Fully-funded PhD studentships at Northumbria University

The Solar and Space Physics research group at Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) is inviting applications for fully-funded PhD studentships for an October 2022 start. These are a mixture of University funded 3-year studentship and 3.5-year STFC-funded studentships. This year, we are offering PhDs on the following topics:

University-funded, 3-year PhD studentships, deadline = 18th February 2022
• Causality pathways in space: Extracting the storm-time bias of space weather forecasting (principal supervisor: Dr Sarah Bentley)

• Deep learning of ground magnetometer networks for space physics (principal supervisor: Dr Sarah Bentley)

STFC-funded, 3.5-year PhD studentships. Deadline = 1st March 2022

• Solar active region energetics, magnetic polarity mixing and their relation to flares (principal supervisor: Dr Shaun Bloomfield)

• The Physics of Solar Prominences: an AI/ML approach (principal supervisor: Dr Stephane Regnier)

• Exploring fundamental MagnetoHydroDynamic (MHD) properties of solar chromospheric magnetic fields, via a unique observation of a large-scale swirl and associated magnetic null point (principal supervisor: Dr Eamon Scullion)

• Plasma thermodynamics of the inner heliosphere with Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe (principal supervisor: Dr Robert Wicks)

Full details can be found at:

For details of how to apply, see:

For informal questions, please contact the relevant supervisor, and/or contact Professor James McLaughlin (james.a.mclaughlin@northumbria.ac.uk).

Deadline for applications: 18th February 2022 (for University-funded) and 1st March 2022 (for STFC-funded)

Start Date: 1st October 2022 or 1st March 2023

Overview of the research group
Northumbria University’s long-standing expertise in Solar and Space Physics research has been supported with core funding from STFC and NERC as well as funding from EU Horizon 2020, European Space Agency (ESA), UK Space Agency (UKSA), the US Air Force, the National Solar Observatory (USA), the Leverhulme Trust, and the Royal Astronomical Society. Group members include STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow Dr Patrick Antolin, STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow Dr John Coxon and Future Leader Fellow Dr Richard Morton. Group members sit on various national and international panels including the STFC Education, Training and Careers Committee (Prof James McLaughlin), STFC Solar System Advisory Panel (Dr Richard Morton), STFC Project Peer Review Panel (Dr Robert Wicks), UKSA’s Space Programme Advisory Committee (Prof Clare Watt) and ESA’s Space Science Advisory Committee (Prof Jonathan Rae). Members of the group, including Prof Jonathan Rae, Prof Clare Watt, Dr Shaun Bloomfield and Dr Jasmine Sandhu also contribute to the ongoing UKRI SWIMMR (Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk) national space weather programme in support of the UK Met Office. The group’s recent research achievements include the discovery of coronal reconnection nanojets (Antolin et al., 2021, Nature Astronomy, 5, 54), creating global maps of the solar magnetic field (Yang et al., 2020, Science, 368, 694), and revealing a basal contribution from p-modes to the Alfvénic wave flux in the Sun’s atmosphere (Morton, Weberg & McLaughlin, 2019, Nature Astronomy, 3, 223).