Atmospheric research and surface exploration

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
PhD Full time: 3–4 years February and October January to April
Full time: 3–4 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

The Planetary Atmospheric Science Group undertakes world-leading climate modelling and atmospheric retrievals spaceflight instruments Beagle 2, Cassini-Huygens and the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

Our areas of expertise is are remote sensing spectroscopy, imaging instrumentation and in situ meteorological instrumentation for Mars missions.

We co-lead the NOMAD instrument on the ExoMars TGO mission which retrieves key atmospheric species that we analyse and interpret using a global climate model (GCM) of Mars. A key strength of our group is the ability to assimilate into our GCM, enabling the best possible global reconstruction of the martian atmosphere.

We offer the opportunity for studentship projects to work on a range of subjects, from the design of future optical and in situ spaceflight instruments to analysis of new observations from active missions such as ExoMars TGO utilising multi-scale numerical climate simulations and data assimilation.   

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Current/recent research projects

  • Atmospheric retrievals from the NOMAD instrument on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission 
  • Preparations for atmospheric retrievals from future missions to Venus 

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £15,698 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £7,849 per year

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars.

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Administrative support
Email: STEM-SPS-PhD-Admin
Phone: +44 (0)1908 653796

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If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.