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Observational studies of massive star formation


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Project start date
Friday 1 October 2021
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Stuart Lumsden
Additional supervisors
Prof Rene Oudmaijer or Prof Melviin Hoare
School of Physics and Astronomy
Research groups/institutes
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Leeds is one of the leading institutes in the in the observational study of massive star formation. We have specific interests in the near infrared, radio and mm properties, since these can probe the disc around the young star, as well as the jets and winds it generates. These markers help us to understand how massive stars form.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Two specific project areas are offered.</p> <p>The first utilises a combination of near infrared spectroscopy and radio continuum imaging.&nbsp; Data in hand include studies of the molecular absorption lines, which give the structure of the cool gas very near to the star, and hydrogen and helium emission lines, which gives the velocity structure of any jet or wind present.&nbsp; These will be compared with the expected results from existing models for young protostars of this mass.&nbsp; Radio continuum data allows us to study the jets.&nbsp; Radio is valuable since it is not effected by the dust that obscures these regions, so allows a much fuller sample to be studied.&nbsp; Continuum data allows us to quantify the mass loss rate from the star.&nbsp; The high spatial resolution offered by facilities such as the VLA permit the evolution of the jets to be studied which further constrains the emission mechanism present.</p> <p>The second project seeks to develop modern statistical techniques in order to characterise star formation regions.&nbsp; This is an extension of the work this group has carried out as part of our EU funded StarFormMapper project.&nbsp; The aim is to enhance existing techniques, whether drawn from astronomy or other fields such as geostatistics, as well as to develop new methods.&nbsp; The data to be studied will include those from the Gaia satellite, as well as other space based and ground based surveys, and will aim to determine which methods are the best at comparing what we see in real life with the outputs from simulations.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &ldquo;Observational studies of massive star formation&rdquo; as well as <a href="">Dr Stuart Lumsden</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>A highly competitive STFC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship&nbsp;consisting of:</p> <p>UK Nationals:&nbsp; fees at UK fee rate and a maintenance grant of &pound;15,285 (currently for session 2020/21) for 3.5 years</p> <p>Non-UK nationals*: fees at UK fee rate and a maintenance grant of &pound;15,285 (currently for session 2020/21) for 3.5 years</p> <p>The project will be in competition with other projects to be awarded the funding.</p> <p><strong>(Maintenance for 2021/22 will be announced in early 2021)</strong></p> <p>*Please note that Non-UK Nationals may be required to fund the difference between UK and International Fees from an alternative source (e.g. self-funding, employer sponsorship, overseas government sponsorship, industry).&nbsp; The <a href="">UKCISA</a> website will be updated in due course with information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals starting from September/October 2021.</p> <p>&nbsp;Applications from candidates with their own funding are also welcome.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about the application process, please contact Doctoral College Admissions,<br /> e: <a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 5057</p> <p>For specific scientific enquiries about the project, please contact Dr Lumsden,<br /> e: <a href=""></a>.</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>