PhD and Postdoc Research Opportunities

We are a new research group in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. We are expanding and welcome applications from excellent and motivated students and postdoctoral researchers to join us. A number of exciting projects are available in our group. Example projects are listed below. 

  • Design and synthesis of porous materials and functional polymers;
  • Membrane separation processes for gas separation, water purification, and chemical separation;
  • Advanced battery materials for energy conversion and storage, including Li-ion batteries, redox flow battery, Li - metal battery, solid-state battery;
  • Heterogeneous catalysis, and thermochemical or electrochemical reaction engineering for clean energy applications, including renewable H2 production, CO2 capture and conversion.

Two Postdoc Positions available

We will advertise two postdoc positions later this year, one postdoc to work on the synthesis of microporous polymer membranes and another Postdoc to work on electrochemical engineering including fuel cells, electrolysis, and batteries. 

PhD studentships available for 2022-2023 entry

 Full PhD studentship funded by Department of Chemical Engineering (Open to all applicants) 

Full PhD scholarship funded by the Department of Chemical Engineering, with tuition fees and living stipend fully covered. It is open to all applicants including overseas students. Details of the Departmental PhD studentship:  (Applications for this scholarship scheme will be considered throughout the academic year). Note that this full PhD scholarship is highly competitive.  The applicants will need to go through the selection by the department committee and pass through the Interview by the panel.  Students with an extraordinary academic background and strong publication record will be considered.

The research topic of this PhD project is open, can be synthesis of porous polymers, separation membranes, or battery materials. The project can be tailored according to the student's interest and the group research activities.  Applications from students interested in materials chemistry, polymer chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, energy engineering, and energy conversion and storage are particularly encouraged.

Please send your CV and a cover letter as attachments to Dr Qilei Song (q.song@imperial.ac.uk). Your CV should include the detailed academic performance (including grades and marks) and names and contact details of two academic referees. Your cover letter should highlight your relevant experience and interests. Candidates will be considered until the position is filled.

CDT PhD studentship - Molecular Engineering of Redox Molecules for Redox Flow Batteries

We are offering one PhD project via the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Synthesis & Reaction Technology


Supervisors: Dr Qilei Song, Dr Kim Jelfs, Prof Anthony Kucernak

Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are promising for grid scale energy storage with decoupled energy and power, high energy efficiency and long lifetime.  Organic redox molecules have emerged as a new generation of sustainable materials for energy storage. However, there are still some scientific challenges including solubility, redox reaction stability and air stability, which remained to be improved. The current synthesis approach is still mainly based on trial and error. This research will combine computational and experimental approaches to accelerate the design and synthesis of organic redox molecules for battery energy storage. High-throughput computational screening and machine learning will be applied to accelerate the materials discovery, by studying the molecules in the chemical database and predict optimized structures and molecules with suitable properties.  The modelling and prediction will be used to guide the synthesis and modification of molecules. The experimental data generated from the synthesis and reactions will be used to validate the computational predictions. The selected molecules will be screened in battery testing facility and data generated will be used to further guide the design and optimization of molecules, which ultimately will contribute to development of next-generation energy storage materials.

This project will be suitable for a chemistry student to develop interdisciplinary skills in computational design and modelling, chemical synthesis, electrochemistry and reaction characterization, battery technology, anddata analysis. The project is very well suited to candidates seeking to work across disciplines at the Chemistry - Chemical Engineering – Data interface. The successful candidate will have opportunity to interact with a wider collaboration network and industrial partners.

To apply, please email the EPSRC CDT with the following documents in PDF format.

  • An up to date CV 
  • A copy of all transcripts
  • A cover letter (please indicate here if you have any additional information you'd like the panel to take into consideration)
  • Full contact details of two referees
  • List of up to three projects of interest from the projects currently available

What are we looking for

The research in our group is quite interdisciplinary. Talented and motivated students with academic experiences in materials chemistry, organic and polymer chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, membrane science, electrochemistry, and energy conversion and storage are encouraged to apply and join us. Preference will be given to the students with strong background in organic or polymer chemistry to work on the synthesis of materials and study applications in molecular separations and energy storage, and those with a strong background in engineering to develop membrane separation technology, energy storage technology, and novel processes. We expect the students to be highly motivated, and able to work independently and collaborate within a multidisciplinary team to carry out excellent and leading-edge research. The student should also be open-minded and willing to work on new research topics.  

While several projects focus on porous materials, detailed experience of characterisation of porous materials is not a prerequisite, and there will be opportunities to learn a range of techniques. 

For students to be strong candidates for the Departmental Scholarship or the CSC scholarships, they must have a very strong academic track record, previous experience of working in a laboratory and research interests relevant to the group.

English Language test

As part of the application process, you will be asked to show that you have met the College’s English-language requirement.

Contact details

It is essential that students make contact with supervisors before submitting a PhD application. For informal enquiries, please send your CV and cover letter or personal statement to Dr Qilei Song. Email address: q.song@imperial.ac.uk

PhD studentships

A number of PhD scholarships are available at Imperial College including international scholarship collaborations.


Students with outstanding academic record and research experience are encouraged to apply for the Imperial College President's PhD ScholarshipApplications for this scholarship scheme will be considered throughout the academic year. 

Full PhD scholarship funded by the Department of Chemical Engineering (Deadlines: 31st October, and 31st January). 

The Imperial Marshall Scholarship Scheme

Imperial College and China Scholarship Council PhD Programme (CSC-Imperial PhD scholarship) 

CSC PhD scholarships 

You are also encouraged to look for other funding sources.

Self-funded students are also encouraged to contact by email. 

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

The group is also able to support for application for funding from external research fellowship schemes.

Newton International Fellowships

Marie Curie Fellowships

Postdoc Scholarship funded by the China Scholarship Council (CSC)


Visitors including undergraduate and PhD students are welcome to join our group. 


Contact details

We are always keen on working with talented and motivated students and postdocs. If you are interested in our research, please find more information on projects and contact us by email. For informal enquiries, please send your CV and cover letter or personal statement to Dr Qilei Song. Email address: q.song@imperial.ac.uk