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Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe


Studentships overview

The Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe and the University of Cambridge are committed to widening participation in postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge. 

Research within the Centre aims to develop a deeper understanding of life, its emergence, and its distribution in the Universe by addressing four questions: 

  • What are the chemical pathways which led to the origins of life that are compatible with benign conditions for life in different planetary environments? 
  • How do we characterise the environments on Earth and other planets that could act as the cradle of prebiotic chemistry and life? 
  • What observational facilities and methods will allow investigation of bodies beyond the Solar System, the remote sensing of their atmospheres and the search for signatures of geological and biological evolution? 
  • How can philosophical and mathematical concepts refine our understanding of what we mean by life, leading to new interdisciplinary collaborations and modes of scientific enquiry? 

As part of our research programme we have:

  • Two fully funded PhD studentships available for home (UK) students starting October 2024. These studentships will cover fees and stipend for home students for 4 years and research cost support will be provided. 
  • 8-week paid research internships to undergraduates currently studying science from underrepresented groups, who wish to consider a research career within the field of Life in the Universe. 

These studentships are for students who fulfil one or more of the following criteria: 

  • are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) 
  • are in the first generation of their family to go to university 
  • who have been in care or who have been a young carer 
  • are from a low-income background