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PhD Studentships

Details of our funded PhD studentships are given below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the prospective supervisor before making an application. Formal applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system (see here for details). When applying please indicate the title of the studentship you are applying for.

Funded PhD Studentships available:

PhD CASE Studentship—Molecular Simulation of Crystal Growth

Professor Jamshed Anwar

A fully funded 3.5-year PhD (EPSRC) CASE Studentship supported by AstraZeneca is available in the area of computational modelling within the Chemical Theory & Computation research group. The project will employ molecular simulation to gain insights into crystal growth, an area of considerable fundamental and technological interest.

AstraZeneca (AZ) is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company with research and development in both the UK and Sweden. It is one of the world's top 10 pharmaceutical companies and has operations in over 100 countries. The student will have an opportunity to spend one or more short placements at AZ (Macclesfield) with possible visits to AZ's Swedish research centre.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, a first class or good 2.1 Masters-level degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, or materials science. They should have a strong mathematical ability, an aptitude for computer programming, and excellent communications skills, both written and oral. This studentship is only for EU/UK applicants. It covers fees plus the standard maintenance stipend.

Informal e-mail enquiries prior to making an application are welcome, in which case contact Prof. Jamshed Anwar (j.anwar@lancaster.ac.uk). Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system for details.

The project is available immediately and applications will be considered in the order that they are received and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

Novel Rotaxanes for the Binding of Chiral Anions

Dr Nicholas Evans

A fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship in synthetic supramolecular chemistry is available under the supervision of Dr Nicholas Evans at the Department of Chemistry, Lancaster University, commencing October 2014.

The study of ionic recognition has to date largely focused on the binding and sensing of relatively simple targets such as metal cations and achiral inorganic anions. The preparation of receptor molecules capable of the recognition of chiral ionic species represents an exciting challenge.

The studentship being advertised here will involve the design, synthesis and study of novel rotaxanes (interlocked molecules consisting of a macrocyclic “ring” trapped on a stoppered “axle”) that will act as enantioselective hosts of chiral anionic guests. The project will involve rationally designed synthesis to construct the rotaxanes and analytical experiments to determine their anion binding affinities. The student will therefore receive training and gain expertise in both of these areas of practical scientific investigation.

Enthusiasm to work in a laboratory environment, the ability to learn (by tuition and independently) and possession of excellent written and oral communications skills are essential. Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class or good 2:1 Masters-level degree or equivalent in Chemistry. The studentship will cover fees at the UK/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend (£13,863 pa for 2014/15).

Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system. Informal email enquiries prior to making an application are encouraged (contact: n.h.evans@lancaster.ac.uk). Applications will be considered in the order that they are received and the position may be filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

For further information on the research of Dr Nicholas Evans, see: supramolecularevans.com.

Smart Polymer Particles: Confined Self-organised Systems with Responsive Properties

Dr Verena Görtz

fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship in synthetic soft materials chemistry is available under the supervision of Dr Verena Görtz at the Department of Chemistry, Lancaster University, commencing in October 2014.

The studentship will focus on the design, synthesis, and property investigation of novel responsive polymer microparticles for use as microactuators (artificial muscles), biosensors, and photonic crystals.

Specific aspects of the project target the control of the size, surface chemistry, and self-organisation of these soft particles as well as their responsiveness to a variety of external stimuli, for example, temperature, light, and electromagnetic fields. The research program will therefore involve the synthesis of monomers with tailored properties, the implementation of polymerisation techniques to produce the particles, the chemical modification of the particle surface for functional binding sites, and property evaluation studies with a range of techniques (e.g. DSC, POM, SEM).

Enthusiasm to work in a laboratory environment, the ability to learn (by tuition and independently) and possession of excellent written and oral communications skills are essential. Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class or good 2:1 Masters-level degree or equivalent in Chemistry. The studentship will cover fees at the UK/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend (£13,863 pa for 2014/15).

Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system. Informal email enquiries prior to making an application are encouraged (contact: v.gortz@lancaster.ac.uk) Applications will be considered in the order they are received and the position may be filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

The project is available immediately and applications will be considered in the order that they are received and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

Computational Chemistry to Predict the Colour of Molecules

Dr Michael Peach

A fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship is available commencing October 2014 to work in the group of Dr Michael Peach, at the Department of Chemistry, Lancaster University, UK. Chemistry at Lancaster took its first intake of students in October 2013, and is an ambitious, rapidly expanding department. As part of this development, we are building a strong research theme in chemical theory and computation. Lancaster University is investing heavily in the infrastructure for the Department; research will be carried out in brand-new, custom-designed computational and practical laboratories.

This project is concerned with the development and application of new theoretical and computational chemistry techniques for the prediction of spectroscopic properties, and in particular, absorption and the colour of emission of molecules. We are particularly interested in molecules for use in organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs).

The project will involve the development of new techniques within time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT), with an aim to provide a quantitatively correct description of the light interactions of molecules. The project will involve significant theory development, together with applications to technologically-relevant molecules in collaboration with experimental chemists. For more information on the research of Dr Michael Peach, see: peachspapers.com.

Maths (familiarity with differential and integral calculus, 2nd order differential equations and group theory) and computer skills (a knowledge of linux and/ or programming) are essential. Training in the relevant quantum chemistry techniques and mathematical background will be provided. As a consequence, the ability to learn and the possession of excellent written and oral communications skills, is also essential, as is a significant interest in theoretical chemistry and spectroscopy. Prior experience with quantum chemistry computer codes is desirable.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class or good 2:1 Masters-level degree or equivalent in Chemistry or an appropriate related science discipline. The studentship will cover fees at the UK/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend (£ 13,863 for 2014/15). Informal email enquiries prior to making an application are strongly encouraged; contact m.peach@lancaster.ac.uk. Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system (see here for more details). Applications will be considered in the order that they are received and the position may be filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

Synthesis of Biodegradable Polymers with Novel Microstructures

Dr Rachel Platel

A fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship is available under the supervision of Dr Rachel Platel at the Department of Chemistry, Lancaster University, commencing October 2014.

Aliphatic polyesters such as poly(lactide) and poly(caprolactone) and their copolymers are of continuing interest due to their biodegradablility. The properties of such polymers can be tuned by controlling the ratio and sequence of monomers in the polymer chain. The project will explore new routes to biodegradable polymers from a range of cyclic esters using metal complexes as initiators.

During the course of the project, you will be trained in polymer synthesis and the routine preparation and handling of air- and moisture-sensitive compounds using standard Schlenk line and glove box techniques. You will characterize new compounds and materials using a range of techniques including NMR and IR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry and gel-permeation chromatography.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class or good 2:1 Masters-level degree or equivalent in Chemistry, and be interested in inorganic chemistry, catalysis and/or polymer chemistry. You will have excellent oral and written communication skills and be keen to build on your practical chemistry techniques.

The studentship will cover fees at the UK/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend (£ 13,726 for 2013/14). Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system. Informal enquiries prior to making an application are encouraged (r.platel@lancaster.ac.uk). Applications will be considered in the order that they are received and the position may be filled when a suitable candidate has been identified. For more information on the research of Dr Rachel Platel, see here.

Modelling the Structure Properties of Micro-porous Materials

Dr Abbie Trewin

A fully funded 3.5-year PhD studentship in materials modelling is available in the group of Dr Abbie Trewin at the newly-formed Chemistry Department at Lancaster University to commence as soon as possible.

The studentship will focus on modelling the structure and properties of micro-porous materials and is an exciting opportunity to work in close collaboration with world-leading experimental researchers in Lancaster, Liverpool, China, Singapore and Germany. The successful applicant will have excellent communication skills and be willing to travel to visit our external collaborators.

Good computational skills are essential and programming experience, or a willingness to learn, desirable. Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class or good 2.1 Masters-level degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics, Computer Science or related field. The studentship will cover fees at home/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend (£13726p/a for 2013/14).

Applicants should send a detailed CV, a covering letter stating how they meet the requirements of the studentship, and the names and addresses of two referees to Dr Abbie Trewin by e-mail (a.trewin@lancaster.ac.uk). Informal e-mail enquiries prior to making an application are also welcome.

For more information about the Trewin research group see www.pore-behaviour.co.uk.