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 interests.

Possible PhD projects this year include (title, supervisors):

The list of current funded studentships is available here: current studentships on offer (search for the research topic: Astrophysics). Note that the application forms open at the end of December or start of January.

Each year, we offer several PhD studentships funded by STFC (click here for more details about the STFC studentships). We usually advertise funded places in December-January with application deadline at the end of January and decisions are made in February-March. 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. You can apply for a place by following the "Apply for PhD" link on here.

If you require any further information or would like to visit please contact Dr Nick Wright for general enquiries or the member of staff you are interested in working with.

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

The Ernest Rutherford Fellowships will enable early career researchers with clear leadership potential to establish a strong, independent research programme. They will encourage talented researchers in UK universities to remain in the country and at the same time attract outstanding overseas researchers to the UK. Fellows will receive support for their salary and be able to bid for significant additional funds to support their research.

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 the Sir Norman Lockyer Fellowship) for promising young scientists to be employed as Research Fellows at UK universities. 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. Candidates in astronomy and geophysics eligible for the RASDJF should apply via the Daphne Jackson Trust website.

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)