Applications for PhD studentships for September/October 2019 starts are now open. For more information on the projects listed below, please contact the named supervisor or click on the link to be taken to a detailed description.


All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st or 2:1 class MChem, or equivalent degree by Autumn 2019.  Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype).

Level of Award:

For James Watt Scholarship students, the annual stipend will be £15k and full fees will be paid, for 3 years.  For DTP Scholarship students, the annual stipend will be ca. £15,000 and full fees will be paid, for 3.5 years.  For ICS Scholarship students the annual stipend will be ca. £14,500 and full fees will be paid, for 3 years.



DTP2019/01: Phase boundary mapping for the discovery of improved thermoelectrics

Thermoelectrics convert waste heat into electricity and are considered an important component of a sustainable energy future. This project aims to improve the performance of thermoelectric materials based on abundant elements via modification of the defect chemistry by careful mapping of the phase diagram.

Supervisor: Dr J-W Bos


DTP2019/02: Velocity Map Imaging of the Dynamics of Gas-Liquid Surface Reactions

Cutting edge experimental tools will be used to study the dynamics of atmospherically relevant chemical reactions at the gas-liquid interface.  Computational techniques will be used to understand the mechanisms of the reactions that occur at the liquid surface.

Supervisor: Dr S. J. Greaves


DTP2019/03: Computational Modelling of Transition Metal-Main Group (TM-MG) Heterobimetallic Complexes for Small Molecule Activation and Catalysis

Computational modelling will be used to understand the synthesis, reactivity and bonding in TM-MG heterobimetallic complexes. The insight gained will be used to design novel catalysts that exploit the presence of both an electron-rich TM and a Lewis acidic MG metal in the same complex.

Supervisor: Prof. S. A. Macgregor


DTP2019/04: Probing ionic liquid surfaces using reactive-atom projectiles

The structure of the extreme outer layers of technologically important ionic liquids and their mixtures will be probed using reactive-atom scattering. This novel method is based on the laser-spectroscopic detection of gas-phase products of reactions between selected atomic projectiles and specific functional groups exposed at the liquid surface.

Supervisor: Prof K.G. McKendrick


DTP2019/05: Development of Polymeric Nanocarriers in Continuous Flow for the Controlled Release of Agrochemicals

This research project will focus on the implementation of continuous flow technologies for the synthesis of monodisperse polymeric nanocarriers of controlled size and shape. The bespoke nanocarriers will be loaded with bioactive compounds (herbicides and pesticides) for increased agricultural productivity whilst mitigating adverse environmental impact.

Supervisor: Dr F. Vilela




ICS2018/01: Polymers in Extreme Environments: Exploring the ballistic impact behaviour of polymers and ultimately polymer composites

The very wide spread use of polymer means they are often subjected to extreme conditions (high temperature, pressure, strain and strain rate). However, their behaviour in these regimes is not well understood, and this project will explore this behaviour particularly under very high (ballistic) strain rates.

Supervisor: Prof D. Bucknall,



JWS2019/01: Dynamics of Inelastic and Reactive Molecular Collisions

You will study the dynamics of inelastic energy transfer and reactive scattering relevant to atmospheric chemistry, combustion or astrochemistry using state-of-the-art experimental methods, to determine the underlying mechanisms and improve our understanding of collisions involving attractive forces and multiple pathways.

Supervisor: Prof M. L. Costen


JWS2019/02: Spectroscopy & Dynamics of Atmospherically Relevant Molecules in the Time and Frequency Domains

What happens when a molecule in the atmosphere absorbs a UV photon? Where does the energy go? Which reaction pathways will dominate? You will use time resolved and frequency resolved techniques to unravel the complex interplay between initial chemical structure, the dynamical timescales of structural change, and the ultimate photochemical function of a molecule.

Supervisors: Dr S J Greaves and Dr D Townsend


JWS2019/03: Imaging collisions of OH radicals with liquid surfaces

Collisions of OH radicals with selected liquid surfaces will be studied using a novel combination of molecular beams and laser-based imaging techniques. The results will provide unique new insight into reaction mechanisms at the gas-liquid interface and have real-world relevance to the uptake of OH radicals at the surfaces of atmospheric aerosol particles.

Supervisor: Prof K.G. McKendrick



How to apply:

When applying for Studentships, please read over our advice on: How to Apply