DPhil Projects for 2024 Entry

Listed below are the doctoral research projects offered for 2024 entry.  You can also devise a project of your own in consultation with potential supervisors.  Please ensure you contact the project supervisor or a potential supervisor to discuss your project.  This is essential if you are not applying to a listed project.  A list of Faculty and their contact details can be found here.

You will need to apply for both the programme and the project via the main University online graduate application form.  The application form, all supporting materials required for the programme (including references) must be submitted by the application deadline.  To access the application form and application guide please visit the University’s website at www.graduate.ox.ac.uk/apply.

If you are applying for an advertised project you must indicate this by entering the project reference code (given below) on the application form, in the sections headed ‘Proposed field and title of research project’ and ‘Departmental Studentship Applications’.

Note: New projects and studentships will be added as they become available.

COMET and BGS Studentship

Primary Supervisor: David Pyle

There is a single studentship available for the project listed below.  The studentship would be 3 years duration in the first instance, with the possibility of extension to 3.5 years.  It includes fees at the home rate, stipend, travel and research funds.

DPhil  Projects

The following projects can be applied for via the DPhil in Earth Sciences.  Fees and stipend may be offered from various sources, such as the Clarendon, but this is not guarnateed; training and research costs can be covered up to a certain amount agreed with the primary supervisor.  They are also open to applicants who will be self-funded.

DTP Projects

The following projects can be applied for via the DTP in Environmental Research, which has funding.  They are also open to applicants to the DPhil in Earth Sciences who will be self-funded (including training and research costs).

Note that the application deadline for the DTP in Environmental Research is earlier than the DPhil in Earth Sciences.

  • Project EARTH-23-BH1: Carbon dioxide from crumbling coasts: Rock weathering as a carbon source
  • Project EARTH-24-HB1: The ecological and photosynthetic properties of marine phytoplankton in the subpolar North Atlantic and its impact on the ocean’s carbon cycle
  • Project EARTH-24-HM1: Understanding Earth’s Lower Mantle Structure and Composition Through Laboratory Seismology
  • Project EARTH-24-HM2: The influence of the grain boundary network and grain size on seismic properties of Earth’s mantle
  • Project EARTH-24-HM3: Rapid Multi-dimensional Seismic Property Mapping of Earth Materials
  • Project EARTH-24-JB1: Ore-forming processes in sub-volcanic systems
  • Project EARTH-24-JC1: Investigating the role of diatomaceous exopolysaccharides in carbonate precipitation: mechanism and potential applications
  • Project EARTH-24-JH1: Exploring high-frequency seismic signals: tracking wind and ocean waves or probing shallow lunar structure
  • Project EARTH-24-JH2: Towards physics-based earthquake forecasting: making new observations or developing a model testing framework
  • Project EARTH-24-JH3: Physics-based earthquake forecasting for CO2 storage
  • Project EARTH-24-LP1: Using machine learning tools to understand the Cambrian Explosion of animal skeletons
  • Project EARTH-24-LP2: Unravelling the deep homology of gill slits and the origin of bilaterian body plans
  • Project EARTH-24-LP3: The meiofauna frontier: pushing the limits of computed tomography in
    invertebrate morphology and systematics
  • Project EARTH-24-LS1: Tidewater glacier mass-loss mechanisms in Northwest Greenland
  • Project EARTH-24-LS2: Regional impacts of supraglacial lake drainage on ice-flow dynamics
  • Project EARTH-24-MK1: Combined geophysical datasets for characterising volcanic brines
  • Project EARTH-24-PK1: Robustly imaging mantle upwellings under isolated oceanic islands
  • Project EARTH-24-PK2: Robust tomographic proxies for phase transitions in Earth’s mantle
  • Project EARTH-24-PK3: The potential of seismic monitoring during urban tunnel boring
  • Project EARTH-23-RK1: From dislocations to subduction: the microphysics of olivine deformation and its geodynamic implications
  • Project EARTH-24-RK4: Granular dilatancy and the mechanics of faults
  • Project EARTH-24-RP1: New views on an old terrain – revisiting assembly of the Lewisian Complex
  • Project EARTH-24-RP2: Geodynamics of the early Earth and the formation of primitive crusts
  • Project EARTH-23-RR2: The prevalence of eccentricity forcing on evolution and the carbon cycle
  • Project EARTH-23-TM1: Understanding carbon dioxide emissions from Iceland: carbon budgets and their use for forecasting changes in volcanic behaviour

Academic Futures

Academic Futures is a series of scholarship programmes that will address under-representation and help improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the University’s graduate student body.

This funding is open to any project listed on this page, or a project you devise yourself in consultation with potential supervisors.

Further information about the Academic Futures Scholarships can be found on the University website.

Black Academic Futures

Up to 30 scholarships are available across the University for UK Black and Mixed-Black postgraduate offer holders, to financially support them to pursue graduate study at Oxford.  The Department of Earth Sciences is proud to be one of the funding partners for one of these scholarships.

To apply for the Black Academic Futures Scholarship, all you have to do is submit your completed graduate course application, including ethnicity information, by the January deadline and you will automatically be considered.