UK Centre for Astrobiology

Join the group

Intern, MSc(R), PhD, postdoc, and fellowship opportunities

Postdoctoral fellowships

We are able to provide academic guidance/supervision/mentoring for applicants for good candidates for postdoctoral fellowships in relevant subject areas. Prospective fellows should contact us in the first instance to discuss their research ideas and eligibility for fellowships. In principle, fellowships may be held either in the School of Physics & Astronomy or in the School of GeoSciences. Example fellowship schemes include (but are not limited to):

  • USA National Science Foundation EAR Postdoctoral Fellowships (US citizens/permanent residents only)
  • Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowships
  • Royal Commission of 1851 Fellowship
  • Agouron Institute Fellowship Program in Geobiology
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship
  • NERC Independent Research Fellowships
  • Aurora Fellowships
  • UKRI Future Leader Fellowships

PhD opportunities

Edinburgh hosts a thriving community of PhD students in palaeobiology, geobiology, geochemistry, and astrobiology. Prospective PhD students interested in these fields are welcome to contact us to discuss potential research projects, which may be hosted either by the School of GeoSciences or the School of Physics and Astronomy.  Competitive funding opportunities currently include (but are not limited to):

Research Masters (MScR Palaeontology and Geobiology)

Edinburgh offers the only MScR (Masters by Research) in palaeontology and geobiology in the UK. This one-year (or two-year if part-time) programme offers a unique opportunity to develop and conduct an independent research project under the supervision of world-leading geobiologists, palaeobiologists, and astrobiologists here in Edinburgh.  A small number of students on this degree join our group each year for projects relating to astrobiology and microbial palaeontology. Find out more about the degree here and contact us to discuss projects. Funding opportunities include (but are not limited to):

Taught Masters

A small number of MSc research projects are offered each year to students in the School of Physics and Astronomy and in the School of Biological Sciences. These will be advertised internally through the usual channels.

Opportunities for undergraduates

  • Undergraduates from all UK institutions (including the University of Edinburgh) are welcome to apply for Astrobiology Society of Britain internships to join our  lab. Projects should be discussed with us in advance.
  • Undergraduates in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Edinburgh can apply for Senior Honours Projects in the group through the usual route.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

Our group is proudly diverse. We are delighted to receive applications from people with diverse backgrounds and/or with protected characteristics. Applicants for all positions are treated fairly, equitably, confidentially, and with kindness, dignity, and respect. The McMahon Group subscribes to and endorses the EDI commitments of both the School of Physics and Astronomy (link) and the School of GeoSciences (link).