School of Physical Sciences

Funded Vacancies for 2017 Entry


MSc/PhD Studentships in Chemistry and Physics

We currently have two funded PhD positions available in the department.

 

Current funding options:


Postgraduate Scholarship in Experimental Condensed Matter

Supervisor: Dr. S. Ramos at the University of Kent, Dr. S. Diaz-Moreno and Dr. S. Hayama at Diamond Light Source

A funded PhD position is available for research in the formation of charge-ordered phases in Mott insulating materials using high resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

The aim of the project is to investigate the atomic and electronic structures of new materials that undergo Mott metal-insulator transitions and charge-ordered phases, which are frequently found in materials with strongly correlated electrons in reduced dimensions (e.g. they have been observed in high temperature superconductors) and hence important to understand the behaviour of a wide range of topical materials in condensed matter. Experimentally, it is often challenging to observe electronic order. In this project we intend to use a new experimental approach, polarisation dependent high resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy to investigate charge order in Mott insulating materials. The candidate will be expected to perform experiments at Diamond Light Source using this technique and help with the development of both the experimental set-up and analysis methods. As a result of this work, the candidate will acquire a deep understanding of state-of-the-art X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques and develop a greater understanding of condensed matter science. The candidate will also be trained in a diverse range of key transferable skills.

This is a joint University of Kent/Diamond Light Source 3.5 year fully-funded PhD project. The successful candidate will be based half of the time at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury and the other half at Diamond Light Source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire. The project will be jointly supervised by Dr. S. Ramos at the University of Kent and Dr. S. Diaz-Moreno and Dr. S. Hayama at Diamond Light Source. Dr. S. Ramos is a member of the Functional Materials Group in Kent, which offers a thriving environment with covers all aspects of research in quantum materials from the synthesis and characterisation to the theoretical and computational modelling. Dr. S. Diaz-Moreno and Dr. S. Hayama are senior scientists at a synchrotron source of excellent international reputation, with a very active, interdisciplinary research community.

This PhD studentship is due to start September 2017.

Entry requirements and Funding: The project is open to UK and EU students. Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics or a related subject. This studentship will be offered at an enhanced stipend rate (currently £16,300; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum).

Webpages: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/silvia-ramos.html; http://www.diamond.ac.uk/Beamlines/Spectroscopy/I20.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Silvia Ramos (s.ramos-perez@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

Deadline Date for Applications: 20 April 2017
Interviews to be held between: TBC

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Postgraduate Scholarship in Biomedical Optics

Supervisor: Dr Michael Hughes

A funded PhD position is available in the field of endoscopic microscopy (biomedical optics).

The aim of the project is to develop a ‘microscope in a needle’ for optical biopsy of living tissue. Optical biopsy is a real-time, minimally-invasive alternative to conventional histology, offering the prospect of faster and more accurate medical diagnostics and image-guided intervention. The current generation of needle probes, using fibre image bundles or gradient index lenses as image conduits, suffers from poor resolution and a low pixel count, limiting the range of potential applications. The student will work on new techniques for imaging through ultra-narrow conduits, with the aim of improving the resolution and field-of-view of the images, while simultaneously reducing the outer diameter of the probe. This will involve numerical simulations, designing, building and testing optical/electrical hardware and software, and developing clinical applications together with collaborators.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Applied Optics Group, and work under the supervision of Dr Michael Hughes (who is moving to Kent from Imperial College in April 2017). Occupying two floors of the University’s Photonics Centre, with the use of modern optical laboratories as well as clean-room and workshop facilities, the Applied Optics Group offers a wide range of optical prototyping, test and measurement equipment to support this project. As well as specific training in biomedical optics and microscopy, the student will also gain a more general appreciation of the role of physics and engineering in medicine, preparing them for a career in industry, clinical science or academia.

This PhD studentship is due to start September 2017.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or a related subject. The position would suit a candidate who has, or is willing to develop, strong laboratory and computing skills, and who will be comfortable working at the interface of different scientific disciplines. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,553; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpages:
Dr Michael Hughes' webpage http://www.mike-hughes.org/endomicroscopy-research/
University of Kent Applied Optics Group https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/research/aog; http://aogkent.uk

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Michael Hughes (m.r.hughes@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

Deadline Date for Applications: 23 April 2017
Interviews to be held between: 1-5 May 2017

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Past Vacancies

Postgraduate Scholarship in Biomedical Optics with emphasis on Optical Coherence Tomography

Supervisor: Prof. Adrian Podoleanu

A funded PhD position is available in the field of field of optical coherence tomography (OCT).

The aim of the project is to devise novel configurations of OCT systems and their optical sources, including ultra-fast tuneable lasers. The project may also take the avenue of medical applications, with co-supervision from local hospitals.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Applied Optics Group, and work on the hardware optics of OCT and its applications.

This PhD studentship is due to start September 2017.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Electrical Engineering, or a related subject. Practical skills in an optics lab and programming experience are essential. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpages: http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/adrian-podoleanu.html; http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/research/aog/index.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Adrian Podoleanu (A.G.H.Podoleanu@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this studentship has now passed.
Interviews to be held between: 28 March - 3 April 2017


Postgraduate Scholarship in supramolecular host-guest and materials chemistry

Supervisor: Dr Jennifer Hiscock

A funded PhD position is available in the field of supramolecular chemistry, the study of non-covalent molecular interactions.

The aim of the project is to synthesise novel supramolecular gels which are stabilised through self-associative hydrogen bond donor (HBD):anion complex formation to produce innovative antimicrobial materials for topical skin application, and dual purpose sensory sequestration materials for targeted chemical substrates.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Functional Materials Group, working under the supervision of Dr Jennifer Hiscock (Kent). The candidate will gain experience in chemical synthesis, supramolecular gel design and a wide range of characterisation techniques (including NMR, Mass spec, UV-Vis, IR, Rheometry, SEM, TEM). This is a unique opportunity to build novel systems from their molecular building blocks upwards and will culminate in exploring their real world applications.

This PhD studentship is due to start September 2017.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, forensic science or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpages: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/research/fmg

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Jennifer Hiscock (J.R.Hiscock@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this studentship has now passed.
Interviews will take place week commencing: 3 April 2017


Postgraduate Scholarship in Physics/Planetary Science

Supervisor: Prof. Mark J. Burchell

A PhD position is available in the field of planetary science research.

The aim of the project is to study what happens to biological and organic materials captured by a passing spacecraft at speeds of 1 and 5 km/s. We will use our light gas gun to recreate impacts and then study the results with a variety of experimental techniques. We will do this to assist in defining the instruments to be built in the US which will fly on a mission to Enceladus. The PhD student will play a major role in this work.

Background: The Saturnian moon, Enceladus has an ice surface with a sub-surface ocean of liquid water. Due to internal pressures, cracks appear in the ice and water plumes have been observed erupting into space. Similarly the Jovian moon Europa has an icy surface, sub-surface ocean and plumes (occasionally observed and which may be triggered by impacts). A NASA mission is to fly by Enceladus in the mid-2020s and try to sample the plumes. If life is present in the ocean on Enceladus its discovery will be one of the most important scientific discoveries of the age. Even without life being discovered, this mission will be the first ever investigation of an ocean on another world.

We have also been constructing icy spheres with interior oceans and impacting them to see how they break apart and generate plumes during impacts. The PhD student will also continue this and see how materials placed in the water subsequently emerge in the plumes, i.e. how representative of the interior ocean are the contents of the plumes?

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, and work under the supervision of Prof. Mark Burchell, with co-supervision by other members of the Centre.

This PhD studentship is due to start September 2017.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Mathematics or a related subject. This is a Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum).

Webpages: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/mark-burchell.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Mark Burchell (m.j.burchell@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this studentship has now passed.
Interviews to be held between: late February/March 2017


 

SEPnet PhD Scholarships: PhD Grand Challenges 2017

Take nine world-class University Physics Departments. Bring together their research, knowledge and resources. The result is SEPnet.

SEPnet offers PhD programmes focused on the future of physics with scholarships to match. You will optimise the opportunity to enter your preferred field of research with your single application considered by nine universities: Hertfordshire, Kent, the OU, Portsmouth, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex. Our partners offer over 100 PhD projects every year. These projects and SEPnet Scholarships are available in the following areas of research:

  • Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric and Climate physics
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Medical and Bio-Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Physics Education
  • Quantum Technology and Condensed Matter
  • Space and Planetary Sciences
  • Theoretical Physics

Scholarships come with additional research training support from SEPnet of up to £500 per year which may be used for travel to conferences or overseas experiments.

The SEPnet Graduate Network (GRADnet): GRADnet provides an extensive regional training programme for postgraduate researchers including physics training and professional skills development. For more information visit: http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/study/phd-opportunities/

How to Apply: Applicants are invited to submit their current C.V. and a short statement of their research interests (max. 200 words) to Cristobel Soares-Smith, SEPnet Graduate Network Administrator, gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk by 15 February 2017. Selected candidates will be invited to attend an Open Day on 22 February 2017 at the Royal Astronomical Society in London in order to meet potential supervisors and learn more about GRADnet.

The deadline for applications for these scholarships has now passed.

Note that you are also able apply directly to any SEPnet University separately through their standard procedures. If your application is accepted by a particular University after the closing date above, it may not be considered for this GRADnet scholarship award. The SEPnet route should be considered as a distinct path. We will endeavour to make your application available to be considered for all relevant specific awards outside this SEPnet scheme but cannot guarantee that we are aware of all advertised posts from individual supervisors.

We expect awards to be made before the end of April.


 

Postgraduate Scholarship in the computational design of novel photovoltaic materials

Supervisor: Dr Nicholas Bristowe

A funded PhD position is available in the field of theory and simulation of functional materials.

The aim of the project is to design novel solar cell materials using simulations based on quantum mechanics (density functional theory). Photovoltaics are likely to be one of the most important sources of renewable energy in the future. One novel strategy to improve the efficiency of solar cells is to use a ferroelectric material as the light absorbing element. Ferroelectrics are analogous to the more widely known ferromagnets (also known as permanent magnets) such is Iron, but show a spontaneous (and switchable) electrical polarization instead of magnetization. Photovoltaics rely on the separation of light-induced negatively and positively charge carriers, and a spontaneous polarisation in ferroelectrics can aid this process. These spontaneous photocurrents may even allow “photoferroics” to circumvent the Shockley-Queisser efficiency limit of traditional solar cells. Unfortunately almost all known ferroelectrics (e.g. PbTiO3) are poor absorbers of sunlight and poor transporters of charge carriers. These key issues have prevented the “photoferroic” concept from receiving greater attention, despite over 40 years of research into the effect. This PhD will consider novel strategies to bypass these issues, through the combination of fundamental theory, materials design, and computational screening. Candidates should therefore have strong backgrounds in theory of condensed matter physics, or related subjects, in addition to an interest in programming and computation.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury, working under the supervision of Dr Nicholas Bristowe, who is moving to Kent in January 2017 (currently at Imperial College London).

This PhD studentship is due to start September 2017.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpages: Dr Bristowe’s group page (currently at Imperial College London): http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/n.bristowe; Functional Materials group (Kent): https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/research/fmg/

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Nicholas Bristowe (n.bristowe@imperial.ac.uk) or Helen West (spspg@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this studentship has now passed.

Interviews to be held between: 20 February-3 March 2017


 

Postgraduate Scholarship in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

Supervisor: Dr Gunnar Möller

A funded PhD position is available for research in topologically ordered phases and their use in quantum devices and topological quantum computation.

The goal of this PhD project is to create accurate microscopic models of topologically protected edge channels in fractional quantum Hall devices via the use of tensor product state representations. The candidate will develop numerical simulations of the equilibrium and non-equilibrium properties of fractional quantum Hall edge states in order to promote a detailed understanding of quantum devices that may enable topological quantum computation, including both quantum Hall point contacts and interferometers.

The project will offer exposure to both numerical and analytical methods for studying quantum many-body systems. The candidate will perform tasks ranging from code development, simulation and data analysis to the application of analytic models and comparison to theory predictions, allowing them to develop their understanding of condensed matter physics alongside strong computational and programming skills.

The successful candidate will be based in the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury. They will work within the Quantum Materials research theme of the School’s interdisciplinary Functional Materials Group, under the direct supervision of Dr Gunnar Möller. Within the Functional Materials Group, the position is part of a growing theoretical physics community led by principal investigators Prof. P. Strange, Dr J. Quintanilla, Dr S. Carr, and Dr G. Möller. The work will be performed in close collaboration at the national and international level.

This PhD studentship is due to start September 2017.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first or upper second class honours Master degree (or international equivalent) in Physics, Mathematics or a related quantitative subject. A solid background in condensed matter physics and computational methods is preferable. Readiness to engage with high performance numerical work is essential, and prior experience programming and working in a Linux environment is desirable. Candidates should have good communication skills and a solid working knowledge of the English language.

This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). The scholarship is available to nationals of any country, for a fixed term of 36 months, and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study. UK, EU and overseas fee paying students are invited to apply. Further information on student fees for non-UK/non-EU applicants can be found on the university’s Student Finance webpages. The University of Kent is an equal-opportunities employer. Women, members of ethnic minorities, and members of other under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Webpages:


Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Gunnar Möller at G.Moller@kent.ac.uk.

How to Apply: To apply please go to:https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/212/physics (to reach the application form, please click on Apply, then select “Full time study” and “PhD” on the following page).

Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this studentship has now passed.

Interviews to be held between: 20 February-3 March 2017


 

Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) in XAS for energy storage materials

The aim of the research project will be to develop in operando measurements for soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy, employed to study the evolution of the oxygen (O) K-edge during battery cycling. Such measurements will be of importance to progress research on high-voltage (HV) layered oxides and Li-O2 electrode materials, as well as interfacial reactions including SEI formation and aqueous electrolyte based systems. Considering both high voltage and Li-O2 systems, it is known that the evolution of O2 (as well as CO and CO2 gases) results in interfacial reactions between the electrode and electrolyte. The products and intermediate species depend on the choice of electrolyte, salt and cycling rate. By following the O K-edge during battery cycling, in combination with the L-edge of transition metal ions, progress in this field can be achieved, developing new salts and electrolytes, as well as understanding doping and coating effects. For interpretation of the results a database consisting of O K-edge reference materials will be collected, and combined with theoretical spectra calculated by the PDRA.

The Role
The PDRA will be based at the DUBBLE beamline at the ESRF and will be part of the DUBBLE team for a fixed term of 24 months. (As part of the DUBBLE team he/she will be responsible to the project leader. These arrangements are standard for PDRAs within the DUBBLE project). The PDRA will also be accountable to the mentors at the Universities of Kent, Delft and Montpellier to undertake work associated with the ALISTORE-ERI XAS platform. The duties of the PDRA will be to:

• Coordinate the day-to-day running of the Alistore-ERI XAS Platform.
• Assist on experiments on the various XAS stations.
• Train members of Alistrore-ERI teams in synchrotron techniques.
• Analyse XAS results for Alistore-ERI members.
• Assisting on writing beamtime proposals and reports.
• Undertake your own research project on soft X-ray O K-edge materials as described.

This position is funded by Alistore-ERI (www.alistore.eu), which is an European research institute studying energy storage materials. It currently consists of 22 universities and 15 industries around Europe.

The DUBBLE beamline is a collaborative research group (CRG) at the ESRF funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) and Flemish Research Foundation (FWO). BM26 is split into two branches: BM26-A devoted to X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and BM26-B to combined small angle scattering (SAXS) and wide angle scattering (WAXS).

Salary is Dutch PDRA (scale 10.5); from 3234-3837 Euros per month.

How to Apply: A copy of your curriculum vitae and a statement of research experience and interest should be submitted by email to Dr. Maria Alfredsson, University of Kent, UK; email: m.l.alfredsson@kent.ac.uk, phone: (+44-1227-823237).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


 

Postgraduate Scholarship in Supramolecular Chemistry

Supervisor: Dr Jennifer Hiscock

A funded Masters position is available in the field of supramolecular chemistry.

The aim of the project is to develop the novel field of Symbiotic Supramolecular Chemistry, through the development of Smart Soaps. This novel branch of supramolecular chemistry exploits the balance of interrelated non-covalent interactions, focusing on hydrogen bonding within a ‘frustrated’ self-associated system. This will impart specific, triggerable properties such as switching, segregation, release, recapture, detection, destruction and remediation on the molecular, nano and macroscopic scale. This will be achieved through the synthesis of Smart Soaps using novel surfactant design. The principles acquired from this work will then be transferred into the advancement of novel soft materials. These systems will be developed from my discovery of a new class of surfactants that are cheap and simple to make/adapt, consisting of an anionic substituent linked to a hydrogen bond donating array.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Functional Materials Group in the School of Physical Sciences, and work under the supervision of Dr Jennifer R. Hiscock, with co-supervision by Dr Ewan R. Clark.

This Masters Studentship is due to start as soon as possible due to funding constraints. Latest possible start date 1 September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, biochemistry or a related subject. This is an Army Research Office (US) funded Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum).

Webpage: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/research/fmg/index.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Jennifer R. Hiscock (J.R.Hiscock@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


 

Postgraduate Scholarship in Materials Chemistry

Supervisor: Dr Donna Arnold

An EPSRC funded PhD position is available in the field of multiferroic materials.

Multiferroic materials exhibit both electric and magnetic ordering providing the potential to control electric behaviour with a magnetic field and vice versa. As a result these materials are expected to form the basis of next generation multifunctional devices including transducers, actuators, sensors and ultimate memory devices which can be electrically written and magnetically read (or vice versa). However, if we are to realise the potential of multiferroics it is important to develop a deeper understanding of the interplay between the structure and properties as well as develop strategies for maximising materials behaviour. The aim of the project is to build on the work already conducted within the Arnold group to design materials with specific functionality. This research will incorporate synthetic methods as well as characterisation using a variety of techniques including diffraction, electrical and magnetic measurements.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Functional Materials Group, and work under the supervision of Dr Donna Arnold.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics or a related subject. This is an EPSRC funded Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum).

Webpage: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/donna-arnold.html and https://donnaarnoldresearch.wordpress.com/

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Donna Arnold (d.c.arnold@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Scholarship in New Functional Materials

Supervisor: Professor Mark Green

A funded PhD position is available in the field of Materials Chemistry / Physics.

Porous materials are used in an increasing range of applications from gas separation and storage, ion exchange to battery technologies. We have recently discovered a new class of microporous materials with radically different characteristics to existing systems. It offers exceptional promise for new and innovative applications. The project aims to develop this new class of materials, by synthesising new related systems through a variety of chemical synthesis techniques, followed by extensive characterisation, and application testing. The characterisation techniques include, but are not limited to, powder and single crystal diffraction, SQUID magnetometry, low temperature heat capacity and transport measurements, and Ramen, SEM, EPR, and Mossbauer spectroscopy. These in-house techniques will be complemented by extensive use of synchrotron and neutron facilities, particularly ESRF (France), ISIS (UK), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA). In addition, a range of additional characterisation techniques are available at University College London, through a memorandum of understanding.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Functional Materials Group, and work under the supervision of Professor Mark A. Green.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics, Materials or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpage: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/mark-green.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Mark Green (m.green@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Scholarship in Filamentary Structure Formation in Astrophysical Environment

Supervisor: Dr Jingqi Miao

A funded PhD position is available in the field of theoretical modelling of filamentary structure formation in astrophysical environment.

Our understanding of star formation from collapsing molecular clouds has been greatly advanced by the recent observations with the Herschel Space Observatory. It was revealed that: filamentary structures are omnipresent throughout the Galactic interstellar medium on all scales, and condensed molecular cores (seeds of stars) are embedded within the filaments. The filamentary networks formed in different astrophysical environment are of very different morphologies, which lead to different prospects of star formation. It is therefore the case that filament formation is a key stage in converging molecular clouds into cluster of stars.

Theoretical modelling is essential to develop new insights into the physics of filament formation, fragmentation and further evolution in different physical environments, especially the central role of filaments in the rapid gathering of gas into a star cluster. We are going to develop a comprehensive hydrodynamic model to address the answers to the following questions: 1) What is the criteria to distinguish star forming filament from that which will never form stars? 2) What physical mechanism leads to the observed unique distribution of the width of filaments? 3) What physical parameters determine the morphology of a filamentary network and the distribution of dense core and their masses?

In summary this project is to use numerical simulations to investigate the role of various physical processes in the formation and evolution of filamentary structures in molecular clouds, to update our understanding on the role of filaments in star formation and to provide astronomers with a physical interpretation of the observations by the Herschel.

This is an opportunity to obtain modern knowledge on star and galaxy formation and develop multi-skills such as computer programming, data analysis, and more importantly, the ability of doing independent and advanced research in astrophysics. Successfully accomplishing this project will set the candidate a solid foundation for future academic or industrial career development.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Centre for Astronomy and Planetary Sciences (http://astro.kent.ac.uk/index.html), and work under the supervision of Dr. Jingqi Miao.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Mathematics or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpage: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/jingqi-miao.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Jingqi Miao (j.miao@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Scholarship in Supramolecular Chemistry

Supervisor: Dr. Christopher Serpell

A funded PhD position is available in the field of supramolecular sequenced polymers.

The chemistry of life is dependent upon the behaviour of specifically sequenced polymers: DNA and RNA store and communicate data; while proteins are central to biological structure and function. However, both of these assembly systems are limited by their available natural building blocks. Sequenced polymers comprised of an unlimited set of unit could potentially harness all the properties of the biopolymers while providing total freedom for the incorporation of unnatural functional or structural species. The aim of this project is the controlled synthesis of polymers capable of sequence-specific folding and molecular recognition properties, with applications in information storage, molecular muscle, and light harvesting.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Functional Materials Group, and work under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Serpell. The research will consist of synthetic chemistry and in-depth nanoscale characterisation using an array of analytical techniques.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in late September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpage: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/christopher-serpell.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Christopher Serpell (c.j.serpell@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/18/chemistry.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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PhD Postgraduate Scholarship in Polymer Chemistry

Supervisor: Dr Simon J. Holder

A funded PhD position is available in the field of polymer chemistry.

Using thin functional polymer brushes on silver and copper surfaces in biomedical wireless sensing. This project will integrate Advanced and Functional Materials with RF/Microwave devices, an area marked for growth by EPSRC and at the boundary of ICT and Engineering. Many common sensors operate on the principle of an electrical or optical signal in response to a physical or chemical change in environment of the sensor. Of necessity the sensors therefore often require expensive and often bulky electrical and instrumental packages associated with the sensing component often including a battery. Utilising simple changes in small cheap and passive sensors (not requiring a battery) in response to an interrogative radiofrequency (wireless) has been seen as potentially disruptive technology in the sensors field. RFID sensors as such would be a key component for many aspects of the development of The Internet of Things. To this end we will develop ultra-low power consumption passive wireless sensors for biomedical applications. These sensors can be expected to be of wide scale use in healthcare, not only for management of infection, but also ultimately for long term medical monitoring. To enable this chemical recognition we will employ surface grafted polymer brushes as the active sensing components of passive wireless sensors for biochemical and biological materials.

Thin films of polymers will be grown directly from the surface of silver and copper (using suitable surface bound initiators) using standard commercial bioactive monomers and novel functional monomers (e.g. with peptide sequences for specific recognition and binding of bioactive compounds/proteins etc). Copper and silver are the principal materials of choice for conductive antenna in wireless devices and to date the controlled assembly of functional polymer films from such passive surfaces has not been realised. We will explore the wireless sensing ability of these films in various antenna designs in collaboration with experts in led by Dr. John Batchelor in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts and collaborative expertise will be supplied by Dr. Campbell Gourlay in the School of Biosciences, with whom Dr. Batchelor and Dr. Holder already have an ongoing program into the research and design of sensors for medical implants.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpages:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/simon-holder.html

Kent Academic Repository entries

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Simon Holder (s.j.holder@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/18/chemistry.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Scholarship in the Design and Synthesis of Smart Materials

Supervisor: Dr Helena J. Shepherd

A funded PhD position is available in the field of Materials Chemistry.

The aim of the project is to develop new synthetic strategies for the synthesis of functional molecular materials and to incorporate those materials into polymeric systems to develop composites suitable for integration with novel devices. The project will provide the student with experience in a wide range of synthetic and characterisations techniques in this highly interdisciplinary field of research.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Functional Materials Group in the School of Physical Sciences, and work under the supervision of Dr. Helena J. Shepherd, with co-supervision by Dr. Simon J. Holder.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in late September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpage: https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/helena-shepherd.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Helena J. Shepherd (h.j.shepherd@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Scholarship in Low Dimensional Framework Magnets

Supervisor: Dr. Paul Saines

An exciting, fully funded three year PhD position is available at the intersection of the fields of solid-state chemistry and condensed matter physics, exploring the magnetism of low dimensional and frustrated lanthanide coordination frameworks.

Coordination frameworks have recently emerged with fascinating magnetic and electronic properties. This is facilitated by their tremendous compositional flexibility and unique crystal structures, resulting from combining inorganic and organic building blocks in the same material. Due to their low dimensional and frustrated magnetic properties they have recently attracted tremendous attention as magnetic cooling materials; they could facilitate cooling MRIs and scientific instrumentation based on cryomagnets to 4 K, reducing our dependence on scarce and expensive helium. This project will achieve a detailed understanding of the structure and dynamics of these important materials for the first time, leading to drawing up of design rules for optimising their magnetic cooling properties.

This is a unique opportunity to gain a wide-range of skills on an interdisciplinary project on the boundary of chemistry and physics including synthetic techniques for making coordination frameworks, magnetometry measurements, X-ray and neutron diffraction and spectroscopy and basic computer programming skills. It will also provide experience with a wide range of measurements at central facilities including the ISIS neutron source and Diamond Light Source and other European sources as required.

The successful candidate will be based at the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury. This project will take place in the Functional Materials Group under the supervision of Dr Paul Saines with co-supervision by Dr Silvia Ramos. This is a rapidly growing department offering a fresh and exciting research environment, whose multidisciplinary expertise and wide variety of advanced instrumentation is an excellent match to the project.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in late September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics or a related subject. Previous experience with X-ray diffraction, inorganic synthesis and/or basic programming skills (e.g. Fortran) would be advantageous but full training in all techniques underpinning this project will be provided. Most importantly we are looking for a self-motivated person eager to explore this new area of magnetism.

This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpages:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/paul-saines.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Paul Saines (P.Saines@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Scholarship in Galactic Star Formation

Supervisor: Dr. James S. Urquhart

A funded PhD position is available in the field of Galactic star formation and the structure of the Milky Way. Stars more than 10 times as massive as our Sun have a profound impact on their environment. They shape the interstellar medium (ISM) with their strong stellar winds and ionizing radiation, regulating star (and planet) formation, and ultimately drive the chemical and physical evolution of their host galaxies. However, our understanding of the initial conditions required for their formation and the processes involved in the early evolution of massive stars are still rather poor.

Our ability to make significant progress in this field has been dramatically enhanced in recent years with the completion of a large number of Galactic plane spectral-line and continuum surveys that cover the whole wavelength range from the near-infrared to the radio. The aim of the PhD project will be to exploit these multi-wavelength surveys to quantify the star formation across the Galactic disk and provide a truly global view of star formation throughout the Milky Way.

The main aims of this fully funded three year position are to: 1) determine the evolutionary sequence for massive star formation, the statistical lifetimes for each stage and the initial conditions; and 2) to use the Galactic distribution of these massive star forming clumps to construct a 3-dimensional map of the distribution of dense gas across the Milky Way and evaluate the role the spiral arms and environment plays in the star formation process.

This is an opportunity to obtain observational experience at world class facilities and develop a wide range of observational, analytical and computational skills. This will give the successful applicant a highly competitive skill set that will provide the foundation for a successful academic or industrial career.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Centre for Astronomy and Planetary Sciences (http://astro.kent.ac.uk/index.html), and work under the supervision of Dr James Urquhart (Kent).

This PhD Studentship is due to start in late September 2016.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in e.g. Physics, Mathematics or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpages:

http://astro.kent.ac.uk/~jsu/index.html

http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/james-urquhart.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. James Urquhart (J.Urquhart-37@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html.

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Studentship in Designing Novel Templated Amyloid Fibril Self-Assemblies

Supervisors: Dr. Christopher Serpell, Dr. Wei-Feng Xue

Amyloid fibrils are highly ordered fibrilar forms of protein that are able to self-assembly from soluble proteins or peptides. While amyloid aggregates have received much recent attention through their association with numerous human diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, and type II diabetes mellitus, far from all amyloid are disease associated. In fact, amyloid fibrils have also been recognised as a class of functional protein structures, with favourable material properties that can play a number of important roles in bacteria, yeast and humans. This cross-disciplinary Research Masters (MSc) project aims to design and to programme intermolecular forces to control the length and the supramolecular structure of model amyloid assemblies. Hydrogen bonding and polymer aggregation strategies will be pursued. The results are expected to lead to insights into the formation of amyloids and may lead to novel amyloid based biomaterials as well as generating knowledge to inform novel therapeutic strategies against amyloid associated diseases.

The laboratories of Christopher Serpell (School of Physical Sciences) and Wei-Feng Xue (School of Biosciences) in the Faculty of Sciences at University of Kent have funding available to support a cross-disciplinary Research Masters (MSc) degree candidate. We are seeking a strong candidate who aspires to work at the interface of chemistry and biology. General experience of experimental chemistry is advantageous. The successful candidate will gain training and experience working with bio-macromolecules such as peptides and DNA, as well as developing skills in synthetic and supramolecular chemistry, as well as biophysical and biochemical characterisation methods. The student will also acquire strong communication skills, through liaison with workers in two Schools in the Faculty of Sciences, and the opportunity to present their work to peers.

Entry requirements and Funding: Candidates will need to hold (or expect to hold by the start date) a minimum of upper 2nd class BSc in chemistry. As noted above, recipient of this scholarship will have their tuition fees (Home/EU rate) covered.

Webpages:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/christopher-serpell.html

https://www.kent.ac.uk/bio/profiles/staff/xue.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Christopher Serpell (c.j.serpell@kent.ac.uk) or Dr. Wei-Feng Xue (w.f.xue@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply for this Studentship, please go to the link here http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html, or refer to our website for more details: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/18/chemistry.

Applicants should submit a full Curriculum Vitae, two academic references, a transcript of results and a cover letter, explaining why they wish to work in the Serpell/Xue Groups.

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.


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Postgraduate Studentship in the Blight Group

Supervisors: Dr. Jeremy Rossman, Dr. Barry Blight

Highly motivated and ambitious candidates are invited to apply for an MSc position (tuition fees covered at the Home/EU rate) in the Blight/Rossman Groups in the Schools of Physical Sciences and Biosciences, at the University of Kent. The intended start date is January 2016. The work will be at the boundary of biology/material science and include aspects of lipid chemistry, organic synthesis, and coordination chemistry; all relating to new metal-organic framework materials. Candidates should have experience with 1H NMR, and chromatography, with some x-ray diffraction knowledge. The research will be carried out in the School of Biosciences (https://www.kent.ac.uk/bio/) and School of Physical Sciences (http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/), at the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent, a dynamic and interdisciplinary research environment.

Entry requirements and Funding: Candidates will need to hold (or expect to hold by the start date) a minimum of upper 2nd class BSc in chemistry. As noted above, recipient of this scholarship will have their tuition fees (Home/EU rate) covered.

Webpages:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/bio/profiles/staff/rossman.html

http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/staff/profiles/academics/barry-blight.html

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Barry Blight (b.blight@kent.ac.uk) or Dr. Jeremy Rossman (J.S.Rossman@kent.ac.uk).

How to Apply: To apply for this Studentship, please go to the link here http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgrad/apply/index.html, or refer to our website for more details: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/18/chemistry.

Applicants should submit a full Curriculum Vitae, two academic references, a transcript of results and a cover letter, explaining why they wish to work in the Blight/Rossman Groups.

The deadline for applications for this project has passed.

 

 

 

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Last Updated: 24/10/2017