Planetary Science

Studentships for 2017 entry have now been filledHowever, applicants who have secured their own source of funding may still be considered for one of the listed projects. Please refer to the below projects for more information. All applicants will need to submit an online application selecting the appropriate research area from the drop down menu of the electronic application form.  

Please consider applying for one of our PhD projects advertised below. You will be joining a vibrant research group who use laboratory techniques to address key science problems in the Earth, environmental and planetary sciences. Our research spans understanding the formation history of asteroids, to the volcanic history of Mars and the Moon, to the evolution of the Earth’s mantle. We study samples collected by NASA missions and are involved with space exploration missions.

Explore our research group, laboratory facilities, and our different research themes.


PhD projects

‌‌‌Download PDF files with details about the following projects:

Science of Asteroids

High‐temperature events in the protoplanetary disk: Formation conditions of chondrules and refractory inclusions
Supervisors: Dr. Rhian Jones, Prof. Ian Lyon

Science of the Solar System

Ice-regolith interactions on planetary bodies
Supervisors: Dr Greg Holland, Dr Katherine, Joy Prof Ray Burgess, Prof Jamie Gilmour Dr Romain Tartèse

Understanding the Solar System through the Xenon Isotopic Record
Supervisors: Prof. Jamie Gilmour, Dr Sarah Crowther, Prof. Ray Burgess, Dr Rhian Jones, Dr Katherine Joy, Dr Matthias Willbold

Science of Mars

Analysis and Modelling of planetary atmospheres
Supervisors: Dr Paul Connolly, Dr Grant Allen, Prof Jamie Gilmour, Dr Katherine Joy and Prof David Schultz


Suggest your own

The research projects described here should give you a taste of the topics and scope we cover. You can also see what our current students are studying by looking at the topics listed at the bottom of our group member page. We welcome project suggestions from prospective students, who should initially contact the appropriate research group to discuss the feasibility of their own ideas and identify a supervisor.

Please get in touch with the School or contact the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry research leaders directly.

Further information

If you are interested in a self-funded PhD please get in touch with the School, or contact the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry research leaders directly.

For information about career paths related to completing a planetary science PhD please see here and the Royal Astronomical Society also has some useful information here. Our former students have pursued a wide range of further careers paths ranging from planetary science research careers located across the globe (UK, France, Canada, USA, Japan, Gemrany), teaching science in schools, working in the space tourism sector (Virgin Galactic), the UK Home Office, industry (drilling contractors, technical writer at mass spectrometer company) and in research council administration.

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