Chemistry Scholarships

The Department typically admits 65-70 PhD and 90 - 100 MRes students each year. Funding for these students comes from a diverse range of sources, including the EPSRC, industry, scholarships and self-funded students. A selection of PhD Studentships currently available are detailed below.

Accordion - available studentships

PhD Studentship on Accelerating Discovery and Implementation of Effective Porous Liquids for CO2 removal

PhD Studentship on Accelerating Discovery and Implementation of Effective Porous Liquids for CO2 removal

A bp-EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship on ‘Accelerating discovery and implementation of effective porous liquids for CO2 removal’ is available under the supervision of Dr Becky Greenaway (the Greenway Lab, Department of Chemistry) and Professor Camille Petit (Multifunction Nanomaterials, Department of Chemical Engineering) at Imperial College London.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to use high-throughput automated platforms, combined with insights from process modelling [Environ. Sci. Technol., 2021, 55, 15, 10619; MSDE, 2020, 5, 212], to screen and identify effective designer sorbents for gas separations - in particular, this will focus on the removal of CO2 from different gas mixtures using porous liquids as designer sorbents. Porous liquids are a relatively new class of materials that combine the properties of a microporous sorbent with the processability of a liquid [Nature, 2015, 527, 216], and high-throughput workflows can accelerate their discovery [Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 9454]. The PhD candidate will develop an automated workflow using robotic platforms to both synthesise solid sorbents and process the materials into porous liquids, before characterising the materials and investigating their gas sorption behaviour.

The student will benefit from affiliation with both research groups and the DigiFAB Institute, and have access to the fantastic facilities in both the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, but will be predominantly based in ATLAS – a new EPSRC-funded automated high-throughput synthesis facility based in Chemical Engineering. In addition, the project will be undertaken under the bp International Centre for Advanced Materials (bp-ICAM) in collaboration with Dr Sheetal Handa.

Eligibility

Applications are encouraged from highly motivated candidates who have, or expect to have, at least an Upper Second Class degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or related disciplines (e.g. Materials Science). A background in one of the following is desirable, but not essential: supramolecular chemistry, functional materials, porous materials, and/or high-throughput techniques/automation.

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover tuition fees (home rate) and a stipend (plus London allowance) for 3.5 years and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in October 2022. Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the UKRI website and College website for eligibility requirements.

How to apply

Prospective students should send a CV and cover letter to Dr Becky Greenaway and Professor Camille Petit. The position will be advertised until a suitable candidate is identified. Informal enquiries are also welcomed and encouraged.

References

More information about the groups’ recent work can be found on the group webpages:

Computational modelling of corrosion processes at metal-electrolyte interfaces

Project description

ICL Chemistry department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate. The position is immediately available. The project will be based in the Computational NanoElectrochemistry group of Dr. Clotilde Cucinotta, in the framework of a multidisciplinary project on developing and applying new theoretical methodologies for the operando modelling of electrochemical (EC) systems. You can find out more about the project here: Towards a Parameter-Free Theory for Electrochemical Phenomena at the Nanoscale (NanoEC).

Oxidation and corrosion in materials science and technology costing yearly billions of pounds to the UK economy and affecting multiple sectors, from metal consumption in biomedical implants to the corrosion of electronic circuits, from atmospheric corrosion, to the interrelated passivation and dissolution processes occurring in the eroding environments of the petrochemical industry.

In spite of the large variety of experimental and computational approaches adopted to rationalize different corrosion processes, relatively little is known of the electrochemistry of metal surfaces in realistic electrochemical environment, even for the simple case of metal aqueous electrolyte interfaces. Information on the local chemistry of the electrolyte in contact with the metal is essential e.g. to unravel the initial stages of metal oxidation.

In this project we will focus on the realistic simulation from first principles molecular dynamics of the interaction of metal (e.g. Cu, Ag, Fe, Ni and Mg) surfaces with the aqueous electrolyte, studying the formation and degradation of oxidising layers on the metal surfaces. In certain cases surface degrades (e.g. iron) in other cases protective films form (e.g. in stainless steel). We will develop molecular scale models for these processes with the aim of unravelling the fundamental mechanisms triggering surface degradation and protection.

Applications should be submitted ASAP through the College’s online application system, specifying Dr Cucinotta as a supervisor: 

Apply here >>

Required documentation includes CV, research proposal or personal statement, transcript, 2 references and IELTS results. Outstanding applications submitted prior to January 10th will be shortlisted for the President’s scholarship.

Interested candidates can email Dr Clotilde Cucinotta with enquires, with a transcript and a motivation letter.

Funding notes

UK/EU students are eligible for this studentship, which will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a stipend for three and ½ years. The position is available immediately and will stay open until a suitable candidate is found. We also welcome applications from students who have alternative funding available.

Applicants should demonstrate excellent communication skills and an outstanding academic record in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or related discipline. Prior experience in density functional theory based calculations would be an advantage.

CRUK PhD studentship: Discovery and validation of novel protein lipidation drug targets in cancer

Supervisor: Professor Ed Tate (Professor of Chemical Biology, Imperial College London and the Francis Crick Institute)

Applications are invited for a 4-year Cancer Research UK-funded PhD studentship in the Tate group at Imperial College’s White City Campus and the Francis Crick Institute, on discovery and validation of novel protein lipidation drug targets in cancer. Candidates will require a strong molecular sciences background at the Master level (e.g. MRes or MSci in chemistry, chemical biology, biochemistry, or molecular biology), and a passion for discovery science which can lead to therapeutic advances in cancer. The studentship is available to start between May and October 2022, and offers a generous stipend and fees at the home/UK rate.

Find out more and how to apply

Find out more about this position and how to apply

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Synthesis & Reaction Technology (rEaCt)

Collage of researchers in the lab alongside the rEaCt and UKRI logos

Applications are invited for 4-year MRes/Ph.D. EPSRC CDT rEaCt studentship projects – Cohort 3 (Intake October 2021)

The mission of the EPSRC Next Generation Synthesis & Reaction Technology CDT is to educate a critical mass of researchers equipped to respond to future research challenges and opportunities created by the data-revolution. The aim is to train highly qualified researchers with the ability to collect data using automated, high-throughput reaction platforms, and to apply quantitative and statistical approaches to data analysis and utilisation. This will be achieved by incorporating cross-disciplinary skills from engineering, as well as computing, statistics, and informatics into a chemistry graduate programme, which are largely lacking from existing doctoral training in synthetic chemistry.

Available studentships

Applying

  • How to applyPlease note that due to COVID-19 interviews are likely to be held on a virtual platform.

The CDT

Contact us

Got a question? Find out how to contact the Centre

EPSRC CDT in Smart Medical Imaging opens recruitment for 2022 student cohort

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Smart Medical Imaging at King’s College London and Imperial College London is now accepting applications for fully-funded PhD studentships beginning in September 2022.

Students at the CDT typically follow a 1 + 3 pathway spending their first year studying for the newly designed MRes in Healthcare Technologies at King’s College London, and then the remainder of their course on their PhD research project (N.B. a 0 + 4 pathway is sometimes possible for candidates with excellent and relevant prior experience). Research projects fit into at least one of the CDT’s four smart medical imaging themes: AI-enabled imaging, Smart Imaging Probes, Emerging Imaging and Affordable Imaging.

Professor Nick Long (Chemistry), deputy director of the CDT in Smart Medical Imaging said:

“Our vision is to train the next generation of medical imaging researchers, leveraging the full potential of medical imaging for healthcare through integration of artificial intelligence, targeted, responsive and safer imaging probes, cutting-edge emerging and affordable imaging solutions, within a unique multi-disciplinary environment of imaging scientists, engineers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals.”

Why Join Us

  • Fully funded PhD studentships, including generous research consumables and conference travel, with exposure to international imaging labs and healthcare industry placements;
  • Research excellence in Smart Medical Imaging within a unique multi-disciplinary hospital environment in Central London (St. Thomas’ Hospital), with state-of-the-art labs and clinical research imaging facilities within both King’s and Imperial (based at South Kensington or White City campuses).
  • Choice of a large number of innovative PhD projects, supervised by internationally renowned academics from Imperial College London and/or King’s College London, with direct input from world-leading clinical academics of our associated NHS Hospital Trusts;
  • Close healthcare industry involvement in selective research projects, with paid internships and on-site clinical application specialists from major industry partners;
  • Emphasis on research collaboration through PhD cohort building and interdisciplinary research training, and transferable skills training for outstanding employability;
  • Access to large UK research initiatives and infrastructure, such as the new £10m London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value-Based Healthcare, the NVIDIA AI initiative at King’s and the new London high-field 7T MR centre based at King’s.

For more information, visit the CDT’s website.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Chemical Biology: Innovation in Life Sciences

infographic

The ICB CDT is a postgraduate training programme, which forms the heart of the ICB at Imperial College London. The ICB is an institute which brings together more than 130 research groups across Imperial College London with 20 industrial partners and a SME business club with over 40 members.

The aim of the ICB CDT, one of the longest standing CDTs in the UK, is to train students in the art of multidisciplinary Chemical Biology research, giving them the exciting opportunity to develop the next generation of molecular tools and technologies for making, measuring, modelling and manipulating molecular interactions in biological systems. Students on the programme apply these advances to tackle key biological/biomedical problems and clinical/industrial challenges. In addition, students gain experience of industry 4.0 technologies such as 3-D printing, machine learning and robotics with a view to increasing the impact of Chemical Biology research.  This is a skill set which is in great demand from industry and addresses the future needs of employers in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, healthcare, personal care, biotech, agri-science and SME sectors.

To find out more or to apply to our 4 year studentships, visit our webpage at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/chemical-biology/cdt

High-Octane Fuels for Sustainable Mobility

  • Supervisors: Prof. George Britovsek & Prof. Klaus Hellgardt
  • Contact: g.britovsek@imperial.ac.uk

An Industrial PhD studentship in collaboration with Shell on the development of high-octane fuels from sustainable resources is available under the supervision of Prof. George Britovsek (Department of Chemistry) & Prof. Klaus Hellgardt (Department of Chemical Engineering) at Imperial College London.

Aims of the Project

The aim of the project is to identify novel routes to manufacture high-octane fuel streams, ideally RON >102.  The feedstocks for the manufacture should be derivable from renewable sources, e.g. plants, hydrogen from renewable electricity, captured CO2.  The project will involve catalyst and process development towards a catalytic continuous flow process for the conversion of a sustainable carbon-based feedstock to a high-octane fuel stream.

 Eligibility

Applications are invited from candidates who have, or expect to have, at least an Upper Second Class degree (preferably a First Class degree) or an equivalent qualification, either in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.  Candidates with a chemistry degree are expected to have a basic understanding of reaction engineering.  Candidates with a chemical engineering degree are expected to have a basic understanding of catalysis and reaction mechanisms.

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover tuition fees (UK home rate) and a stipend (plus London allowance) for 3.5 years and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in October 2022.  

Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements are welcome – please refer to the College website for eligibility requirements.

How to apply

Prospective students should send a CV and cover letter to Prof. George Britovsek (g.britovsek@imperial.ac.uk).  Closing date: 30 September 2022.  Informal enquiries are welcome and encouraged.

Pulse electrochemical EPR spectroscopy: development and application to redox-based metalloproteins and catalysts

Two fully funded PhD positions are available in the Roessler research group as part of the Centre for Pulse EPR spectroscopy (PEPR) that is being built on the White City Campus at Imperial College London, supported by a £2.3 M grant from the EPSRC. The Roessler group investigates unpaired electrons in redox reactions that underpin essential chemical reactions in respiration and photosynthesis by applying state-of-the-art pulse EPR techniques [1] to understand the mechanisms of challenging enzymes that cannot be obtained in high concentrations and require precise electrochemical potential adjustment [2]. More recently, the group has been developing film-electrochemical EPR spectroscopy (FE-EPR), an exciting technique for studying the evolution of radicals during a reaction [3]. FE-EPR allows the accurate determination of the redox potentials of buried redox centres within enzymes and their activity during catalysis. PEPR combines state-of-the-art pulse EPR at X- and Q-band frequencies with FE-EPR and instrument development in collaboration with University College London and the London Centre of Nanotechnology.  

Project 1

In this project, you will expand the capabilities of FE-EPR from continuous wave to pulse EPR spectroscopy, thus enabling a new dimension in the investigation of radicals formed during catalytic reactions. This new method promises to enable us to get detailed information on structure and bonding (from pulse EPR) of radical intermediates formed during redox reactions, including surface-bound catalysts which are of wide interest. For this project a background in physical sciences will be helpful.  

Project 2

In this project, you will apply the state-of-art instrumentation available at PEPR to complex biological systems, such as metal-centered redox processes occurring in cells as well as in membrane proteins reconstituted into artificial membrane systems. For this project, either a background or an interest in biochemistry will be helpful.

Eligibility

We are looking to recruit an outstanding Masters level graduate in Chemistry or a related subject. The PhD studentships are fully funded for 3.5 years. Please see Dr Roessler's websites for further details on current research and a full list of recent publications:

The PhD student will primarily be based in the Molecular Sciences Research Hub, the new research home for the Department of Chemistry at Imperial’s White City campus, with access to further research facilities, e.g. SPIN-Lab, at the South Kensington Campus. 

EEA nationals are eligible but those who do not have permanent residence status in the UK must be able to start by 31.07.2021 at the latest to guarantee full funding of their tuition fees for their entire PhD. The prospective PhD student is encouraged get in touch via e-mail with a detailed CV and explaining his/her interests and research experience. 

  1. M. M. Roessler and E. Salvadori, 'Principles and Applications of EPR Spectroscopy in the chemical sciences', Chemical Society Reviews, 2018, 47 (8), 2534-2553

  2. N. le Breton, J. J. Wright, A.J.Y.J. Jones, E. Salvadori, H. R. Bridges, J. Hirst, M. M. Roessler, 'Using EPR Hyperfine Spectroscopy to define the Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Reaction at Fe-S cluster N2 in Respiratory Complex I', J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (45), 16319-16326, Spotlight Article

  3. K. Abdiaziz, E. Salvadori, K.P. Sokol, E. Reisner, M.M. Roessler, ‘Protein film electrochemical EPR spectroscopy as a technique to investigate redox reactions in biomolecules’, Chemical Communications, 2019, 55 (60), 8840-8843

Resins Project

Resins Project: ionosolv lignin as replacement of phenol in resins and adhesives

In order to limit climate change, it is key that we decarbonise our economy extensively and rapidly. While renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar can provide reneable electricity, we also need to find alternative raw materials for the chemical industry, which currently relies on petroleum as a feedstock for virtually all organic chemicals. Wood or lignocellulosic biomass is a readily available source for sustainable carbon and will provide a new generation of chemical building blocks in a timely manner. A number of woody plants can be grown in high yields in diverse locations worldwide with low inputs.

At Imperial, we have developed the ionosolv biorefining technology which fractionates any type of lignocellulosic biomass, including non-recyclable waste wood into the biorefining intermediates cellulose and lignin. The technology produces these intermediates at unprecedent low cost in a clean process by utilising ultra-low-cost ionic liquids. The ionosolv technology is being commercialised by biorefining start-up Chrysalix Technologies, who is co-funding this project and keen to identify new applications for its novel lignin output.

In this project, you will be developing ionosolv lignin as a replacement of phenol in resins and adhesives. The global resin industry is a major user of phenol and consumed 2.9 million tonnes of petrochemical phenol in 2016. Lignin has great promise in this application both in terms of matching or potentially exceeding the performance of the petroleum product and lower pricing than the petrochemical phenol. Lignin containing resins have been reported to have lower residual formaldehyde levels, making the biobased resin a healthier product to use.

As part of the project, you will develop protocols for producing and testing resins from lignin, with the goal of maximising the amount of phenol substitution while maintaining resin performance. You will study the underlying chemical and rheological properties of lignin that dominate resin performance and compare a variety of ionosolv lignins derived from different sustainable wood feedstocks with conventional resins and resins based on other technical lignins.

You will join two dynamic interdisciplinary research teams in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering focusing on sustainable materials analysis and process development, as well as an adventurous, pragmatic start-up team. Applicants should have an excellent understanding of physical science, material science and / or chemical engineering, combined with outstanding teamwork and communication skills and a deep interest in biomass conversion and materials development, and a passion for transforming the chemical industry. The studentship is funded through the Science and Solutions for a changing planet DTP and is for 3.5 years. It includes a London weighted UKRI stipend (£17,009/ year), Home tuition fees and a £5,000 consumables budget (over the 3.5 years).

Any questions and to apply, please email Dr Agi Brandt-Talbot agi@imperial.ac.uk. We require a CV, a cover letter and details of two independent referees. Closing date is 12 January.

PhD Studentship on Unlocking the Full Potential of Deep Eutectic Solvent in Synthesis

An EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship in collaboration with Astra Zeneca on ‘Unlocking the Full potential of Deep Eutectic Solvents in Synthesis’ is available under the supervision of Dr Silvia Diez-Gonzalez (the Diez-Gonzalez Group, Department of Chemistry) at Imperial College London.

Aim of the Project and Summary

The aim of the project is to understand the key parameters that positively influence organic reactions in DES to fully capitalize the promise of these solvents and hence unveil new and exciting reactivity.

Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) are mixtures of safe solids that become liquid upon mixing thanks to intermolecular interactions (hydrogen-bonding). DES overcome the health and safety shortcomings of standard organic solvents (petroleum-derived, polluting, volatile, flammable…). Strikingly, they can also have a significant, unexpected impact on the outcome of chemical reactions (yield, selectivity), although the origin of such effects is not understood. By parametrising and rationalising the role of DES in synthesis, we will seize the unprecedented opportunity to access more sustainable and efficient ways of creating useful molecules without additional costly chemicals or niche technologies, only naturally abundant and biodegradable compounds.

Eligibility

Applications are encouraged from highly motivated candidates who have, or expect to have, at least an Upper Second Class degree (but preferably a First Class degree)  or equivalent in Chemistry.

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover tuition fees (home rate) and a stipend (plus London allowance) for 4 years and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in October 2022. A three-mont placement at Astra Zeneca is also covered.

Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the UKRI website and College website for eligibility requirements.

How to apply

Prospective students should send a CV and cover letter to Dr Silvia Diez-Gonzalez. The position will be advertised until a suitable candidate is identified. Informal enquiries are also welcomed and encouraged.

References

More information about the groups’ recent work can be found on the group webpage.