Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC)

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PhD Studentships

PhD studentships may available at the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC), spanning across the Dept of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE), School of Mathematics and Statistics (SoMaS) and Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield in one of the areas of interest of the Centre:

  • Magnetoseismology of the solar atmosphere (from photosphere to corona)
  • Dynamics of MHD jets (from spicules to x-ray jets)
  • MHD wave theory with solar and astrophysical applications
  • MHD wave observations and Solar Magneto-Seismology (SMS)
  • MHD and plasma instabilities with applications so solar and solar-terrestrial physics
  • Heating of the solar atmosphere: waves, reconnection, etc.
  • MHD and collisionless shocks in the magnetosphere
  • Radiation belt modelling
  • Space Weather (flare and CME forecasting, arrival, etc.)
  • High-speed stereo Schlieren imaging and signal processing
  • Applying Machine Learning and AI techniques to solar and solar-terrestrial physics
  • Novel joint ground-based and satellite observations of the Sun.
SP2RC has wide expertise in advanced analytical and numerical modelling and analysing high-resolution observations obtained by cutting-edge ground-based instruments and space satellites. The studentship may be supplemented by an income from assistance in tutorials.

Applications are invited from Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or Computer Sciences students who have graduated or expect to graduate with a first or upper-second class degree. Unless otherwise advertised, RCUK rules apply for eligibility overall.

The screening of applications is continuous with an initial closing date of 23 January 2019. Applications after that date may also be considered until the positions are all filled.

Studentships may be available commencing October 2019 depending on the departments involved. The following specific studentship schemes may be available for applicants towards supporting their PhD studies:

  • 1) Faculty of Science Fee Scholarships
  • 2) China Scholarship Council Studentships
  • 3) SoMaS EPSRC Studentships
  • 4) SoMaS Studentships

1) Faculty of Science Fee Scholarship

Please see for details and address any specific queries to

Faculty of Science: PhD Scholarships 2019 entry

The Faculty of Science is offering a number of Fee Scholarships to support excellent home, EU or overseas students. This funding is for Fee Only awards, up to the full fee for 3.5 years can be requested, with applications for part-fee funding welcomed. For this opportunity PhD applicants will need to apply via the PG online system, by the deadline of 23rd January 2019. The competition for this type of support will be very competitive. Pleease note that at most one entry per primary SP2RC supervisor will be put forward.

2) China Scholarship Council studentships

Full details of these studentships can be found at: here

It is important to note that according to the rules set out by University Research Services, applicants must be in receipt of an UNCONDITIONAL study offer (including fulfillment of all English Language requirements) prior to the scholarship application deadline of 17:00 on 23rd January 2019. Please allow at least a week for admissions to process offers.

Please also note the restrictions on eligibility for these studentships, in particular the requirement to return to China after the PhD. Although the website lists some priority areas but excellent our outstanding applicants may still be considered. Note that the entire School of Mathematics and Statistics will be able to put forward only ONE applicant to Faculty.

3) School EPSRC Studentships

The School has four studentships available for October 2019 entry, for projects within the Engineering and Physical Sciences ResearcH Council (EPSRC) remit. These studentships are available to Home (UK) students only. All eligible students who make an online application by the deadline of 23rd January 2019 and who are interviewed by 11th February 2019 will be automatically considered for these studentships.

4) School Studentships

SoMaS has a further two departmental studentships available for October 2019 entry, for any subject area within SoMaS research. PThe School plans to use these either to provide 3.5 years' stipend only for students (whether home, EU or overseas) who are successful in obtaining a full fee scholarship from Faculty (see above), or to award fees and stipend for 3.5 years for home or EU students only. All eligible applicants who apply by the deadline of 5pm on 23rd January and who are interviewed by 5pm on 11th February will be automatically considered for these studentships. The first round of allocations of these studentships will be announced by the end of February.

For additional informal information, please contact Professor Robertus von Fáy-Siebenbürgen (Deputy Head of SP2RC): robertus [at] or, alternatively you are encouraged to approach any academic member of the Centre.