Global PhD Scholarship in Applied Mathematics (Solar Physics)2021 entry
The University of St Andrews is pleased to offer a scholarship funded by St Leonard’s Postgraduate College, to support an exceptional student undertaking doctoral research in the following project:
Computational Analysis of the Wave Energy Budget in the Solar Atmosphere
Along with many other stars, the Sun has an outer atmosphere (corona) which is several orders of magnitude hotter than its surface (photosphere); rising from a temperature of about 6000K in the photosphere, coronal temperatures can reach millions of degrees. It is well established that the Sun’s magnetic field plays a key role in transporting subsurface energy to the outer atmosphere but the exact nature of how this magnetic energy is then converted into heat is still unclear.
The dynamical processes occurring in the Sun’s atmosphere can be modelled by a system of magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) equations, which combine the equations describing a fluid and the electro-magnetic equations. This project will focus on computational modelling of MHD waves in the solar atmosphere. Recent high-cadence and high-resolution observations have revealed an abundance of waves, oscillations and other quasi-periodic disturbances present in the solar atmosphere. These observed waves are reported to contain a substantial amount of energy. However, the role of waves and oscillations in coronal heating remains unclear and estimating the energy budget from observations is non-trivial, both due to superposition effects in the solar atmosphere and uncertainty in the identification of the observed wave modes. This project aims to improve our understanding of the MHD wave energy budget in the solar atmosphere by using 3D MHD simulations to guide the interpretation of observations.
In the first part of the project, we will analyse computational simulations of MHD wave dynamics in an idealised environment. Following the study of the MHD wave behaviour in idealised models, we will extend our analysis to state-of-the-art, self-consistent 3D numerical simulations, where the dynamical processes are not driven by artificial motions imposed on the boundaries of the computational domain but by subsurface granulation, as happens on the Sun. We will investigate whether the evolution of the wave frequencies, amplitudes and polarisation with height from the simple models is the same in these complex models or whether the waves behave differently.
The scholarship will support a co-tutelle doctoral degree programme between the School of Mathematics and Statistics at St Andrews and the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo in Norway. The student will be supervised by Professor Ineke De Moortel, (University of St Andrews) and Professor Mats Carlsson (University of Oslo).
Informal enquiries regarding this scholarship may be addressed to Professor Ineke De Moortel – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Domicile for fee status
Level of study
Postgraduate Research (Doctoral)
Year of entry
2021-2022 academic year.
The student can start their degree in August 2021, September 2021, October 2021, or January 2022.
School of Mathematics and Statistics
Applicants must not already (i) hold a doctoral degree; or (ii) be matriculated for a doctoral degree at the University of St Andrews or another institution.
Duration of award
Up to 3.5 years. The student will be expected to spend approximately half of the award term at the University of St Andrews and half at the University of Oslo. The successful candidate will be expected to have completed the doctorate degree by the end of the award term. The award term excludes the continuation period and any extension periods.
Value of award
The award covers full tuition fees for the period of time spent at the University of St Andrews. For this period, the student will also receive a stipend payable at the standard UK Research council rate (the 2021-22 annual rate is £15,560).
For the period spent at the University of Oslo the student will receive a full fee award and salary.
Tuition or maintenance award
Tuition and maintenance.
Doctoral Research at St Andrews
As a doctoral student at the University of St Andrews you will be part of a growing, vibrant, and intellectually stimulating postgraduate community. St Andrews is one of the leading research-intensive universities in the world and offers a postgraduate experience of remarkable richness.
St Leonard’s Postgraduate College is at the heart of the postgraduate community of St Andrews. The College supports all postgraduates and aims to provide opportunities for postgraduates to come together, socially and intellectually, and make new connections.
St Leonard’s Postgraduate College works closely with the Postgraduate Society which is one of the most active societies within the Students’ Association. All doctoral students are automatically welcomed into the Postgraduate Society when they join the University.
In addition to the research training that doctoral students complete in their home School, doctoral students at St Andrews have access to GRADskills – a free, comprehensive training programme to support their academic, professional, and personal development.
Apply for admission as a doctoral student – please see the advice on applying for research degree programmes.
Please indicate in your application that you wish to be considered for this Global St Andrews scholarship (reference De Moortel).
Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the scholarship: email@example.com
When do applications open?
Scholarship application deadline
01 March 2021
When will I hear if my application has been successful?
Within two months of the application deadline. Awards are subject to final signatures between the parties.