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Current PhD vacancies are listed below. See the postgraduate pages for more information on our PhD programmes

A 3-year UCL-Hexcel Studentship in Multiscale Modelling and Simulation of Graphene and Graphene-Oxide Polymer Composites (D/L:20/12/19)

Supervisor: Professor P V Coveney, UCL

Start date: January 2020


UCL in collaboration with Hexcel (http://www.hexcel.com) are offering a studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in January 2020. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate, a tax-free stipend (£17009 for 2019/2020) and around £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, and before January 2020.

 

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).

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).

 

Two 3-year PhD studentships in Organic Chemistry (D/L:31/01/20)

Supervisor: Professor Matthew Powner, UCL

Start date: 01 October 2020

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for two three-year PhD Studentships. The studentships are fully funded by the Simons Foundation and available from January 2020, depending on applicant availability. The successful candidates will be based in the Department of Chemistry at UCL and supervised by Prof. Matthew Powner.

The overall project goal is to explore the chemical origins of life. Robust chemical reactions will be developed to explore the relationship predisposed chemistry and the origins of life. The work will involve developing of novel multicomponent reactivity and exploit nitrile reactivity, extending recently reported work from our group (Nature 2019, 571, 546–549; Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 4073; Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 15270; Nat. Chem. 2017, 9, 584–589; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 13889; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 16677).

This is an exciting opportunity for students with a strong chemistry background to tackle one the biggest problem in Science. The successful applicants will join a highly motivated group working at the interface of organic and biological chemistry to elucidate the chemistry that underpins the Origins of Life on Earth.

The postholders will be required to carry out chemical research into the synthesis and function of biological and biomimetic molecules in water. The postholder will contribute to the design and implementation of research strategy, and provide full records, analyses and internal reports of all research outcomes.  

Prof. Powner is an Investigator of the Simons Foundation (New York, USA), and a broad range of international collaborative interactions are on-going within Simons Foundation Collaboration on the Origins of Life (www.simonsfoundation.org/life-sciences/origins-of-life/simons-collaborat...). The minimum requirement is a first class or upper second-class honours degree (MSci, MChem) or equivalent.

Applications, including a cover letter and full and up-to-date CV, together with the names, addresses and email addresses of two academic referees should be sent as soon as possible to Prof. Powner (matthew.powner@ucl.ac.uk). Informal inquiries may be made with Prof. Powner, but suitable candidates must all 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 Friday 31st January 2020, but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified. 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, or students who have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

 

3-year PhD studentship in Organic Chemistry (D/L:31/01/20)

Supervisor: Professor Matthew Powner, UCL

Latest start date: 01 September 2020

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a three-year PhD Studentship. The Studentship is fully funded by the Leverhulme Trust and is available from March 2020, depending on applicant availability. The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Chemistry at UCL and supervised by Prof. Matthew Powner.

The overall project goal is to explore the chemical origins of nucleic acids. Robust chemical reactions will be developed to explore the relationship predisposed chemistry and the origins of nucleic acids. The work will involve developing of novel multicomponent reactivity and exploit nitrile reactivity, extending recently reported work from our group (Nature 2019, 571, 546–549; Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 4073; Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 15270; Nat. Chem. 2017, 9, 584–589; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 13889; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 16677).

This is an exciting opportunity for a student with a strong chemistry background to tackle one the biggest problem in Science. The successful applicant will join a highly motivated group working at the interface of organic and biological chemistry to elucidate the chemistry that underpins the Origins of Life on Earth.

The postholder will be required to carry out chemical research into the synthesis and function of biological and biomimetic molecules in water. The postholder will contribute to the design and implementation of research strategy, and provide full records, analyses and internal reports of all research outcomes.  

Prof. Powner is an Investigator of the Simons Foundation (New York, USA), and a broad range of international collaborative interactions are on-going within Simons Foundation Collaboration on the Origins of Life (www.simonsfoundation.org/life-sciences/origins-of-life/simons-collaborat...). The minimum requirement is a first class or upper second-class honours degree (MSci, MChem) or equivalent.

Applications, including a cover letter explaining the candidate motivation and full and up-to-date CV, together with the names, addresses and email addresses of two academic referees should be sent as soon as possible to Prof. Powner (matthew.powner@ucl.ac.uk). Informal inquiries may be made with Prof. Powner, but suitable candidates must all 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 Friday 31st January 2020, but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified. 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, or students who have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.