The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Southampton Featured PhD Programmes
University of Warwick Featured PhD Programmes
University of Oxford Featured PhD Programmes
University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes

Searching for the First Galaxies

Project Description

Observations with submillimetre telescopes have discovered objects in the early universe that are probably the ancestors of present-day galaxies. These objects have redshifts between 3 and 5 (corresponding to about 1-2 billion years after the Big Bang) and they contain so much interstellar dust that virtually all the optical radiation emitted by the stars in them is absorbed by dust and then re-radiated in the submm waveband. The rates at which stars must be forming in them to explain the exceptional luminosity are typically about 1000 solar masses per year, 300 times greater than the star-formation rate in our own galaxy, enough to make a large galaxy in only 1% of the age of the universe. These are almost certainly proto-galaxies, the ancestors of the spirals and ellipticals we see around us today. To find protogalaxies at even higher redshifts, we need to carry out submillimetre surveys at longer wavelengths. These surveys are on the verge of becoming possible with telescopes such as the Large Millimetre Telescope in Mexico and the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) in Chile. In this PhD, the student will use the camera that the Cardiff instrumentation group is building for the Large Millimetre Telescope to carry out a survey that is expected to find these ultra-high-redshift objects. The student will also analyse an ALMA dataset that should also contain some of these objects. The student will then use a variety of telescopes, including the VLT, ALMA, Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope, to study the protogalaxies that we find. The student must be prepared to travel.

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

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)

Related Subjects

How good is research at Cardiff University in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 19.50

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.