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Cold gas around active galactic nuclei; fuelling and feedback in the Close AGN Reference Survey

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 10, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are powered by the accretion of material onto super-massive black holes at the centre of galaxies. In the current paradigm for galaxy evolution they represent an important phase in the life of a galaxy. The enormous energy released by AGN may couple to the interstellar medium, drive large outflows, and alter the conditions for star formation in their host galaxies. Although AGN have been studied for many decades, the intimate link to their host galaxies still need to be uncovered. This project aims to do this by combining 3D data from state-of-the-art telescopes, revealing the properties of the gas and stars in a large sample of nearby AGN host galaxies from the Close AGN Reference Survey (CARS). The PhD student will have the opportunity to join a large team of astronomers from across the globe. They will take the lead on exploitation of data from the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), and its combination with other multi-wavelength data (including MUSE integral field spectroscopy from the Very Large Telescope). Taken together the student will have the opportunity to build a holistic picture of host galaxy-AGN interaction and how this affects the AGN cycle of fuelling and feedback.

This project will be funded by the STFC.
Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Astronomy with a start date of 1st October 2020.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project. If you are applying for more than one project, please list the individual titles of the projects in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select ’I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from the STFC.

Applicants will need to submit the following documents with their application:
- post high school certificates and transcripts to date
- academic CV
- personal statement
- two academic references. Your references can either be uploaded with your application, or emailed by the referee to or

Funding Notes

Tuition fee support: Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend: Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

You should have obtained, or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree in Physics , or a related subject, Alternatively, applicants with equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK will also be considered. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a Master’s degree.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS)


Husemann et al, 2017, “The Close AGN Reference Survey (CARS)”, The ESO Messenger, 169, 42 (

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