Current PhD vacancies are listed below. See the postgraduate pages for more information on our PhD programmes.
- Understanding the Mechanochemical Synthesis of Mixed Oxides using Synchrotron and Neutron Techniques
We are looking to recruit a PhD student for a high-profile EPSRC funded CASE award in partnership with Johnson Matthey Technology Centre. The position will be based at the UK Catalysis Hub, Harwell, Oxfordshire. The UK Catalysis Hub is a new EPSRC initiative aimed at coordinating UK efforts in catalytic science, with the laboratories at the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH) providing the physical base for this network. This is a unique opportunity to engage with leading UK academics in catalytic science, alongside exposure to the advanced characterisation techniques made possible by the synchrotron and neutron source on the Harwell Campus.
The mechanochemical synthesis of mixed oxides is of interest within Johnson Matthey as a potential new route to the manufacture of materials. The mechanism of the transformation of reagents to active phases under mechanical action will be explored using model and real materials and reference synthesis routes giving an understanding of how key phases are formed and what the key parameters are for synthesis.
Applicants should have a good honours degree (at least 2.1) or equivalent in Chemistry, or a related discipline. Due to funding restrictions only UK/EU students are eligible to apply. The project will be under the supervision of Professor Richard Catlow, Principle Investigator.
Although based at Harwell full-time, the student will be registered at University College London and will have access to the excellent postgraduate courses available within the University.
If you wish to apply for this unique opportunity or find out more information please get in touch with Dr Josie Goodall.
- Two PhD Studentships in Chemical Biology and Computational Chemistry (Deadline 31/10/16)
Two PhD Studentships in Chemical Biology and Computational Chemistry
Chemistry is key to re-create synthetic versions of bio-macromolecular structures that are engineered for biomedical applications. The aim of this project is to generate synthetic versions of membrane pores and channels with DNA to achieve unprecedented molecular control for biosensing, targeted cell killing, and synthetic biology (Science 352, 890-891 (2016)).
The first PhD project will build DNA pores with the advanced function to regulate the transport of cargo across membranes for drug delivery devices and synthetic biology (Nat. Nanotechnol. 11, 152-156 (2016)). The second project aims to answer the puzzling question as to how the hydrophilic DNA nanopores interact with the hydrophobic lipid bilayers. The insight will help design better DNA nanopores for biomedical applications.
Both projects are multidisciplinary and incorporate elements of chemical biology, nanobiotechnology, and biophysics. The first project will suit a chemistry student with experience in nucleic acid chemistry. The second project will be ideal for a biophysicist with skills in computational chemistry. Both will obtain training in DNA nanotechnology. The projects will be supervised by Prof. Stefan Howorka, University College London. Co-supervisors are Dr. Max Ryadnov, National Physical Laboratory, and Prof. Peter Coveney, University College London. The websites of the supervisors are www.howorkalab.com, www.ucl.ac.uk/chemistry/people/peter-coveney, and www.npl.co.uk/biotechnology/research/cbm/people/max-ryadnov.
The candidate should have a first or upper second Masters degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in combination with an MRes degree. To be eligible, applicants must satisfy 3 years UK residency criteria (see https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/). For further details about the application process, please contact Dr Jadranka Butorac in the Chemistry Department (tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4650, email: email@example.com). The application should be submitted at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply.
The deadline for the application is 31 October 2016 and the position will start in September 2017.
- Carcinogenic Point Mutations Caused by Intercalation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in DNA
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for this three-year Impact Studentship funded position which will start in September 2017 or earlier, depending on applicant availability. The PhD studentship will be based in the Department of Chemistry at UCL, supervised by Professor Peter V. Coveney from the Centre for Computational Science, and co-supervised by Dr. Alya A. Arabi from the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), e.g. naphthalene, crysene and benzopyrene, function as intercalators that become sandwiched between two stacked base pairs of DNA. This intercalation in DNA, through dispersion interactions, is believed to cause a point mutation in the DNA, leading to unhealthy carcinogenic cells. The goal of this research is to determine the extent of point mutation in DNA due to different intercalators; using a combination of quantum mechanical and molecular dynamics methods. The group of Prof Coveney specializes inter alia in the development and application of free energy calculations to bio-molecular systems. The work will be facilitated by access to supercomputers within UK and internationally. The student will be based in UCL, with annual funded visits to Zayed University in Abu Dhabi.
This is a very exciting opportunity for a student with a strong chemistry, physics, biochemistry, bio-physics or computer science background to tackle the complexity arising in this fascinating area of biology and biomedicine. The minimum requirement is a first class or upper second class honours degree (MSci, MEng) or equivalent. Prior experience of experimental biology is not necessary.
Applications, including a full and up to date CV, together with the names and addresses (email and physical) of two academic referees should be sent as soon as possible to Prof P. V. Coveney, email firstname.lastname@example.org to whom informal inquiries may also be made.
The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. UK time on Friday 18 November 2016. Due to Impact Studentship regulations, only UK and EU students are eligible to apply for this post.
- PhD position in Computational Catalysis and Materials Chemistry (Deadline: 31/10/2016)
A PhD studentship is available at the Department of Chemistry. University College London, UK, to work with Professor Furio Cora and Dr Rob Bell in the fields of computational materials chemistry and catalysis. The studentship will commence on the 1st of October 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter, and is open only to applications from UK nationals, or EU nationals with a degree from UK Universities.
The project aims to apply computational chemistry methods to study de-NOx adsorption and catalytic mechanisms in cation-exchanged zeolites. Work will consider initially Cu-exchanged zeolites and contrast the behaviour with that of isostructural aluminophosphates. The computational study will aim to provide atomic level detail on cation location and mobility, adsorption of reactants and mechanistic details of the catalytic cycle.
The post is funded through a CASE award from Johnson Matthey. The computational research carried out in this work will aim to interface with other relevant JM-funded research activities, which include experimental and computational projects both ih-house and in academia.
Eligible candidates should have, or expect to obtain shortly, a degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or a closely related discipline. Experience of computational techniques and quantum chemistry is desirable but not essential as training will be provided. Motivated and dedicated students will gain a thorough training in state of the art computational chemistry and materials science, applied to a topical environmental issue and of industrial relevance. Broader interactions with the London-based Thomas Young Centre are actively encouraged.
Interested applicants should send a brief cover letter outlining their motivation and relevant experience, their curriculum vitae and the contact details of at least 2 academic referees to Prof Furio Cora (email@example.com), who may also be contacted for informal enquiries and further information.
Applications will be evaluated on an ongoing basis until the position is filled - applicants should therefore apply as soon as possible.