Each year the Space and Atmospheric Physics Group admits around eight postgraduate students to undertake research in space plasma physics or atmospheric physics, leading (via an initial MPhil registration) to the award of a PhD degree of Imperial College London. Home students are supported financially by postgraduate studentship awards provided by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) or the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The details of the type of research pursued will typically consist of some combination of data analysis and interpretation, computer modelling, or theory.
Our aim is that our students should complete writing their PhD theses by the end of their third academic year. During the first year, students spend about half of their time attending lectures or in private study, learning broadly about the field and the research techniques employed. The rest of their time is spent on an initial research project which is usually developed to become the main thesis topic in the second and third year. During the second year the emphasis is on the main research topic, which we aim to have sufficiently close to completion at the start of the third year that it can be written up into a thesis (and one or more research papers) during the final year. Throughout this time, students also attend a weekly series of research seminars and Group meetings where they have the opportunity to discuss their own research and the work of others. Most students will present a summary of their research results at a major national or international scientific meeting during their second or third year. About half of our students continue into research careers in fields related to their PhD studies; others find diverse employment using the computing, communication or research skills which they have acquired during their PhD studies.
We are able to offer PhD research projects across the spectrum of the group's activity. To find more information on the research areas with which the Group is involved, go to SPAT research areas.
For more details about the projects on offer this year (to start in 2024) please see our PhD Opportunities page.
PhD project open day
Space and atmospheric physics will hold an open day to meet potential supervisors and discuss projects at 12pm on Friday the 8th of December 2023 in Blackett 1004. For further details about the open day, please contact: