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Cardiff University Featured PhD Programmes

The distribution of star-forming molecular gas in nearby spiral galaxies

Project Description

Whether star formation is a universal process that only depends on the local density of the gas, or whether it is linked to and controlled by the large scale galactic environment, remains a subject of debate and controversy, with important ramifications into our understanding of galaxy evolution all the way down to the formation of stellar and planetary systems.

This project focuses on the exploitation of Hubble Space Telescope observations of nearby spiral galaxies, in order to study the role of the galactic environment on star formation. Specifically, the PhD student will be involved in the development and implementation of a new extinction method on a selection of nearby face-on spiral galaxies, in order to study the distribution of the different gas components of the interstellar medium, and to derive the properties of molecular clouds as a function of galactic environment, at unprecedented high-angular resolution. The student will also be using ancillary ALMA archive data and published results to study the kinematics of the gas, and the distribution of young stellar clusters in those same galaxies, for the direct comparison with the observed distribution of gas, and with numerical work.

This project will be funded by The Royal Society.
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 Royal Society.
Please note that it is possible that this project may start in late September 2020 (approx. 28th September 2020), and not the 1st October 2020. This will be confirmed with the successful applicant nearer to the time.

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)

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)

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