UCL Astrophysics Group


Research Placement opportunity for MSci Students

30 May 2022

Applications are invited for undergraduate students who wish to be considered for an Undergraduate Research Placement in Star Formation with Dr Kate Pattle in the Galactic Astrophysics group. (The deadline for applications is 17th June 2022.)

Contact Information

Project Description

The main goal of the project is to investigate the fragmentation of dense clouds of molecular gas in the interstellar medium into clumps and cores which are forming new stars. The project will involve analysing submillimetre-wavelength observations of molecular clouds taken with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. It is hoped that the research will lead to a scientific publication involving the student.

Work is expected to start in late June for a duration of approximately 6 weeks. Working hours will be 30 hours per week.

Person Specification


● To be in the course of obtaining a 4-year MSci. degree in Physics/Astrophysics

● Demonstrated skills in computing and data analysis

● Effective written and verbal communication skills


● Proficiency with the Python programming language

● Experience with astrophysical source extraction algorithms (e.g ClumpFind, SExtractor)

● Basic experience of the Unix (Linux or Mac OSX) environment

● Ability to analyse and write up data and to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences

● Experience of working collaboratively in a research environment


The successful applicants will receive a studentship of £2000, paid in two lump sums at the start and halfway point of the project. This payment is equivalent to 30 hours per week at the London Living Wage of £11.05 per hour.

Application Procedure

If you wish to apply, please send a CV and covering letter to Dr Kate Pattle (k.pattle@ucl.ac.uk). The deadline for applications is 17th June 2022.

Successful applicants will be notified after the deadline has passed.