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Name of scholarship/program

Raman spectroscopy of Mars-analogue rocks

Important description
The ExoMars mission, a European mission to Mars scheduled to fly in 2018, will search for evidence of life. The spacecraft will carry an instrument to perform Raman spectroscopy on selected rock samples, to determine mineralogy and organic components.

The UK is strongly involved in the development of the ExoMars Raman instrument. In order to maximize the potential of the instrument, much work on terrestrial analogues is required (to complement that being performed by the ExoMars Raman consortium including a team at University of Leicester). The PhD at the University of Aberdeen will make Raman spectroscopic and GC-MS measurements of a range of terrestrial sample sets, and use the data to select more limited sample sets for testing of the ExoMars UK breadboard instrument (i.e. will the data will form part of the UK breadboard test plan). Sample types to be studied include several rock types that may be analogues for those which are prominent on Mars, especially carbon-bearing basalts, sulphate evaporites, and products of meteorite impacts.

The student will receive training in mineralogical and geochemical techniques, and have opportunities for field sampling. They will be part of a research group that also uses Raman spectroscopy for research in hydrocarbon exploration. They will interact with the planetary science community, including attendance at conferences and contribution to collaborative publications.

The other supervisor on this project is Dr Stephen Bowden, University of Aberdeen, Geology and Petroleum Geology. The start date for the project is October 2013.

Applications are welcome from students expecting to gain at least an upper second class degree in an Earth Sciences or Chemistry discipline.

Eligibility and other criteria
This research project has funding attached. Funding for this project is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Application deadline
*03 May 2013

Additional information, and important URL
The studentship is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), for 3.5 years. Tuition fees will be paid at UK/EU rates and a stipend of £13,726 will be paid monthly, in arrears.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from International student due to the criteria set out by the funding body.

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