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The role of mergers in fuelling Active Galactic Nuclei

Project Description

As part of the European Commission Innovative Training Network (ITN) BiD4BEST, the University of Bath is inviting applications for an early-stage researcher position working on the role of mergers and instabilities in the fuelling of supermassive black holes under the supervision of Dr Carolin Villforth

The position will last three years and will require that the researcher registers for a PhD programme at the University of Bath.

You will use machine learning techniques to compare cosmological simulations to observed galaxy morphologies. Using these cutting-edge techniques, you will set black hole accretion in a cosmological context and determine the intrinsic contribution of mergers and instabilities to black hole accretion. This work will be used to develop methodology for future surveys (LSST, Euclid). As part of the PhD project, you will undertake research placements at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany), Observatoire de Paris (France) and University of Southampton, as well as an industry placement in data science at Unbound.

For more information on the network as well as other positions available, see the homepage of the ITN:

There are strict eligibility requirements for this position:

Applicants may be from anywhere in the world; however, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the commencement of the position.

International applicants will be required to meet UKVI English language requirements in order to obtain a work visa for the UK IN ADDITION TO the university’s English language entry requirement

In addition, applicants must:

• be in the first four years of their research careers at the time of appointment and have not been awarded a doctoral degree;

• comply with the EU definition of Early Stage Researchers (specifically, not having previously been awarded a doctoral degree);

• be in possession of, or expect to obtain, a Master’s level (four year) degree (or equivalent experience following a three year degree) in Maths, Physics, Computer Science or a related subject, with a classification of First Class or Upper Second Class (or equivalent);

• meet the English language requirements of the University of Bath Doctoral College (currently a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with at least 6.0 in each of the four components).


Applicants should submit TWO applications by the advertised application deadline:

1) A formal PhD application should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Physics (full-time):
You should ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section of the application form. More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:


2) A job application must be made IN ADDITION to the PhD application. See here:

Start date: 1 October 2020.

Funding Notes

Starting salary: £32,750 per annum (inclusive of pension) £37,750 per annum (exclusive of pension)
Mobility allowance: €600/£439.37 per month
Family allowance: €500/£366.14 per month (if eligible)
Fixed term for a period of 3 years

How good is research at University of Bath in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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