Galactic archaeology beyond the near field

The Department of Physics is offering a fully-funded PhD studentship to work with Dr Payel Das in the Astrophysics Research Group. Dr. Payel Das is funded by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, 'Galactic archaeology beyond the near field', aimed at understanding the evolution of nearby galaxies, including our own, through synergies between unprecedented data and new state-of-the-art chemo-dynamical models.

Start date

1 October 2020


3 years

Application deadline

Funding information

The stipend is the normal UKRI stipend of about £15k per annum and the tuition fees are the current University fee of £4327.


The position, velocity, and chemical composition of each star provide clues to the evolutionary history of a galaxy. Galactic archaeology seeks to collect and exploit these stellar fossils in galaxies where we can resolve individual stars. This PhD project seeks to develop novel galactic archaeology tools for exploiting stellar fossils that have been harvested in M31 and its satellite dwarf galaxies. The work will be pivotal in understanding the accretion history and accumulation of dark matter in M31, and shed light on the independent formation paths taken by spiral galaxies in our Universe.

Applications are welcome from students wishing to study for a PhD on a full-time or part-time basis. This studentship is available to applicants who are categorised as either Home/EU students, or International (non-EU) students.

This studentship will be supervised by Dr Payel Das.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, or an appropriate discipline.

UK and EU students are eligible for this studentship; overseas students must additionally apply for top-up funding from the Surrey Doctoral College to cover the international fees.

IELTS requirements: IELTS Academic 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.


How to apply

Applicants should apply through the Physics PhD course page. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor in your application.



Application deadline

Contact details

Natasha Partt


Telephone: 01483 686800



Astrophysics Research Group

The studentship is available for research within any of the research groups in the department of Physics:

  • Astrophysics

For further information about the research in the department, please refer to our website.


Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.