EPSRC CDT in Next Generation Synthesis and Reaction Technology (open)

Student applications are invited for PhD studentship projects for Cohort 5, starting in October 2023. More details on the CDT website

Our project: "Dial a polymer" (open for application)

Supervisors: Prof. Kim Jelfs, Dr. Charles Romain

New technologies are urgently needed to develop truly sustainable materials, i.e. made from renewables, featuring useful properties while having end-of-life options (e.g. chemical recycling) that will contribute towards building our circular economy. Identifying and making such sustainable materials is challenging and it requires innovative strategies to access such “advanced” polymers. Whereas computational strategies to predict (co)polymers properties (e.g. glass transition temperature, Tg) are rapidly developing, the prediction of polymer “degradation” remains underexplored.

In this project, a combined experimental-computational approach making use of machine learning will be used to predict the chemical recyclability of polymers via estimation of thermodynamic parameters and by exploiting the ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of cyclic monomers (e.g. lactones, cyclic carbonates, etc…). This project will contribute to guide towards the design of new monomers to enable polymer chemical recycling.

Science and Solution for a Changing Planet DTP call (closed)

Deadline for applications: midday (12pm GMT) Friday 6 January, 2023.

We are pleased to announce that the call for PhD applications is now open!  All important details regarding the studentship application process can be located here. 

Our project: "Understanding and enhancing plastics biodegradation"

Supervisors: Dr. Charles Romain (Chemistry), Dr. Jose Jimenez (Life Science)

Despite significant efforts, the biodegradation rate of PLA in industrial compost conditions remains low, reducing its acceptance in composting facilities (e.g. when PLA is used in disposable compostable packaging and collected along with mixed food waste). In home compost or soil (e.g. when deposited in the environment), PLA biodegradation is inexistent over a sustainable timeframe.

In this project, we will design bespoke polymeric additives to enhance the composting of PLA. (e.g. by promoting microorganism growth to speed up the biodegradation process). We propose, not only to develop polymeric additives, but also to combine them with newly
engineered microorganisms and enzymes able to work “better” (e.g. faster, tolerant to higher temperatures) or able to lead to useful and added-values chemicals (e.g. starting blocks for new polymers, nutriments for the resulting compost).

Departement of Chemistry departmental PhD scholarships (closed)

The Department of Chemistry has 5 departmental scholarships for PhD applicants starting in 2023/24 (more details here)

This scheme is only eligible to applicants who have home fee status. The scholarship will cover the full fees and stipend (UKRI London rate - £19,668 for 2022-23) for the 3 years 6 months of the student’s PhD studies.

The Departmental Scholarship Panel will consider academic excellence, research potential and extracurricular activities. The Panel will also take into account other aspects, such as overcoming adversity, outreach and community activities and widening participation. More details can be found here.

Candidates interested to carry out a project in our group are encouraged to contact us (c.romain@imperial.ac.uk)

Deadline for application: Friday 2nd of Decembre 2022

President's PhD Scholarships (closed)

The President’s PhD Scholarships aims to provide up to 50 research students with great potential the opportunity to work within their chosen research field with the support of an excellent supervisor.

Opportunities for PhD funding via this scheme are extremely competitive, with higher than usual eligibility requirements. Applicants should be confident that they are able to demonstrate outstanding academic performance before applying for this scholarship scheme. Previous successful recipients of the scholarship have ranked highly in their class, often achieving grades of 85% or higher in their degree(s).

  • Find out more about President's PhD Scholarships here