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Numerical simulations of stellar cluster formation and evolution, Physics and Astronomy – PhD (Funded by the European Research Council(ERC)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, January 27, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,009 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. The student would be based in Physics and Astronomy in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus Exeter.

Project Description:
There is still much we don’t understand about stellar clusters, including how they form, and how they evolve. So for example whilst we know stars form in molecular clouds, we don’t yet know what type of cluster or association will be produced in a given environment e.g. a young massive cluster, cluster, OB association, T association or simply isolated stars. We are also not clear how long clusters take to lose their gas, and how long they typically survive. This project will involve performing numerical hydrodynamic + Nbody simulations to model cluster formation and evolution to try and understand more about young clusters. One possible option with this project is to perform small scale simulations of stellar clusters. This could either be a fairly numerically orientated project improving the stellar feedback scheme in the code, or a more observationally driven project trying to match an observed star forming region. A second possibility is to investigate cluster properties on galaxy scales (see Figure), by performing simulations of different types of galaxy (e.g. barred, spiral) and examining the spatial distribution and ages of clusters and seeing how they compare with recent observations such as the LEGUS survey (https://legus.stsci.edu).

This project will be primarily computational, so having some experience of programming, and in particular working with numerical simulations, is ideal. There will however also be opportunity to work with observers, possibly including external collaborations and surveys.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who qualify for UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees (see https://www.exeter.ac.uk/pg-research/money/fees/) in full, plus at least £15,009 per year tax-free stipend. Students who qualify for international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award may not cover the full fees and stipend.

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in September 2020

Funding Notes

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,009 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. The student would be based in Physics and Astronomy in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus Exeter.

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