an upper second-class Bachelors degree or an appropriate Masters qualification in a physics related subject or its equivalent. Terms and conditions of Candidates must be UK residents to be eligible for full funding (fees studentship +stipend), EU nationals (who are non UK residents) qualify for a fee only award. Number of studentships At least 3 available Application details In order to be considered for a studentship you must complete an application form for PhD study, and in addition complete an additional form indicating for which studentship you wish to apply. Full details of application procedures for study are on the Keele website www.keele.ac.uk/gradschool or contact The Graduate School for a Graduate School Prospectus and application form (Graduate School, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5AZ tel: 01782 734368, email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) Closing date for 9th April 2010 applications Contact for further email@example.com and +44 (0)1782 734071 for informal enquiries. Formal information applications to be sent via Graduate School. Contact within Astrophysics group:- Professor Nye Evans, School of Physical and Geographical Sciences, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG. Astrophysics Group, Keele University Keele's astrophysics group is one of the leading centers for stellar astrophysics in the UK. Supported by a STFC Rolling Grant, the nine permanent staff lead a diverse programme of observational and theoretical astrophysics. Topics studied are extrasolar planets, black holes, Gamma-ray bursts, binary stars, novae and other evolved stars, stellar mass loss, star formation and early stellar evolution on the observational side, stellar evolution on the theoretical side, and the structure and dynamics of star clusters, galaxies, and dark-matter haloes. Keele gains more than 20 nights of time per year on telescopes of 4-m class or larger, in addition to large allocations on satellites such as HST, Chandra, Spitzer and XMM; we are also a partner institute in the VISTA (4-m) and SALT (10-m) projects. Keele has its own Beowulf cluster with 156 CPUs available for large scale simulations. Postgraduate students enter a supportive environment in which all recent students have lead-authored papers in major refereed journals before writing their PhD. We have a 100% PhD submission rate within 4 years. There are opportunities for paid demonstrating in undergraduate labs and classes. Areas of research available to new students include: Extra-solar planets (Prof C. Hellier, Dr P.F.L. Maxted and Dr B. Smalley). Keele University operates the WASP-South observatory in South Africa, as part of the award-winning Wide-Angle Search for Planets (WASP) consortium. The WASP-South instrument is the leading transit-survey in the Southern hemisphere, and has found the brightest transiting exoplanets in the Southern skies. Such systems are the best probes we have of the nature and evolution of planets. Keele PhD students will: join in the discovery of transiting exoplanets. lead follow-up studies of exoplanets using leading facilities such as ESO's Very Large Telecope and the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes contribute to the operation and development of the WASP-South observatory. become a member of the WASP (Wide-Angle Search for Planets) consortium. See www.superwasp.org Black Hole Astrophysics (Dr J. Reeves). Projects are available in forefront research into super massive black holes. The nuclei of all galaxies, including our own Milky Way, contain super-massive black holes, a few million to a few billion times the mass of our Sun. Many of these galaxies contain Active Galactic Nuclei, which produce vast amounts of radiation powered by the gravitational energy of matter falling onto the black hole. This energy is emitted in the form of high energy radiation, such as X-rays and is greater than all the starlight in one whole galaxy combined, but produced in a region smaller than the size of the Solar System. Students will study this region closest to the black hole event horizon using space based telescopes such as Chandra, XMM-Newton and Suzaku, for which the group has substantial amounts of observing time. By studying the emission from elements such as iron, the properties of the very hot material around super-massive black holes can be deduced, providing a direct probe of the black hole's strong gravitational pull. Gamma-ray Bursts (Dr J. Reeves & Dr R. Hirschi). Students can work on observational or theoretical research on Gamma-ray bursts (or GRBs). GRBs are the most powerful explosions in the known Universe, with some types of burst being linked to energetic supernovae, occuring in many distant galaxies throughout the Universe, and others due to mergers of compact objects such as black holes or neutron stars. Data from the NASA's Swift observatory and numerical simulations of stellar endpoints will be used to explore the nature of GRBs, their afterglows and their progenitors at high redshifts. A new development includes the discovery of many high redshifts bursts, including one such burst at a redshift of z=8.2 (universe only 600 million years old), one of the most distant known objects in the Universe. The study of high redshift bursts is important to our understanding of the early Universe shortly after the Big Bang and to how the first stars and galaxies formed and evolved. Stellar Astrophysics (Observations) (Prof A. Evans, Prof R.D. Jeffries, Dr J.T. van Loon). Students can work in a multi-wavelength, multi-technique research programme covering a range of interconnected topics of stellar evolution: the formation and early evolution of stars and star clusters; fundamental stellar parameters; the evolution of close binary stars; stellar mass loss; and the nature and evolution of transient phenomena like novae and "born-again" stars. Observational projects are available to study very young stars and their planet-forming environments using a multi-wavelength approach from X-rays to the infrared; topics of interest are the accretion of proto-planetary material onto young stars, high energy X-ray emission in forming planetary systems, the evolution of angular momentum and circumstellar discs, and high resolution imaging of young stellar environments. All of this research is conducted using world-leading facilities such as the ESO-VLT telescopes and satellite observatories such as XMM-Newton and Spitzer. Some of these studies are performed on other galaxies in the Local Group as well as in the Milky Way. The projects take advantage of the diverse theory activities at Keele. Students in this area regularly observe at forefront groundbased facilities, e.g., ESO Paranal, Mauna Kea, Australia's radio telescopes, or use data obtained with space-based missions such as XMM and Spitzer. Structure and dynamics of the interstellar medium (Dr J. T. van Loon). The interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies plays a crucial role in their formation and evolution. It is the source of new stars and planets, and the recycling agency for the chemically-enriched waste dumped by stellar winds and supernova explosions. On large galactic scales, the ISM structure sets the rate of star formation and the entrainment of outflows. On small interstellar scales, phase transitions and mixing between cold molecular clouds, warmer diffuse clouds and million-Kelvin hot plasma are driven upwards by the injection of energy and momentum, and downwards by thermal and dynamical instabilities. Lack of understanding these processes arises mainly from inherent difficulty to probe the smallest scales and to account for the total mass budget across the different ISM phases. We have a project to make an accurate inventory of cold gas in the halo of the Milky Way, the inter-galactic medium of the Local Group, and the ISM of the neighbouring Magellanic System. The student will work on the most detailed and sensitive HI survey, currently being carried out with the Arecibo radio telescope, and its planned southern equivalent with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. Ancillary infrared survey data will be used, obtained using the Spitzer Space Telescope and planned for the Herschel Space Observatory. The student will engage also in absorption-line experiments towards continuum sources within and in the background of the Galactic halo and Magellanic System, to probe the physical conditions in the tiniest ISM structures on AU to parsec scales. Stellar Astrophysics (Theory) (Dr R. Hirschi). Research in the areas of multi-scale numerical simulations incorporating nucleosynthesis, rotation, magnetic fields, and hydrodynamic turbulent mixing, to study the evolution of stars of all masses. Student projects (with a possible observational part) are available on stellar evolution, hydrodynamic mixing, nuclear astrophysics (including comprehensive nucleosynthesis), abundance patterns in very low metallicity (first-generation) stars and the evolution of supernova (and GRB see above) progenitors. Star Clusters, Galaxies, and Dark Matter (Dr D. McLaughlin). Students can conduct research in the general area of stellar and galaxy dynamics, using a mixture of theory and data modelling to address interconnected problems on the structure and evolution of dense star clusters, galaxies, and the haloes of dark matter that account for most of the matter in the Universe. Projects are available focussing on the internal structures and dynamics of ancient globular star clusters, including the stellar distributions around "intermediate-mass" black holes the evolutionary connection between globulars and the much younger star clusters that form in starburst and merging galaxies at the present day the "nuclear" star clusters at the centres of galaxies, including their relationship to supermassive black holes and the role they might play in galaxy formation generally the structure and dynamics of the baryonic and dark-matter components of entire galaxies, in particular as traced by star-cluster populations the physics of dark-matter haloes in their own right.