Physics and Astrophysics research

Studentships and fellowships

We enrol new PhD students every year, usually in September. If you are interested in being a PhD student in astrophysics at Keele, please read about our research themes. We might have funded places at various times throughout the year so it is best to contact us if you are interested in doing a PhD with us. We also welcome applications from self-funded students.

Postdoctoral fellowships

If you have any questions or want to discuss possible projects, send an email to the researcher you would like to work with. Note that most of the deadlines are at a similar date every year. Please double-check exact deadlines on the fellowships' web pages.

Application deadline: September-October

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships are aimed at early career researchers with clear leadership potential that have not yet obtained a permanent position at a UK university. They have a duration of 5 years and include funds for salary, travel and computing equipment. The application deadline is in September each year, but universities typically choose the candidates they will put forward in June-July. Please get in touch with the member of staff you'd like to work with before June-July to express your interest in this scheme.

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships

Application deadline: September

The University Research Fellowships scheme aims to provide outstanding scientists, who should have the potential to become leaders in their chosen field, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. Those appointed are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships.

Royal Society University Research Fellowships

Application deadline: February

The scheme of 1851 Research Fellowships is intended to give a few PhD level scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity for conducting research for a further period of two years. Approximately eight awards are made each year.

Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Fellowships

Application deadline: October

The RAS funds several schemes (including the Sir Norman Lockyer Fellowship) for promising young scientists to be employed as Research Fellows at UK universities.

These fellowships are awarded to enable outstanding young researchers to devote the majority of their time to research on an astronomical topic, including solar system and planetary science.

RAS Research Fellowships

Application deadline: August

Within the European Marie Curie People scheme, there is the opportunity for young and senior scientists to apply for their own postdoctoral fellowships, which can take place at European Universities. The postdoc is the PI for the Marie Curie Fellowship and Keele is the host.

There are two types of Individual Fellowships:

  • European Fellowships
    • Held in the EU or associated countries.
    • Open to researchers either coming to Europe or moving within Europe.
    • Can help to restart research careers after a break such as parental leave.
    • Can also help reintegrate researchers coming back to Europe.
  • Global Fellowships
    • Fund secondments outside Europe for researchers based in the EU or associated countries.
    • There is a mandatory one-year return period.
    • European and Global Fellowships can also include a secondment period of up to 3 or 6 months in another organisation in Europe, where this would boost the impact of the fellowship.

More information available at:

Note that Keele University offers support from an EU grant expert to help prepare these applications.

Application deadline: March-April (calls around January)

The scheme provides the opportunity for the best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years.

The scheme is jointly run by the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society. Currently there is one round per year which opens in January.

Newton International Fellowships

Application deadline: contact

Under this program, fellowships are awarded to young Japanese postdoctoral researchers for conducting research at foreign universities or research institutions for a period of two years. The fellowship covers travel expenses, a stipend, and a research grant.

In 2015, more than 300 of these fellowships have been awarded.

JSPS Fellowships for Japanese citizens (Japanese version)

Application deadline: October

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world-class.  

The scheme aims to help the next generation of researchers, tech entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators get the support they need to develop their careers. The scheme is open to the best researchers and innovators from businesses and universities around the world, ensuring the UK continues to attract the most exceptional talent wherever they may come from.

Future Leaders Fellowships

Application deadline: June

In recognition of Stephen Hawking’s exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and popularisation of science, UK Research and Innovation will support and develop visionary scientists in theoretical physics and areas of mathematics and computer sciences which underpin and contribute to the development of theoretical physics at the beginning of their careers through this funding opportunity.  

This scheme aims to support excellent researchers who will make significant contributions to the field of theoretical physics and continue to spark public interest in the field.

Stephen Hawking Fellowships


Application deadline: See website for advertised opportunities

The Daphne Jackson Trust offers flexible, part-time, paid Fellowships, normally for two years, to assist talented scientists into a career following a break of at least two years. Fellows undertake a challenging research project and a retraining programme. 

Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowships


School address

Lennard-Jones School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Lennard-Jones Building
Keele University
Phone (School Office): +44 (0)1782 733033, (Chemistry): +44 (0)1782 731693, (Forensic Science): +44 (0)1782 731694, (Physics): +44 (0)1782 733527

Information for schools and colleges

Contact us about our workshops and lecture series

Programme directors

Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry
Dr Tess Phillips
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733038
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Dr Chris Hawes
Tel : +44 (0)1782 732820
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Forensic Science
Dr Jamie K. Pringle
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733163
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Physics and Astrophysics
Dr Arumugam Mahendrasingam
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733312
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Admission tutors

Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry
Dr Natalie Capel
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733584
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Forensic Science
Dr Natalie Capel
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Physics and Astrophysics
Dr Patrick Connell
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733892
Email : or