If you are successful in being appointed, you will be supported by both an academic supervisory team and our team of technical and support staff. You will be within a peer support network of up to 15 other astrobiology PhD students, postdoctoral research assistants and academics. If you are conducting a laboratory-based project, you will have access to state-of-the-art microbiology laboratories, simulation facilities and analytical capabilities. We have regular research group meetings, and informal coffee and other social events. All students are also assigned a third-party mentor, someone not associated with their research field with whom they can discuss - in confidence - matters that may affect their studies.
Training and career development
Our PhD students receive training in the specific research or technical skills needed for their project, and there is access to a diverse training programme provided by the university. We are committed to supporting our early career researchers and also offer our own training programme that includes developing skills that support your PhD studies, e.g., writing skills, time management, research skills and thesis writing, and skills that prepare you for the future after graduation, e.g., CV writing, and networking, including making active contact with industry and academic partners. Progress is supported through a university-wide reporting process, involving six-monthly progress checks. Part of this process involves the upgrade to full PhD registration at the end of your first year of study, which requires you: to produce a report summarising your work to date and your future plans; give a short oral presentation, and have a 'mini viva' in which you discuss your work with two academics who are experts in a related field.