milky-way (1)


The Feeding Habits of Galaxies

About this project

The Astrophysical Data Science Cluster (ADSC) is an exciting new development for the University of Hull’s world renowned E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics.  A series of five Grand Challenges underpin the ADSC, each of which are aligned with the science roadmaps shaping the science & technology landscape for the UK and Europe for the coming decade.  The successful candidates will work alongside international leaders striving to identify the physics driving the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars, and planets, with cross-disciplinary opportunities characterising the development of complex biological life and astrochemistry.  A blend of computational and experimental approaches will be adopted, employing Big Data analytical techniques and multi-dimensional data mining, with access provided to one of the country’s most powerful supercomputers and some of the best international telescopes, through our various partnerships.  One of the most ambitious computational experiments ever undertaken – the Horizon Run – will ensure opportunities to data mine unprecedented peta- and exa-scale datasets, all within one of the country’s most dynamic, supportive, and social research centres. An extremely generous research budget (£9k) is provided to all successful candidates, above and beyond the stipend. Interested applicants should contact Professor Brad Gibson for additional details. 

The Feeding Habits of Galaxies

This studentship will exploit current surveys, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and future surveys, using instruments such as the TAIPAN project that aims to deliver the largest suite of observations of the Southern Sky to date. In conjunction with the Milne Centre’s unprecedented Horizon Run simulation of the Universe, the studentship will address the question of how primordial galaxies in the early Universe assemble, and mature/evolve into the objects we observe today. We will use our collective expertise to conduct a systematic, wide-field sweep for low-mass disk galaxies to determine if low-mass disks cease star formation through environmental effects or if heating from central supermassive black holes dominates. This will answer the long-standing question of what causes bursty start formation histories in galaxies and be used as a test case for determining how galaxies are fuelling their growth.


You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application. Please refer to the Mathematics and Physical Sciences research pages.

If you have any queries, please email Professor Brad Gibson.

Next steps


To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary.

An extremely generous research budget (£9k) is provided to all successful candidates, above and beyond the stipend

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree in Physics, Chemistry, Computational Science, or related discipline, together with relevant research experience. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree or Masters level qualification.

How to apply

Applications for scholarship consideration at the University of Hull should be made through the Postgraduate Application system.

On the second page of your application, please select “Graduate Scholarship” as the type of scholarship you are applying for. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first identify and contact a potential supervisor.

Apply now

Application deadline: Monday 19 February


Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.