There is not currently a unified entry point for doctoral (DPhil) study in planetary science at Oxford, though it is a high Network priority to create one. Doctoral study opportunities currently exist within the Astrophysics and AOPP (Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics) subdepartments of Physics, and the Earth Science department. Where to apply depends on the nature of the research you wish to pursue. Wherever you apply, you can be assured of lively engagement with the full range of activities and research being carried out by Network affiliates.
- In Astrophysics, students are admitted to work on a specific project with a specific advisor, though some of the projects are very general. Astrophysics and AOPP typically share applications in areas of common interest. The list of available projects varies from year to year. The planetary science project available in Astrophysics are all related to exoplanets, and include detection, characterization , orbital dynamics, planetary formation and disk dynamics. Increasingly, many of these subjects are also being investigated in AOPP and Earth Science. For information on graduate study in the Astrophysics subdepartment, see the Astrophysics Graduate Admissions page.
- Planetary work in AOPP includes work on Earth's climate, Solar System planets (including atmospheric modeling and planetary exploration) and both exoplanet climate dynamcs and exoplanet atmospheric observations. There are two streams of admission to AOPP. For work in planetary climate other than Earth one applies directly to individual projects in the subdepartment, as for Astrophysics. For work related to Earth processes, including things with a bearing on comparative planetology, one can apply to the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). The NERC DTP can fund only students with a UK or EU residency, so students from further abroad should apply directly to the individual projects. For information on graduate study in the AOPP subdepartment, see the AOPP Graduate Admissions page.
- Doctoral study in the Earth Sciences department works much the same way as in AOPP. A student can apply either directly to work on individual projects (generally necessary for work specifically related to planets other than Earth) or (if eligible) to the NERC DTP. For information on graduate study in the Earth Science department, see the Earth Science Graduate Admissions page.
- Note that new opportunities for re-organizing the landscape of postgraduate study in planetary science are opening both through the NERC DTP renewal submission and through the re-organization of the UK Research Councils. The Network is tracking these developments closely.