Each year, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics offers summer vacation projects. These projects are open to students from any University but candidates must have an existing right to work in the UK.

Students will work with a supervisor in the Department, usually a research fellow or a faculty member (a list of projects offered this year is below), on a self-contained research project. Students are encouraged to take part in the Department’s life, joining researchers for coffee breaks, discussions and seminars.

The projects will typically run for 8 weeks, beginning on or around 1 July. The duration may be adjusted to be shorter or longer, or to accommodate summer travel.  The projects are usually full-time but hours can be discussed with your supervisor. Students are paid slightly above the Oxford Living Wage (£11.92 per hour).

AOPP summer vacation projects will be added in due course.

 

Summer Research Experience Placements (REPS) are available via the NERC DTP in Environmental Research. These are mini projects of 6-10 weeks that are undertaken in departments within a research group and with supervision of a senior academic. Further information can be found on the NERC DTP webpages.

Applications for the Summer Research Experience Placements (REPS) will open shortly.

 

For 2024, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics is offering 3 UNIQ+ Research Internships. UNIQ+ Research Internships are designed to provide students from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds who are ordinarily resident in the UK with the opportunity to experience postgraduate study. During the seven-week programme, which will run from Monday 1 July to Friday 16 August 2024, you will undertake a research project, attend training skills and information sessions, and have the opportunity to take part in events. Further information can be found on the UNIQ+ webpages.

Applications for the UNIQ+ Projects for 2024 are now closed.

Simulating thunderstorms at very high resolution

Department: Physics/AOPP  
Supervisor: Dr Edward Groot

Convective thunderstorms produce heavy rainfall. We want to reliably predict the likelihood of these thunderstorms, to have early warning of associated hazardous flooding events. However, this is a difficult problem, because of the complex nature of thunderstorm drivers, and the limited predictability of the atmosphere.

In this project we will utilise several (idealised) very-high resolution computer simulations to relate environmental conditions to the probability distribution of thunderstorms and their intense precipitation. Thereby, a set of tiny initial perturbations to the flow (“ensemble technique”) will help us to account for the chaotic nature of the atmosphere and improve our estimates. This will allow us to improve insights into the predictability of thunderstorms, and the hazardous precipitation associated with them.

Outcomes: You will produce a report and/or presentation containing probabilistic models to describe rainfall intensity.

Duration of the project: 7 weeks, which will run from Monday 1st July to Friday 16th August 2024.

Entry requirements: You should have, or be studying, a degree in mathematics or physics, or potentially earth sciences. You should have a basic knowledge of fluid dynamics.

How to apply: Full details can be found on the UNIQ+ webpage. Applications close at 12:00 midday (UK time) on Wednesday 21st February 2024.

Detecting trace gases in the atmosphere using satellite data

Department: Physics/AOPP  
Supervisor: Dr Anu Dudhia

The project involves working within a group specialising in using satellite measurements of the Earth's infrared emission spectra to retrieve concentrations of a number of different atmospheric gases normally only present in small concentrations (SO2, NH3, C2H6, etc).

The project will involve writing Python code to analyse our data and compare these with other datasets, culminating in a written report and a final presentation to the group. The student will be based in an office with other summer project students, with whom they are expected to collaborate, and also participate in weekly group meetings.

Outcomes: You will produce a report summarising an investigation into the retrieval of a particular molecule of interest (to be decided nearer the time).

Duration of the project: 7 weeks, which will run from Monday 1st July to Friday 16th August 2024.

Entry requirements: You should preferably have, or be studying, a degree in physics and have Python programming experience.

How to apply: Full details can be found on the UNIQ+ webpage. Applications close at 12:00 midday (UK time) on Wednesday 21st February 2024.

Satellite measurements of volcanic clouds

Department: Physics/AOPP  
Supervisor: Dr Isabelle Taylor

Emissions of gas and ash from volcanoes are hazardous to health and to aircraft. Additionally, they can have significant impacts on the environment and climate. Studying them is important for minimising the hazards they present and for better understanding their impacts. Satellite data offers the opportunity to study volcanoes across the globe, including in remote or difficult to access regions, and allows us to track emissions as they are transported away from the source.

This project will look at volcanic emissions using satellite instruments such as the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) with which we can learn about the composition of the plume and the amount/height of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ash within the volcanic cloud.

Outcomes: You will produce a short report summarising the work done and results of the project.

Duration of the project: 7 weeks, which will run from Monday 1st July to Friday 16th August 2024.

Entry requirements: A background in physics, earth sciences, geography or similar subject area would be beneficial.

Some programming experience (eg Python) would be useful but not essential.

How to apply: Full details can be found on the UNIQ+ webpage. Applications close at 12:00 midday (UK time) on Wednesday 21st February 2024.