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University of Portsmouth Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Lady Bertha Jeffreys PhD Studentship in Physics and Astronomy

Lady Bertha Jeffreys PhD Studentship in Physics and Astronomy

Value of award
100% of home tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,609.

Number of awards

Start date and duration
42 months from September 2021.

Application closing date
31 March 2021.


The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics at Newcastle University invites applications for a fully-funded PhD programme as a part of the Lady Bertha Jeffreys endowment.

We are looking for an outstanding student to do research in theoretical quantum physics or astronomy. The candidate will need to demonstrate academic excellence, a genuine interest and commitment to developing the role of under-represented groups in Physics, and contributions to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

The studentship is available in the following areas:

Observational Astronomy:


Quantum fluids:

Quantum materials:

The School is committed to promoting diversity, and we particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups.

This is a prestigious studentship from the estate of Lady Bertha Jeffreys Bequest and funds from the estate of her husband Sir Harold Jeffreys.

Lady Bertha Jeffreys was an early pioneer in quantum and atomic physics. She made fundamental theoretical studies of electron interactions and helped to develop the ‘self-consistent field method’ used widely today.

Sir Harold Jeffreys was an Astronomer and Geophysicist. He invented Bayesian statistical methods to analyse seismic data and prove the existence of the Earth’s molten core. These methods were published in the influential text ‘Theory of Probability’. He also discovered the WKB method for analysing differential equations that is known to every applied mathematician and theoretical physicist.

This studentship honours the Jeffreys’ commitment to excellent research, their students and contributions to EDI.


Lady Bertha Jeffreys endowment.

Eligibility Criteria

You must have or expect a First Class or high 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent physics, astrophysics or closely related disciplines. Enthusiasm for research, ability to think and work independently, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are essential requirements.

If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills).

The award is available to home applicants only.

How to apply

Applicants should first get in touch with the proposed supervisors of the areas of interest and discuss potential PhD projects. Once agreed on a project with a specific supervisor, apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system at:

  • Insert the programme code 8821F in the programme of study section, select ‘PhD Physics (FT) - (Theoretical) as the programme of study, insert the studentship code msp029 in the studentship/partnership reference field.
  • Attach a cover letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, your chosen supervisor with the project title, quote reference code msp029, state how your interests and experience relate to the project. CV. should list details of two references.
  • Attach a 2-page research proposal in conjunction with your chosen supervisor/project and a document outlining applicant’s past contributions to EDI and what your contribution to EDI will be.
  • Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

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