Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Investigating the Nuclear Fingerprints of Massive Stars


   School of Mathematics and Physics

This project is no longer listed on FindAPhD.com and may not be available.

Click here to search FindAPhD.com for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Matthew Williams, Dr Gavin Lotay  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Understanding how the elements were formed by nuclear processes inside stars is a fundamental question that, as physicists, we should be able to answer. It is consistently identified as a key research challenge by national academies and funding bodies. Stars much more massive than our own Sun played an essential role in the emergence of elements beyond iron in the universe, and yet many important parts of the story remain a mystery. Recently, it has become possible to use beams of radioactive nuclei to reproduce, in the laboratory, key reactions in the nucleosynthesis pathway and to measure them directly. In this project, the student will undertake and analyse experiments that we have had approved for data collection, travelling to national accelerator laboratories in Canada (TRIUMF), the US (FRIB) and France (IJC Lab). These are specifically aimed at measurements of key nuclear reactions that impact the nuclear signatures produced by massive stars. Working with collaborators in the stellar modelling community, the results will be used to improve calculations of the stellar synthesis of elements. That is, the effect of the improvements in thermonuclear reaction rates resulting from this work will be determined in state-of-the-art models of astrophysical environments to advance our knowledge of the origin of the elements. The Surrey group is a leading player worldwide in the field of nuclear astrophysics and the project offers many opportunities to work closely with other leading research groups internationally.

Supervisors: Dr Matthew Williams and Professor Gavin Lotay

Entry requirements

Open to any UK or international candidates. Up to 30% of our UKRI funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees. Find out more about eligibility. Starting in October 2024.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our Physics PhD programme.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Physics PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal, you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.


Physics (29)

Funding Notes

UKRI standard stipend (currently £18,622 p.a.) with an additional bursary of £1,700 p.a. (for the full 3.5 years) for exceptional candidates. Full home or O/S fees (as applicable) covered. A research, training and support grant of £3,000 over the project is offered. Open to any UK or international candidates. Up to 30% of our UKRI funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees.

How good is research at University of Surrey in Physics?


Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.