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(Chemistry) Fully-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) PhD Scholarship 2020/21

Development of bioinspired nanomaterials from biomass

Project Supervisors:

Supervisor 1: Francisco Martin-Martinez (Swansea University)
Supervisor 2: Ian Mabbett (Swansea University)
Supervisor 3 (External): Christine Ortiz (MIT, USA)

Closing date for applications: 17 July 2020

Start date: 1 October 2020

Project description:

An EPSRC fully-funded PhD position is available at the Laboratory for Bioinspired Biobased Nanomaterials (http://www.franresearch.xyz/) led by Dr. Francisco Martin-Martinez (https://www.linkedin.com/in/franmartinmartinez/), to develop bioinspired nanomaterials from biomass sources (https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201904720), using multiscale modelling and simulations. The project is supervised by Dr. Francisco Martin-Martinez, and co-supervised by Dr. Ian Mabbett (Swansea University) and Prof. Christine Ortiz (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT). The Martin-Martinez Lab is a newly created research group at Swansea University that applies computational chemistry, multiscale modelling, and machine learning (ML) to develop biobased nanostructured materials (https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b04379) that are designed for reuse as well as performance, to constitute a circular economy. By bridging the gap between quantum chemistry and chemical engineering we tackle global challenges derived from the increasing global population in a world of limited resources, e.g, energy storage (https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c02427), waste reutilization, resilient infrastructure (https://doi.org/10.1039/C4RA05694A), or precision agriculture. This project will utilize computational chemistry, atomistic modeling, and ML methods in collaboration with scientists at MIT, Cornell University, TU Eindhoven and Swansea University, among others. The successful candidate will employ a suite of computational techniques including Density Functional Theory (DFT) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations alongside newly developed ML algorithms (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acsnano.9b02180) to elucidate assembly and degradation mechanisms that control the experimental synthesis of the materials, mimicking natural processes. Some experience with DFT methods, MD simulations, ML and/or python programming is desirable.

Requirements:

Candidates must have a First, Upper Second Class Honours or a Master’s degree with Merit, in a relevant discipline. Informal enquiries before the deadline for formal applications are welcome by emailing Dr. Francisco Martin-Martinez (f.j.martin-martinez@swansea.ac.uk)

For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.0 (with 5.5 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests. We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.

Funding:

This is a three-year fully-funded EPSRC scholarship, which covers UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend set at the minimum UKRI level (currently £15,285 per annum for 2020/21 for full-time students, updated each year).

Eligibility:

Studentships funded by EPSRC are subject to UK/EU residency eligibility. Normally, this means to be eligible for a full award (fees plus stipend) you must:
• Have been ordinarily resident in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, and;
• Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the Studentship grant, and;
• Have not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education).

For this particular EPSRC opportunity, we are also able to consider your application if you are an EU national who does not meet the residential eligibility criteria outlined above; this is possible through EPSRC’s flexibility regarding ‘open eligibility’.

How to apply:

Candidates must complete and submit the following documentation by the stated deadline. To apply for this studentship, please download and complete the research scholarship application form and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Form and return them to the College of Science with the following:

 Academic References – all scholarship applications require two supporting references to be submitted. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as their references form a vital part of the evaluation process. Please either include these with your scholarship application or ask your referees to send them directly to science-scholarships@swansea.ac.uk

 Academic Transcripts and Degree Certificates – academic transcripts and degree certificates must be submitted along with the scholarship application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.

 A recent CV

 Candidates should use the ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ section of the application form to explain why the award they are applying for particularly matches their skills and experience and how they would choose to develop the project.

Please email the documents to science-scholarships@swansea.ac.uk and put ‘EPSRC 25-26 SCHOLARSHIPS 2020-2021’ in the email subject header.