NUDATA04 Simulating the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes

   Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering

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  Dr T Costa  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Overview of the CDT

This project is being offered as part of the STFC Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science, called NUdata, which is a collaboration between Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, STFC, and a portfolio of over 40 industrial partners, including SMEs, large/multinational companies, Government and not-for profit organisations, and international humanitarian organisations. Please visit for full information.


In our current picture of galaxy formation, galaxies grow via gravity out of tiny matter inhomogeneities generated 1.e-36 after the Big Bang. After they form, stars and supermassive black holes take over the galaxy evolution process, shaping it over next billions of years through a stunning variety of processes, including radiation fields, supernova explosions, and relativistic jets. A solid theoretical description of the galaxy formation process requires the performance of simulations on supercomputers.

The goal of this project is to push our theoretical understanding of how supermassive black holes and galaxies form in the early Universe. You will develop brand new numerical models to incorporate unexplored physical processes (e.g. radiation from active galactic nuclei) into new simulations of galaxy evolution. You will perform and forward-model new cosmological simulations and test your new theoretical models against cutting-edge telescope data. This project is intensively numerical in nature and especially suited to a candidate who is passionate about code development and theoretical physics. The project has a strong data science element: the analysis of TB-scale datasets generated by simulations and the development of new software modules to capture missing physical processes.

Recruitment Event

You will join a strong and supportive research team. To help better understand the aims of the CDT and to meet the PhD supervisors, we are hosting a day-long event on campus on Monday 15th January 2024. At that event, there will be an opportunity to discuss your research ideas, meet potential PhD supervisors, as well as hear from speakers from a variety of backgrounds (academia, industry, government, charity) discussing both STFC and data science as well as their personal paths and backgrounds. Travel and accommodation (if needed) will be covered, but funds are limited, so please register early.  Click for details

Please note:

Please list all Newcastle hosted projects you are interested in in your cover letter. You are strongly encouraged to list multiple projects, since some projects are more popular than others. You only need to submit one application even if you are interested in multiple projects (we recommend you submit your application to your first choice). 

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Physics (29)
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 About the Project