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PhD Research Studentship Opportunity: Processing Amorphous Inorganic Materials for Biotechnology Applications


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Tuesday 12 March 2024
Reference:  ENG1931

Project Background:

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3/4 years) within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. The successful candidate will work with an interdisciplinary supervisory team with expertise in bioactive glasses and microbial biotechnology.

Bioactive glasses are amorphous materials which are usually prepared by melt–quench processes. Generally, these glasses can be tailored to release metallic ions for a variety of biomedical end applications. More recently at the University of Nottingham, we have developed a single-stage process to produce solid (dense) and highly porous microspheres from bioactive glasses and other inorganic materials (glass ceramics and ceramics).

Whereas, Biotechnology in simple terms utilises biological systems, living organisms or parts of this to develop new products. For example, BBSRC defines Engineering Biology as ‘the application of rigorous engineering principles to the design and fabrication of biological components and systems, from modifications of natural systems to new forms of artificial biology. It encompasses the entire innovation ecosystem, from breakthrough synthetic biology research to translation and application’. Engineering Biology combines engineering principles with existing biotechnology techniques, such as DNA sequencing, genome editing, regulatory circuits and metabolic engineering to modify organisms or create new ones.

Project Description:

This PhD project will aim to develop bioactive glasses with controlled ion release profiles and investigate how certain microbes uptake the ions and determine the underlying mechanisms of action associated with the processes involved.

As a PhD researcher, you will be responsible for developing new glass formulations and optimising ion release profiles from bioactive glasses as well as for designing and conducting the microbiological experiments. You will work closely with experienced team of researchers to develop innovative strategies to optimise the experiments along with in-depth characterisation protocols. You will also aim to publish your research findings in high-impact scientific journals and present your work at national and international conferences.

Qualifications and Requirements:

Applications are welcome from home (UK) students. Mature students and candidates with equivalent industry experience are welcome to apply. Applicants should have a first or second-class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. The ideal candidate would have a background in Microbiology and/or Materials Science, but also be willing to learn and explore other disciplines, as required to meet the project goals. The candidate should be self-motivated, have excellent communication skills and be able to resolve challenges independently, with an interest in applied scientific research.

The University of Nottingham facilitates access to a range of networking and training opportunities, including our Researcher Academy and the successful candidate will benefit from alignment with other programmes. The University of Nottingham is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions, exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits. The University of Nottingham encourages an inclusive culture. Visit our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.


  • Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for UK candidates.
  • Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or first-class degree in the discipline areas highlighted above (i.e., Microbiology, Materials Science, Biotechnology, Biomaterials)
  • Candidates are expected to start on 1st October 2024

Application Procedure:

To apply for this PhD opportunity, please submit:

  • A cover letter (outlining your research interests and motivation to pursue this project)
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV) detailing your academic background, research experience and relevant skills
  • Your academic transcripts
  • Contact information for two professional references


Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

If you have any specific questions on the project, please contact:

Dr Ifty Ahmed – email:

Note that the funding associated with this role is awarded via an internal competition and is therefore only confirmed sometime after the admission application is approved.


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