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  • Liverpool Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science: LIV.DAT
    Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool

    Recent years have witnessed a dramatic increase of data in many fields of science and engineering, due to the advancement of sensors, mobile devices, biotechnology, digital communication, space technology and internet applications. However, currently very little targeted training is provided to address a growing skills gap in this area.

    In response, we are creating a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in data intensive science which will be hosted jointly by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.

    As part of this initiative, the Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) of Liverpool John Moores University is offering up to 6 fully funded four-year PhD scholarships in Data Intensive Science related to STFC’s astronomy research programme. This is part of a new initiative funded by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council to establish a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), hosted jointly by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.

    Analysis and manipulation of Big Data has long been a specialty of researchers in astronomy, particle physics and related areas in the UK and the new centre will be a hub for Big Data training. Managing, analysing and interpreting large, complex datasets and high rates of data flow is a growing challenge for many areas of science and industry.

    Students will be based within the ARI and will work on astrophysics projects related to the analysis and manipulation of Big Data. Examples of projects include, but are not restricted to:

    • Simulations of low surface brightness galaxy emission recovery from LSST
    • Transient classification in the LSST data deluge
    • Self consistent annihilation simulations of dark matter
    • Using cosmological simulations to develop large-scale structure emulators to constrain dark sector physics
    • Viewing cosmological simulations with virtual telescopes; observable properties of core-collapse supernovae
    • Observable properties of core collapse supernovae

    CDT students will benefit from comprehensive training programme in their own specialised astrophysics cutting edge research area and in data intensive science, through a targeted taught programme of modules at both University’s in areas such as:

    • Big Data Analysis
    • Monte Carlo techniques
    • Data mining
    • Computing techniques for big data

    As an essential part of the programme, students will take one or more secondments lasting a period of at least 6 months, to a local industry or a research organisation engaged in the development and/or use of data intensive science techniques in a different area to their research project.

    CDT students will join our current cohort of 32 PhD students at the ARI. These are engaged in fundamental astrophysics research over our full scientific areas of interest: galaxy formation and evolution; star formation and stellar evolution; time-domain astrophysics; and astronomical instrumentation. The Institute consists of 22 full time academics plus research fellows, PDRAs, technical and admin staff. The ARI owns and operates the robotic 2m Liverpool Telescope as a national facility and is developing a 4m robotic telescope with first light planned for 2022. ARI also hosts the EAGLE and BAHAMAS cosmological simulations.

    Liverpool is located in the north west of England and is a city with a rich sense of culture based on its maritime history. It has a thriving music and arts scene and a sharp sense of humour, making it excellent for student living. Liverpool boasts more museums, theatres and art galleries than any other city in the UK outside London. In 2018 Liverpool will be hosting the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science on the Liverpool Waterfront, an iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site on the river Mersey. The ARI and University of Liverpool are located in the knowledge quarter of the city within easy walking distance of each other.

    Requirements: the applicants need to have gained a first class or upper second honours degree (or equivalent) or a master's degree in an appropriate subject e.g. astronomy, physics or mathematics. A good command of English to at least IELTS level 6.5 is also required for international applicants. Students will be expected to start on 1st October 2017.

    For enquires please contact either Professor Chris Collins ( or Professor Shiho Kobayashi (

    Applicants should include the following documents with their application: degree certificates and transcript of records, a brief description of their research interests and experience, along with two letters of recommendation. These should be sent directly to Danielle Coogan ( Applications submitted by 1st June 2017 will receive full consideration.

    LJMU is committed to equality and diversity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.