Astronomy & Astrophysics

 Department of Physics

Astronomical Research at Durham

Durham University is one of the UK's leading centres for astronomical research with world-class groups working in a wide range of fields covering the observational, theoretical and instrumentation aspects of astronomy.

April 2014:European Best Doctoral Thesis Prize for former Durham PhD student Claudia Lagos
The 2014 MERAC Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis in Theoretical Astrophysics has been awarded to former Durham student Claudia Lagos, who undertook her thesis work here at the ICC between Oct 2009 and Sept 2012, under the supervision of Prof. Carlton Baugh and Dr. Cedric Lacey.
February 2014:£7.4M award to support astronomy research at Durham University
STFC have recently announced the award of a £7.4M grant to support astronomy research at Durham University for 2014-17. This resource will fund research activities within the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, the Institute for Computational Cosmology and the Extragalactic astronomy group.
10 Jan 2014:Prof Carlos Frenk awarded the 2014 Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal
1 Jan 2014:Prof Ian Smail has been appointed as Chair of the STFC Astronomy Grants Panel
PhD and MSc Postgraduate Studentships in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology beginning October 2014
We are seeking graduate students to undertake research within our PhD and MSc programmes from October 2014. We expect to take on ~7 STFC-funded students for a PhD degree, in addition to further students either self funded or with funding from different sources. Students will undertake full-time (or part time) cutting edge astronomical research, in addition to our post-graduate lecture courses in their first year. The STFC-funded PhD studentships cover course fees and living expenses for 3.5 years; however, you (typically) have to be a British citizen to be eligible for a fully funded STFC studentship. Applicants are required to have, or expected to gain, at least a 2.1 in an integrated MPhys or a pass in a Masters degree or a 1st class in a Bachelors degree, in physics, astrophysics or mathematics. More details on the available research programmes, application procedure, and eligibilty can be obtained from here.

Durham was ranked Number One in Europe and fourth in the world for our research into Space Science (which covers research into astronomy and astrophysics) over the decade 1998-2008, according to the most recent league table from Thomson Reuters ESI.

There are 28 academic staff across the combined astronomy groups, with over 100 postdocs, postgraduate students and support and technical staff involved in astronomy research. The majority of our astronomical research is undertaken in the following groups:

Contact Details

Department of Physics,
Durham University,
South Road,
Durham DH1 3LE
Tel: 44 (0)191 3343635