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EPSRC - School of Physical Sciences

Fee waiver at the Home/EU rate, plus a maintenance stipend of £14,777 per year (2018/19 rate)

The University of Kent is pleased to offer three fully funded EPSRC studentships starting in September 2019. The studentships cover home tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant (which is £14,777 for 2018/19). EPSRC scholarships are open to Home/EU students who meet UKRI residency guidelines. 

Further information can be found at: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/
EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 3 year PhD Studentships – 3 positions 

The School Physical Sciences produces innovative and interdisciplinary research across a broad and diverse range of topics that has applications in a number of industries including medicine and security. We are well equipped with state-of-the-art software and experimental laboratory facilities. 

Our dynamic research community has numerous collaborative links with colleagues in other universities and research institutions, both in the UK and overseas. The research effort is led by four groups, Applied Optics, Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Forensic Imaging and Functional Materials. 

For this year’s EPSRC DTP studentships we are inviting applications from candidates interested in undertaking research from a range of projects from across our research groups: 

PhD in Fibre-Based Holographic Imaging - The aim of this project is to investigate the transmission of high resolution optical phase information over optical fibres using digital holography. Fibre-based microscopy has a range of applications in biosciences and medicine, including as a real-time, endoscopic alternative to conventional histology. While intensity-based imaging via fibre bundles is well-established, recovery of phase information is far more challenging and will require use of holographic phase-to-intensity encoding techniques. 

PhD in Optical Coherence Tomography - The aim of this project is to advance the technology of optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT has a range of applications in medical imaging and the project can focus on one of the areas of rapid development such as Master Slave and Down-conversion OCT methods, prototyping OCT assemblies, or advancing the technology of OCT components such as the optical source or ultra broadband spectrometers, or developing novel modalities for signal processing that embrace both fundamental optical principles as well as programming. 

PhD in Synthetic Organo-silicon Chemistry - This project aims to exploit recently developed routes to anionic silicon nucleophiles and explore them for silyl-lithiation chemistry. The project will involve the synthesis of novel silanides under mild conditions and development of structure/property relationships for their reaction with simple organic molecules to give a deep understanding of this nascent methodology. 

PhD in Artificial Intelligence Approaches to Quantum Materials - Quantifying Entanglement - The aim of the project is to harness techniques from the field of Machine Learning to quantify quantum entanglement in advanced materials. Over the last decade, Artificial Intelligence approaches such as Machine Learning have become prevalent in many areas including autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, recommender systems and healthcare. 

PhD in Artificial Intelligence Approaches to Quantum Materials: Understanding Unconventional Superconductors - The aim of the project is to harness techniques from the field of Machine Learning to understand unconventional superconductors. Over the last decade, Artificial Intelligence approaches such as Machine Learning have become prevalent in many areas including autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, recommender systems and healthcare. 

PhD in Artificial Intelligence Approaches to Quantum Materials: Characterising Topological Order - The aim of the project is to harness techniques from the field of Machine Learning to characterise topological order in advanced materials. Over the last decade, Artificial Intelligence approaches such as Machine Learning have become prevalent in many areas including autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, recommender systems and healthcare. 

PhD in Chemistry - The Formation and Manipulation of Lipid Nanodiscs by Stimuli-Responsive Amphiphilic Copolymers - The aim of the project is to synthesise stimuli-responsive synthetic copolymers that enable the formation and stabilisation of lipid membranes in the form of nanodiscs. Nanodiscs are discrete isolated monodisperse lipid bilayers that can be prepared from membrane scaffold proteins (MSPs), peptides and synthetic polymers. The usage of nanodiscs is growing year-on-year because of the attraction that they can be used to isolate membrane proteins to enable purification and high-resolution structural studies in environments closer to their native state. 

PhD in the development of novel weapons for the fight against antimicrobial resistance – a big data and surface science approach - Since the 1980’s the invention of new antimicrobials has ground to a halt, however the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has continued to increase exponentially. Bacteria have now been identified that are resistant to all classes of antimicrobial currently marketed, including the commonly used antiseptic octenidine and the antibiotic of “last resort” - colistin. Therefore, the development of novel antimicrobials (to kill AMR microbes) and antimicrobial adjuvants (to re-sensitize AMR microorganisms towards currently redundant antimicrobials), is of the utmost importance. 

PhD in the Design and Synthesis of Smart Molecular Materials - The aim of the project is to develop new switchable materials comprised of both organic and organometallic molecular systems that can sense and respond to their environment. So-called ‘smart materials’, these systems can change their colour, structure and electronic properties in response to temperature, pressure, light and the presence of certain chemicals. They will be used to design new responsive devices with applications in healthcare, sensing and display technologies. 

Please note that there are three positions available for the School of Physical Sciences – across applicants from all of the aforementioned list of projects. There will be an internal competition and the quality of the applicants will play a role in the final decision of the School. 

Any enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Admissions Team (spsadmissions@kent.ac.uk). For more information about the School of Physical Sciences and our Research groups please visit our School pages.

Criteria

  • The University of Kent invites applications for a full-time PhD studentship commencing in September. 
  • We are looking for an excellent student with a good Honours degree (First or 2i) and, preferably, a Master’s degree at Merit or Distinction in a relevant subject, or equivalent. 
  • Successful candidates will demonstrate academic excellence and outstanding research potential. 
  • Open to UK and EU applicants who meet RCUK residency guidelines and have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to commencement are eligible to apply.

How to apply

Apply for a Chemistry or Physics PhD and upload a copy of your research proposal together with the name of a prospective supervisor. 

Deadline

The Deadline for this award has now passed.


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