The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy conducts cutting-edge research in many fields. We offer postgraduate degrees (MSc and PhD) by research in a variety of topics (see the current projects available below).
UPDATE: Applications are invited for a full-time PhD (via MPhil) studentship in Mathematics at the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute. The studentship is tenable for 3.5 years full-time (subject to satisfactory progress) and will cover the cost of tuition fees at UK rates together with a maintenance grant (£17,668 per year 2022/23 rates) for eligible applicants. For details about the possible projects (“Interdisciplinary aspects of cluster algebras and related structures“, “The Origin and Dynamics of Astrophysical Jets“) and information about how to apply please see here. The closing date of applications is 2nd June, 2023.
We typically have a few STFC PhD studentships in Astrophysics available each year, that cover tuition and provide stipends for successful candidates. In addition in some years we offer a “Moses Holden studentship” in astrophysics. The studentships are usually announced in January every year and the deadline for receiving applications is in February (see announcement on top of the page). Additionally, we welcome applications from self-funded candidates in Physics, Maths and Astrophysics all year around.
The Moses Holden Studentships were introduced in 2017 in memory of Moses Holden, one of the prominent citizens of Preston who founded the educational institute from which our present day University can trace its origins. These studentships are funded by the Moses Holden studentship fund, established through a donation from his great great great great grandson, Mr. Patrick Holden. Moses was a keen astronomer, who gave public lectures in astronomy in Preston, and across the North of England and the Midlands throughout the 19th Century.
Applications can be submitted via the UCLan Graduate Research School website at any time, and applicants will be considered for any studentships available.
- Please indicate in the application whether you are applying for one of our studentships or whether you are partially or fully funded;
- In the application, you do not need to write a project outline in Sec 8, however if you are interested in a specific project or area of research please state which one.
Projects will be allocated from among the following areas, depending on funding levels available and the preferences of those students ranked highest on the list of applicants. Ranking will be carried out by JHI staff based on application forms, references, and interviews of short-listed candidates.
The following projects are currently available:
- Molecular Schottky Diodes (Dr. Joe Smerdon)
- Graphene, made to measure (Dr. Joe Smerdon)
- New ways of presenting microscopy data (Dr Joe Smerdon)
- Magnetism of Strongly Correlated Electron Systems (Dr. Paul Freeman)
- Theory-assisted search for novel itinerant magnets (Dr. Monika Gamza)
- Structural instabilities in strongly correlated electron systems (Dr. Monika Gamza)
- Tunable Anisotropic Magnetization Damping in Multiferroic Structures (Dr. Serban Lepadatu)
- Probing Surface Structure and Interactions of Ionic Liquids (Dr. Karen Syres)
- Investigation of tumour cell apoptosis through superparamagnetic nanoparticle mediated hyperthermia (Dr Shane O’Hehir)
- Development and application of transverse susceptometry to study the anisotropy field distribution, switching field distribution and the demagnetising factor tensor of magnetic material (Dr Steven McCann)
- Development of an in situ AC magnetometer for the measurement of time dependent hysteresis of nanoscale superparamagnetic particles (MSc by research project; Dr Tim Mercer)
- Superparamagnetic nanoparticles in tumour cell apoptosis (PhD project; Dr. Shane O’Hehir & Dr. Tim Mercer)
- Single-Bubble Sonoluminescence (Dr Brett Patterson)
- Aberration Detection & Control in Microscopy (Dr Brett Patterson)
- Transversely-Excited Atmospheric Pressure Nitrogen Laser (Dr Brett Patterson)
The Mathematics group encourage prospective students who are interested in looking for a PhD project here at UClan to contact the following people for more information:
- Topological Quantum Groups in Action – Dr. Matthew Daws – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Safer Scans for Diagnosis and Treatment Purposes – Dr. Taysir Dyhoum – TDyhoum@uclan.ac.uk
- Numerical Solutions of Direct and Inverse Problems – Dr. Taysir Dyhoum – TDyhoum@uclan.ac.uk
- Origins and Dynamics of Astrophysical Jets – Dr. Timothy Walton – TWalton@uclan.ac.uk
- Chiral Spinors in Astrophysics – Dr. Timothy Walton – TWalton@uclan.ac.uk
The following projects are currently available:
- Radio studies of galaxies across cosmic time (Dr Megan Argo)
- Exploring strategies for radio interference removal (Dr Megan Argo)
- Investigating the rotation of sunspots with the Solar Dynamics Observatory (Dr. Daniel Brown)
- Modelling the formation of the Milky Way in the era of Gaia (Prof. Victor Debattista)
- Solar Energetic Particles and Space Weather (Prof. Silvia Dalla)
- Cosmic rays in the Solar System (Dr Timo Laitinen)
- The Archaeology of Galaxies & Compact Stellar Systems (Dr. Mark Norris)
- Investigating Wolf-Rayet Stars as supernova progenitors (Dr Joanne Pledger)
- Multiwavelength analysis of galaxies (Prof. Cristina C. Popescu)
- Stellar populations and chemical enrichment in galaxies (Dr. Anne Sansom)
- The formation of gas giant exoplanets (Dr. Dimitris Stamatellos)
- Determining the fine scale structure of the solar corona (Prof Robert Walsh)
- Observational Star Formation (Dr Jason Kirk)
- MSc by Research projects available for Astronomy Distance Learning graduates
These projects are suggested opportunities offered by JHI staff. If you would like more details or would like to discuss something else related to their field of study, then please contact us directly.
Partially or fully-self-funded full-time or part-time students will also be considered. We are targeting enthusiastic and self-motivated students interested in joining one of the UK’s most rapidly growing astrophysical research groups. If you are interested in joining the Institute, please contact Dr Mark Norris (MNorris2@uclan.ac.uk).
Applications can be submitted via the UCLan Graduate Research School website.
- please indicate in the application whether you are applying for one of our studentships or whether you are partially or fully funded;
- in the application, you do not need to write a project outline in Sec 8, however if you are interested in a specific project or area of research please state which one.
Important Information for postgraduate studies
The government postgraduate loan scheme (https://www.gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study) can be used to cover the cost of postgraduate research tuition fees at UK/EU rates (£4,600 2022/23 rates) and bench fees (£1,000). If required and successfully secured, this means that the remainder of the loan may be taken and used to support maintenance costs. Applicants not eligible for the government loan may also apply but need to be able to self-fund all the associated project costs and their expenses. For international students this includes tuition fees above the UK/EU rate.
Candidates would be expected to hold a good Physics degree that has included an experimental final year project. Candidates with an appropriate physics-related or relevant Medical Engineering degree will also be considered.
The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute is located on UCLan‘s Preston campus, just five minutes north of the city centre. The Institute plays a leadership role in steering the University’s High-Performance Computational Science Facility, the centrepiece of which is a 512-node Sun HPC cluster. UCLan is a full partner in the UK’s National Cosmology Supercomputer Consortium – COSMOS – and a partner in the Southern African Large Telescope, the largest aperture telescope in the southern hemisphere. We are also involved in current and future space missions such as Herschel, Kepler, GALEX, SPICA and Solar Dynamics Observatory.
In 2010’s Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, UCLan was rated as having the best student experience of all universities in North West England, and also best of all the UK’s modern universities.
Preston has numerous theatres, cinemas, pubs, clubs, and shops, and was England’s first wireless city. It is also one of the most cost-effective places to live in the country. In a recent survey of graduate satisfaction by the Royal Bank of Scotland, graduates gave Preston a 69% rating – fourth in the country and better than Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester or London! Just beyond the city lies the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and to the west are the seaside resorts of Blackpool, Lytham St Annes and Southport. Further afield the Lake District and Peak District National Parks are within an hour’s drive, as are the other regional centres of Liverpool and Manchester.
Preston lies on the West Coast Main Line, and is only two hours from London by train.
For further information on the Institute see www.star.uclan.ac.uk
For Preston information, see www.visitpreston.com
Enquiries to Dr Mark Norris, Research Degrees Tutor (MNorris2@uclan.ac.uk, 01772 893548).