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The Growth of Galaxy Clusters

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 Growth of Galaxy Clusters

Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in the Universe, and they are still growing today. Unprecedented contemporary observational campaigns have shown that these systems are remarkably complex, with poorly understood internal dynamics, driven by multiple merging sub-substructures, each of which interact with the cluster in a regime where plasma physics plays a critical role in shaping the outcome.  The successful candidate with undertake idealised multi-merger simulations, translate them into multi-wavelength mock observations to compare with real data. The idealised simulations will be supplemented with cluster mergers drawn from our unprecedented Horizon Run of the Universe, realised in a fully cosmological framework. This work will inform the observing strategies of the next-generation of international observatories.


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.