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PhD Position in Engineeering (AstroPharmacy)


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Sunday 21 May 2023
Reference:  ENG1642

Applications are invited for fully-funded PhD studentships (4 years) within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. The students will work within interdisciplinary supervisory teams in the collaborative science and engineering in the design, construction, development and testing of on-site, on-demand manufacture of pharmaceuticals in a space environment, including on CubeSat platforms.

How will we travel to, colonize, and sustain healthy life on Mars? At a time when the world’s space agencies have formed the Global Exploration Roadmap for the long-term human habitation of the planet, this doctoral training programme is focused on addressing this grand challenge. Findings will also be applicable for more classical terrestrial applications on earth.

This goal cannot be achieved within one research group or within one discipline and requires a fundamentally new approach to scientific research, bridging global research groups and scientific disciplines.   We do this from the viewpoint of, and using our expertise in, engineering, computer science, biology, medicine, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical manufacturing & formulation, and sustainability.

You will join the team of postgraduate researchers who have recently been selected to participate in the European Space Agency’s Orbit Your Thesis! programme ( Orbit Your Thesis! is an educational programme offered by ESA Academy for students to operate their self-developed experiment in the International Space Station. Aboard the station, the payload is integrated in the ICE Cubes Facilities operated by Space Applications Services situated in the Columbus module. After flight, the experiment will be returned for further analysis on-ground.


You will join the team of researchers and will contribute to the development of the molecular science of the on-demand expression of protein-based therapeutics (including cell-based and cell-free), the pharmaceutical science of the on-site manufacture of medicines (such as additive manufacturing), or the computational, electronic and systems engineering design, construction, and development of space-flight systems for such on-site, on-demand manufacture.



The ideal candidate should display experience with or the capacity to learn a wide variety of hands-on technical skills, including but not limited to; electronics, breadboarding, microcontroller use and programming (C and python recommended), soldering, use machining and workshop tools, use of power supplies and oscilloscopes, CAD, 3d printing, FEA of thermal and structural models, optoelectronics, fluidics and mechanical design.

Similarly, the various aerospace systems engineering aspects of the role would be ideally suited for a candidate confident and self-motivated to manage themselves and others in the production of; requirements and verifications specifications, work breakdown structures and Gantt charts, risk analyses, mass, cost, power and link budgeting, AITV processes, orbital analyses, ECSS and other ESA derived standard procedures and project management methods.

PhD researcher skills include the ability to conduct and condense literature reviews from many sources, writing of documentation and scientific reports for peer-review, attendance of conferences and presenting of posters of academic presentations, and optional teaching duties if desired.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or first-class degree in Engineering (ideally Aerospace or Electronics), Physics or related discipline.

Eligible for UK home students (see

Application process

Please check your eligibility against the entry requirements prior to proceeding.

Please apply here

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application.  

For information and applications please contact:

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