Postgraduate research


Qualification: PhD

Department: School of Physics and Astronomy

Application deadline: 19 May 2023

Start date: 25 September 2023


The School of Physics and Astronomy offer PhD projects funded by The Sciences and Technology Facilities Research Council (STFC) for September 2023 entry shortly.

  • Visit our research group pages, and be sure to state your broad area of interest (Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Space Physics, Instrumentation, etc.) in the Proposal Section.
  • Select your preferred projects and list in ranked order on your application.
  • Refer to the How to Apply section below before using the application button at the bottom of the page to apply
  • Previous applicants for these projects need not apply

Dr Chrysa Avdellidou: Looking inside planetesimals by studying asteroid collisional families.

Professor Martin Barstow: White dwarfs, planetary debris and fundamental physics

Dr Matthew Burleigh: Characterising eclipsing binaries from NGTS and TESS

Dr Phil Evans: Transient X-ray events found with the Swift satellite

Professor Leigh Fletcher: Exploring Giant Planet Systems with the James Webb Space Telescope

Dr Michael Goad: Testing the standard model for accretion in Active Galactic Nuclei

Dr Paul McMillan: The disturbances of the outer Milky Way

Research Council Studentships

Research Council funded Studentships schemes designed to support the training of the next generation of world-class researchers.

Studentships are available to highly motivated and qualified applicants and provide a generous support package usually including a full fee waiver, annual stipend, and research training support grant. Studentships are in most cases offered early in the year for September start.



The projects listed are in competition for STFC funding. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding.

The STFC studentship which includes:

  • A full UK fee waiver for 3.5 years
  • An annual tax free stipend (currently £17,668 for 2022/2023)
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG)
  • Conference Fees and UK Fieldwork fund

*International applicants will be need to be able to pay the difference between UK and International fees for the duration of their studies.

For 2023/4 entry the full international fee will be £21,850. We are waiting confirmation of the UK 2023/4 fee but for 2022 this was £4,549. The difference in fees will be approximately £16,300 (exact figure to be confirmed).

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold/or expect to obtain a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Enquiries relating to projects should go to the project supervisor (contact details are on each project).

Application enquiries to

How to apply

How to apply

To apply please use the online Apply Button at the bottom of the page.

With your application, please include:

  • CV
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the email contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.
  • Upload a Personal statement to include
    • your broad area of interest (Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Space Physics, Instrumentation, etc.) having reviewed our research group pages; and
    • explain your interest in the project/s you are interested in applying for
    • include your experience and why we should consider you. 
  • In the Supervisor section which can be found on the Personal Statement page please list, in ranked order, the names of supervisors and the projects you wish to be considered for.

In the funding section: from the drop down menu select Studentship and then select STFC. In 'please specify' add STFC2023 You can ignore the percentage field.

You do not need to include a research proposal.



Available to UK and International applicants. Please refer to the funding section for funding information.

International applicants

International applicants will need to be able to fund the difference between UK and Overseas fees for the duration of study.

International students will require a student visa in order to be able to study in the UK. There are costs associated with the visa application process, which must be met by the student; approx £2500 for the visa and healthcare surcharge. Please ensure you have the means to meet these costs before you apply to the programme.

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