The Earth Sciences Department at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes
accommodates up to 30 full time, campus-based post-graduate students at any
one time working on a variety of topics in fields as diverse as volcanology,
tectonics, igneous processes, oceanography, flood basalts, stratigraphy,
geochemistry, biogeochemistry, palaeontology and environmental science.
Up to 2 projects will be funded from a variety of sources including the
NERC. The three-year research studentships provide a maintenance grant of
£12,300 per year and all academic fees are covered. There is an additional
~6 months of funding available by internal application during the third
year. In addition to the projects listed, students are welcome to contact
the Department if they have ideas for projects themselves.
The Department is exceptionally well equipped for geochemical analysis,
(facilities include plasma, noble gas and solid source mass spectrometers,
an electron microprobe, ICPMS, XRF, FTIR and an elemental analyser),
biogeochemistry, remote sensing, and palaeontology. These laboratories are
further supported by extensive rock preparation facilities, an inter-faculty
electron microscope suite, and electronic and engineering workshops.
The Department has 56 staff members, which includes about 21 academic staff
and 10 post-doctoral research fellows, and at present 21 postgraduate
students, all of whom are based at the Milton Keynes campus. The Department
is a thriving research community and achieved Grade 5 status in the 2001
Research Assessment Exercise. The research in the department is part of the
Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (
There is a comprehensive generic training programme in key skills for all
PhD students as well as specific training for individual projects. NERC
students are also encouraged to attend NERC-approved Short Courses where
appropriate including their UK Graduate Programme. Fieldwork together with
attendance and presentation at national and international conferences is
encouraged. All graduate students have the opportunity to demonstrate at our
unique residential Earth Sciences and Science Summer Schools held at other
University campuses each year. Not only is this paid and good training, it
is also great fun. In addition there is a thriving guest lecture and social
programme organized by the Earth Sciences graduate society.
How to Apply
Applications, comprising an up-to-date CV and the names and addresses of 3
academic referees, should be submitted to the first named supervisor at The
Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA as
soon as possible; or contact Janet Dryden (firstname.lastname@example.org) who can
help with more information.
Interviews will be held on 26/27 February 2007; and, if there are any
places left, also on the 22/23 March 2007