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Postgraduate Research

We offer 2 programmes within the department, a 3-year and 4-year programme. Our programmes are funded from many sources including the Research Councils (EPSRC, BBRSC, NERC and MRC), Charities, the European Community, US Government sources and industry in the UK, Europe and the USA.

PhD Chemistry (3-year)

PhD Chemistry

The 3-year Chemistry PhD programme is focused on a major piece of original research. You will study under the direct supervision of a member of staff, who is an expert in his or her area of specialisation. The department offers a broad range of research themes across physical, organic, inorganic and computational chemistry, specific departmental strengths are listed under research areas below.

Read more on the Chemistry PhD programme 

Wellcome Trust Interdisciplinary Programme in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology (4-year)

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This unique programme offers opportunities to study at UCL, Birkbeck College and MRC-NIMR. Students are exposed to a wide range of training in protein structure, chemical biology and the computational tools necessary to address important problems in biomedicine.

Read more on the SCCB programme

Studentships

Current PhD vacancies are listed below:

A 3-year Studentship in Laser Photoelectron spectroscopy of Bioluminescence Emitters (D/L:28/02/20)

Supervisor: Professor H H Fielding, UCL

Start date: September 2020


We have a vacancy for a PhD student to join our group working on a new EPSRC-funded project to develop a molecular-level understanding of bioluminescence for the rational design of new bioluminescence tools for multicolor, deep-tissue imaging. The PhD project will involve carrying out photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) and femtosecond time-resolved PES measurements on isolated bioluminescent emitters in the gas-phase and in a liquid-microjet to determine the role of aqueous and biological environments on the electronic structure and electronic relaxation dynamics following photoexcitation. It will also involve carrying out computational chemistry calculations to assist with the interpretation of the experimental measurements. This project will form part of an interdisciplinary feedback loop between spectroscopy, computational chemistry and synthesis, led by Professors Helen Fielding, Graham Worth and Jim Anderson). 

Applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in chemistry, physics or a related subject and must be able to demonstrate strong interest and enthusiasm for spectroscopy and quantum chemistry. They must also have effective written and verbal communication skills in English. The studentship will cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend for three years (standard maintenance stipend for the academic year 2019/2020 is £17009). Interested candidates should contact h.h.fielding@ucl.ac.uk with a degree transcript and a motivation letter explaining their interest in this project. Informal enquiries are encouraged, and applications are accepted until a suitable candidate is identified, and before March 2020. 

Informal inquiries are encouraged.  Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

A three-year PhD studentship in Supramolecular Approaches to Drug Design and delivery (D/L:28/02/20)

Supervisor: Dr Cally Haynes
Application deadline: 28th February 2020
Start date: 21st September 2020

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2020.The student will carry out their doctoral research at UCL.

 

Project description

We are interested in the application of supramolecular chemistry to medicinal and biological fields. By controlling how a molecule interacts with its surroundings, we can translate existing chemical knowledge into new environments and access novel functions. For more information about the research interests of Dr Cally Haynes, please refer to: https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=CJEHA37.

This project will aim to engineer specific non-covalent interactions (such as hydrogen bonding, halogen bonding and chalcogen bonding) that can reversibly and controllably dictate the interactions of small molecules with their surroundings. We will apply this knowledge to gain control of the cellular uptake and biodistribution of small, functional molecules in order to design new therapeutics and diagnostics that need to be delivered to a particular site in order to function. We will also incorporate our new molecular designs into the controlled construction of functional amphiphiles to mediate specific processes at self-assembled interfaces.

This multidisciplinary project will provide opportunities to work at the interface of chemistry with biological and materials sciences and to collaborate with other researchers in these areas at UCL and further afield. The project will use techniques including advanced NMR and fluorescence spectroscopies, X-ray crystallography and the preparation and handling of model lipid bilayer systems.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in chemistry or a related subject. UK/EU students are eligible for this studentship, which will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a stipend (tax-free) for three years. We also welcome applications from self-funded students, or those who have alternative funding available.

The successful candidate should be able to work independently and have good communication skills. Curiosity and creativity are highly valued and underpin much of what we do. Prior experience in supramolecular chemistry, organic synthesis and/ or NMR analysis would be an advantage.

Interested candidates should initially contact supervisor Dr Cally Haynes (cally.haynes@ucl.ac.uk) with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

Applications will be accepted until 28th February 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

 A 3-year PhD studentship in self-standing Cathodes for high-performance Zn-ion batteries (D/L:20/07/20)

Supervisors: Prof Ivan Parkin and Dr Yang Xu (UCL), Dr  Sing Yang  Chiam (IMRE, A*STAR, Singapore)
Application deadline: 20 July 2020
Start Date: 21 September 2020
Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)

The Studentship

This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore. The Studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend about £17000 (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student with one-off relocation allowance. Please note that, due to funding restrictions, only UK/EU citizens are eligible for this studentship.

The Project

The aim of this project is to initiate the studies of the physical and chemical properties of inorganic self-standing (manganese, vanadium-based nanostructures) electrodes will be thoroughly investigated.

More specifically, to develop the different types of self-standing electrode through both wet chemistry and thin film fabrication techniques so that the materials can be adopted in industrial applications The evaluation of the electrochemical properties of the electrodes, and the fabrication of coin cells and pouch cells configuration will be realized. The structure-performance relationship will be uncovered through combined ex-situ and in-situ studies. The optimized electrodes can benchmark the best reported capacity electrodes from the literature, also exhibit high performance.

The Candidate

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours or equivalent for undergraduate degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided.

Please contact Prof Parkin (i.parkin@ucl.ac.uk) for further details or to express an interest.

Applications will be accepted until 20 July 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

A 3-year PhD studentship in electronic and mechanical response at 2D buried interfaces (D/L:20/07/20)

Supervisors: Prof G. Thornton (UCL), Dr  S.J. O Shea (IMRE, A*STAR, Singapore)

Application deadline: 20 July 2020

Start Date: 21 September 2020

Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)

Topics: scanning probe microscopy, electronic devices, 2D materials

The Studentship

This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore. The Studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend about £17000 (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student with one-off relocation allowance. Please note that, due to funding restrictions, only UK/EU citizens are eligible for this studentship.

The Project (no more than 150 words, please)

The physical contact between two surfaces is critical for many applications, such as the integrity of electrical connection, the sliding and adhesion of surfaces, the formation of charge barriers for electronic devices, and surface roughness effects in heat transfer and electrical transport.  The aim of the PhD project is to investigate the contact between free standing 2D layers placed on a substrate at the atomic-to-nanoscale using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions, and relate the measurements to macroscopic effects. We will focus on two types of 2D layers, namely bi-layer SiO2 and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). The contact area and number of asperities touching at the plate-substrate interface will change as we apply pressure with the AFM/STM tip. These mechanical changes will also modify the current flow. From such data we can model the change in contact from the nanometre scale to the mesoscale.

The Candidate

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours or equivalent for undergraduate degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided.

Please contact Prof Thornton (g.thornton@ucl.ac.uk) or Dr O Shea (s-oshea@imre.a-star.edu.sg) for further details or to express an interest.

Applications will be accepted until 20 July 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

A 3-year PhD studentship in deep-learning assisted design of active hyperuniform materials (D/L:20/07/20)

Supervisors: Dr Giorgio Volpe (UCL), Dr Yuan Cheng (IHPC, A*STAR, Singapore)

Application deadline: 20 July 2020

Start Date: 21 September 2020

Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)

Topics: deep learning, soft matter, active matter, photonics, self-assembly, computational sciences

The Studentship

This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent at the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore. The Studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend about £17000 (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student with one-off relocation allowance. Please note that, due to funding restrictions, only UK/EU citizens are eligible for this studentship.

The Project

Hyperuniform materials are a novel class of disordered materials with properties of both liquids and solids. Because of this dual nature, such materials are increasingly interesting for photonics as they can influence the path of light with the efficiency of a crystal while retaining the flexibility of a liquid. The aim of this collaborative project is to develop an efficient computational framework to design optimal hyperuniform materials whose structure can be rearranged dynamically into different configurations capable of unique interaction with light. In particular, this project will develop a new efficient numerical scheme based on the power of deep-learning approaches with neural networks to realize efficient modeling and design of active hyperuniform materials. If properly designed, this level of tunability is promising to realize novel robust functional materials for photonics and beyond.

The Candidate

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours or equivalent for undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Engineering or a related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, excellent programming skills (in C++, Matlab, Python or equivalent) and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided.

Please contact Dr Giorgio Volpe (g.volpe@ucl.ac.uk) or Dr Yuan Cheng (chengy@ihpc.a-star.edu.sg) for further details or to express an interest.

Applications will be accepted until 20 July 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

A 4-year PhD studentship in “A chemist’s approach to solving biological problems” (D/L:31/03/20)

Supervisors: Dr Vijay Chudasama and Dr James Baker
Application deadline:
31st March 2020
Start date: September 2020

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology. An industrial CASE PhD position (over 4 years) is available to work with Dr Vijay Chudasama, Dr James Baker and LifeArc to aid in providing significant steps in this direction via the creation of protein-conjugates generated by site-specific protein modification. The student will carry out his/her doctoral research at UCL and also have the opportunity for work placements at LifeArc. There is a clear need for Organic Chemists to contribute to the field of Biology through the conduit of Chemical Biology. This project will be based on using core synthetic organic chemistry to deliver entities that will meet the needs of forming the next-generation of protein-based therapeutics.

In the area of site-selective protein modification, we are at the centre of developing a ground-breaking technology based on the insertion of small molecules bearing reactive handles into native disulfide bonds and cysteines. Our strategy has been well received in the literature (e.g. Chem. Commun., 2020, DOI: 10.1039/C9CC08744C; Chem. Commun., 2019, 55, 14829; Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 10919; Nature Chem. Bio., 2018, 14, 955; ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 279; Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 2056; Nature Chem., 2016, 8, 114; Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 799; Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 63; Nature Commun., 2015, 6, 6645; Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 15304; Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 10624; full list can be found here: http://chudasama-group.eu/publications/) and we hope to continue to publish greatly in this area. With our experience, interesting challenges in the modification of certain peptides and proteins have arisen. There is an opportunity to contribute to this area and make a significant impact to the field of Chemical Biology.

The student will gain valuable research expertise during the course of this project, making them well qualified for future employment in either an academic or industrial setting. This project will provide a thorough training in synthetic organic chemistry and chemical biology, as well as in a series of transferable skills. The student will also be given plenty of opportunity to be creative, and includes a placement at LifeArc.

Qualifications

We are looking to recruit a highly motivated and ambitious organic chemist with an excellent background in synthetic organic chemistry and an interest in chemical biology. Experience in chemical biology is not a pre-requisite as this project has synthetic organic chemistry at its core and extensive training in chemical biology will be provided. The project will involve various spectroscopic and analytical techniques such as NMR, MS, IR, LC-MS, SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF; thus proving the student with an excellent training in a variety of techniques.

Application Details

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree in Chemistry or equivalent. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Interested candidates should initially contact supervisor Dr Vijay Chudasama with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.  Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk). 

Applications will be accepted until 31st March 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

A 3-year PhD studentship in Metal Oxide Thin Films for Electronic Devices (D/L:30/04/20)

Supervisor: DI Dr Anna Regoutz
Application deadline: 30th April 2020
Start date: 21st September 2020

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2020.


Metal oxides are one of the top candidates to help us move from the silicon age into a new era of more powerful, energy efficient, and flexible electronics. They show the widest range of physical characteristics of any material family and in devices are often used in the form of thin films. High-quality oxide films are necessary to develop advanced device generations and in this project you will explore wet chemistry processes, like sol-gel synthesis, to prepare such films.[1-3] The sol-gel process is fast, inexpensive, technologically simple, and can be executed at low temperatures enabling the use of flexible substrates. Through adjustment of the process parameters, including precursor type and concentration, use of stabilisers and catalysts, reaction temperature, and many more, the film characteristics can be engineered and optimised. This approach allows the comparatively easy fabrication of high-quality new oxide thin film materials, which can subsequently be tested for their fundamental chemical and physical characteristics. You will investigate structure, electronic structure, and chemical state of the thin films using a combination of characterisation techniques including X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The detailed knowledge of the characteristics and behaviour of new materials then enables their implementation in applications, such as new generations of electronic and optical devices. This project will combine elements of thin film deposition, solid state chemistry, and electronic devices. It is best suited for students with a keen interest in multidisciplinary work at the interface of fundamental materials chemistry and device applications. The project is hosted in the group of DI Dr Anna Regoutz and more information on the group’s work can be found at https://a-x-s.org/.


The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or a related subject. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU.

Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisor DI Dr Anna Regoutz (a.regoutz@ucl.ac.uk) with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.  Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).


Applications will be accepted until 30th April 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funded 3-year PhD studentship in ultrafast optical and X-ray spectroscopy (D/L: 30/04/20)

Supervisor: Rebecca A. Ingle
Start date: October 2020

 

A fully funded PhD studentship is now available to work in the group of Dr Rebecca Ingle at UCL Chemistry on using optical and X-ray spectroscopies to explore photoinduced processes in the gas phase and solution of biologically and technologically relevant molecules.

The successful candidate will have the chance to partake in the development of new UCL Laser Facility as well as develop experiments at international X-ray synchrotron and free electron laser facilities. Enthusiasm and willingness to learn is more essential than prior experience of the techniques involved.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics or a related degree. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Interested candidates should initially contact supervisor Rebecca Ingle (r.ingle@ucl.ac.uk) with a motivation letter expressing their interest in the project and CV with expected/anticipated degree mark. Informal inquiries are encouraged.  Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

Early application is encouraged as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Atomic Layer Deposition of Functional Thin Films (D/L: 30/04/20)

Supervisors: Professor Claire Carmalt and and Professor Chris Blackman

 An EPSRC DTP 4-year PhD studentship is available to investigate Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) of functional thin films. ALD is a thin-film technique that owes much to Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD), but provides for atomic level control of the growing film and therefore unique opportunities for depositing complex and layered thin-films. The advantages afforded by ALD include thickness control down to the atomic level, with good thickness uniformity over large areas and excellent adhesion to the substrate. 

 Hydrophobicity is a key surface property for a range of applications, where water adsorption can deteriorate the performance such as for protective coatings or gas diffusion barrier layers on polymer substrates. To alter a surface from hydrophilic to hydrophobic, typically requires the use of fluorinated polymers, which are harmful to the environment. The use of ALD to modify surfaces is underexplored but shows excellent potential for the tunability of hydrophilic/hydrophobic surfaces, which will be the focus of this project.

The successful candidate will receive a stipend (including London allowance) in addition to covering tuition fees. Due to restrictions on funding, this studentship is only open to UK and EU candidates who meet 3 year residency criteria.

Application Details

Applicants should have (or expect to gain) at least a 2(i) MSci/MChem degree in Chemistry. Applicants should apply via UCL’s online application system https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/apply-now/. Further information on the project can be obtained from Professor Claire j Carmalt (c.j.carmalt@ucl.ac.uk

The deadline for applications is 30th April 2020, but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

A three-year PhD studentship in radiochemistry and preclinical imaging (D/L: 30/06/20)

Supervisor: Dr Kerstin Sander

Application deadline: 30 June 2020

Start date: 14 September 2020

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in 14 September 2020.

Project summary:

Neuroinflammation is increasingly recognised as pathological hallmark of the dementias. Occurring many years before clinical symptoms become apparent, the neuroinflammatory processes are hypothesised to play a key role in triggering and driving the disease. As part of the PhD project, you will assess the interplay of neuroinflammatory processes, synaptic plasticity and protein aggregation in the dementias, using nuclear imaging techniques. This will not only enhance our understanding about dementia disease mechanisms, but also assess the suitability of different imaging tools for clinical routine applications (diagnosis, monitoring of disease progression etc.).

In this project, you will apply newly developed chemistry to address unmet medical questions. Taking advantage of a novel platform technique for radiolabelling of small molecules with fluorine-18, you will develop the synthesis of radioactive ligands binding to biological targets that promote neuroinflammation. Using different preclinical imaging techniques, both in human brain tissue and in animal models of dementia, you will assess the binding profiles of the different radioligands. The results are expected to guide future clinical studies as well as to provide novel insights in the mechanisms associated with the development of dementia.

The successful candidate will have the unique opportunity to work across disciplines and to develop skills in medicinal chemistry, radiochemistry, and translational imaging.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in Organic Chemistry or Natural Sciences with specialisation in Organic Chemistry. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Interested candidates should initially contact Dr Kerstin Sander (k.sander@ucl.ac.uk) with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.  Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

Applications will be accepted until 30 June 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Polymers for Solar Energy Applications: Exploring Charge Carriers with Raman Spectroscopy and Electrochemistry (D/L: 08/05/20)

Supervisors: Associate Professor Tracey Clarke and Professor Katherine Holt

Application deadline: 8th May 2020

Start Date: 28 September 2020

A four year EPSRC-funded PhD studentship is available at the Department of Chemistry, UCL, supervised by Associate Professor Tracey Clarke and Professor Katherine Holt.

The project

Conducting polymers are important in organic photovoltaics, display technologies, and other energy applications, while insulating polymers have found uses in multiple industries. We are interested in exploring degradation and charge trapping mechanisms in conducting and insulating polymers, as these processes limit the polymers’ efficacy and application in technology. This project will involve applying Raman spectroscopy and electrochemistry to this problem. Both electrically conducting and insulating polymers will be examined to ascertain the structural changes that occur during charge trapping and degradation processes, allowing the design of new, more robust materials.

The candidate

Applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in chemistry, physics or a related subject. They should also have effective written and verbal communication skills in English. The studentship will cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, plus a tax-free maintenance stipend for four years (standard maintenance stipend for the academic year 2019/2020: £17000).

Please note: To be eligible for this PhD award, candidates must either be UK or EU residents who have been living in the UK for 3 years immediately prior to the course commencing (including for educational purposes). EU residents who have not been living in the UK are eligible for fee only awards. 

https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/.

How to apply

Interested candidates should contact Tracey Clarke (tracey.clarke@ucl.ac.uk) and/or Katherine Holt (k.b.holt@ucl.ac.uk) with a CV and a motivation letter explaining their interest in this project. Informal enquiries are encouraged. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. UK time on 8th May 2020, but early applications are encouraged as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Self-healing organic semiconductors for bionic skin (D/L: 31/03/20)

A fully funded 3-year PhD studentship is available at UCL Chemistry to work on an interdisciplinary project in the group of Dr Bob C. Schroeder as part of a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship project.

Subject areas: Heterocyclic chemistry, organic semiconductor, conjugated polymer, wearable electronics, self-healing polymer, bionic skin.

Material degradation is a primary concern to every material scientist and engineer, not only does degradation lead to failure, but results in the need for repair – a very costly endeavour. In this perspective, it is of interest to develop self-healing materials that will make maintenance redundant. As opposed to inorganic semiconductors, organic semiconducting materials are soft, which makes them ideal to be used in flexible and stretchable electronic devices, which can be directly applied to the human skin. Wearable electronics, however, are particularly prone to mechanical damage and fatigue, which is why it is paramount to develop more robust materials, like self-healable semiconductors. The proposed project will focus on the design of self-healing semiconducting polymers and their integration into robust, lightweight wearable electronics and sensors directly applied to the human skin. This will make it possible to continuously monitor medically relevant body functions and present a significant step forward in the development of affordable biological sensors and continuous patient monitoring, ultimately enhancing medical diagnostics and opening-up new treatment possibilities.

Please visit our group website for more details about our research: www.schroedergroup.org

The applicants should have, or expect to gain, at least 2.1 honours or equivalent at Bachelor’s or Master’s level in Chemistry, or a related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject and the ability to think analytically and creatively. An enquiring and rigorous approach to research as well as excellent team-working, observational and communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in English) are also essential. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment would be highly desirable but not essential, as training will be provided. UCL offers a world-leading scientific environment in the heart of London.

Due to funding restrictions, only UK/EU students who meet the three years residency criteria are eligible for this studentship. The start date for the PhD is the 28th September 2020. The deadline for applications is 31st March 2020, with interviews to be held in April, but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

Applicants should send their applications (motivation letter, CV and contact info for two referees) by email to Dr Schroeder (b.c.schroeder@ucl.ac.uk), who may also be approached for informal enquiries.

Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

3-year UCL Hexcel studentship in multiscale modelling and simulation of graphene and graphene-oxide plymer composites (D/L: 28/02/20)

Supervisor: Professor P V Coveney, UCL

Start date: September 2020

UCL in collaboration with Hexcel (http://www.hexcel.com) are offering a studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2020. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate, a tax-free stipend and a £2,000 pa support grant to cover additional costs such as training courses, conferences, visits to collaborators, field work, etc. The studentship offers a placement within Hexcel of at least 3 months as well as supervisory input from the company.

The student will develop and implement multiscale modelling methodologies to investigate polymer nanocomposites with particular focus on epoxy-resins. These composite materials are expected to exhibit properties of importance to aerospace industries owing to their anticipated properties (lightweight, strong, durable, as well as being environmentally friendly and sustainable). While the student will need to perform some amount of electronic structure calculations in order to extract key parameters pertaining to charge distributions and dispersion interactions, the focus of their work will be on a combination of modelling methods at the level of classical molecular dynamics (both all atom and coarse-grained) and its connections to higher levels of modelling in order to make predictions of large-scale materials properties.

Hexcel, whose laboratories are in close proximity to UCL, will perform a range of performance tests on the same materials as the student will be modelling, thereby providing experimental validation of the theoretical and simulation work.

A central objective in this work is to this work is to assess the accuracy, precision, and reliability of such computer-based predictions of the properties of these nanomaterials. The overarching goal is to make high-fidelity, chemically-specific predictions of the mesoscale structure from the nanoscale description of these composites, and, in turn, to predict emergent macroscopic behaviour and properties.

Applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry or a related subject and must be able to demonstrate significant computational experience including use of high-level programming languages (such as Fortran, C/C++, and Python or other scripting methods).

Interested candidates should contact p.v.coveney@ucl.ac.uk with a degree transcript and a motivation letter explaining their interest in this project. Informal enquiries are encouraged, and applications are accepted until a suitable candidate is identified.

Due to funding restrictions, the proposed student must be a UK or EU national and have lived in the UK for the previous 3 years (for either work or education).

4-year PhD studentship in Organic Synthesis. Infraluciferin/luciferase gold nanorod conjugates for NIR bi-modal imaging (D/L: 30/04//20)

Supervisor: Professor Jim Anderson

Application deadline: 30 April 2020

Start date: September 2020

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2020. The project will be in collaboration with Prof A. Tabor (Chemistry) and Dr T. Kalber (UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging). The student will carry out his/her doctoral research at UCL.

The project will synthesise infraluciferin derivatives linked to an active linker (Anderson lab) for coupling to an active linker on gold nano particles (Tabor lab) for assessing particle cell internalisation and delivery (Kalber lab). Particle location will be assessed by high resolution photoacoustic imaging. Whereas, infraluciferin will verify cell internalisation by activating bioluminescence. The student will get a training in modern organic synthesis, techniques in bio-conjugation and experience of biomedical imaging. For a more comprehensive description contact Prof. Jim Anderson (j.c.anderson@ucl.ac.uk)

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in Chemistry. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisor Prof. Jim Anderson (j.c.anderson@ucl.ac.uk) with a CV including the names and contact details of 2 referees, degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.  Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Shortlisted applicants will be expected to undergo an interview for the position. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

Applications will be accepted until 30 April 2020, but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

 

 

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Departmental Graduate Tutor
Professor Jim C. Anderson
Tel: 020 7679 5585
Email: j.c.anderson@ucl.ac.uk

For all PGR enquiries contact:
Email: doctoral.chem@ucl.ac.uk