You are here

  1. Home
  2. New PhD opportunity for analysis of Mars samples

New PhD opportunity for analysis of Mars samples

Arial view of the red surface of Mars

OU researchers have been awarded just over £100,000 from UK Space Agency to provide training for the analysis of samples from Mars.

Dr Richard Greenwood in the OU’s Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is leading the project, which is working towards being ready for receipt of samples from the surface of Mars, when they are returned to Earth in 2033 by the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA)/Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission.

“Action is needed now to ensure that the UK science community is ready to play a full role in the analysis of these precious materials,” said Dr Greenwood.

In response to this call for action, Dr Greenwood and his team are using the funding to provide a PhD opportunity for a student to undertake a high-precision oxygen isotope investigation of martian samples that are closely aligned to the materials collected by the Perseverance Rover at Jezero Crater.

Beginning in October 2024 and running for four years, scientifically, this study will be conducted in the OU’s School of Physical Sciences, which hosts one of the largest Planetary and Space Science research groups in the UK. It will lay the foundations for investigating the volatile history of Mars by using precise, spatially resolved, oxygen isotope analysis to define the interactions that have taken place between the martian lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.

The results of this study will directly address objectives such as the role of water on Mars and a better understanding of its geology and composition, which will place the student at the centre of the international community preparing for MSR and allowing them the required visibility to request samples as soon as they become available post 2033.

Apply for this PhD opportunity

Quarterly Review of Research

Read our Quarterly Review of Research to learn about our latest quality academic output.

View the latest review

Contact our news team

For all out of hours enquiries, please telephone +44 (0)7901 515891

Contact details

News & articles

Cartoon showing an interstellar dust grain coated in water ice, and the types of water-ice bonding that led to different spectral features

OU astronomers make new discoveries about ice structure in space

OU researchers are part of a team who have just published a paper in Nature which describes new findings about the structure of ice in space.

8th July 2024
See all