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PhD Studentship: Synthesis of Monomers and Degradable Polymers from Renewable Feedstocks


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Saturday 03 June 2023
Reference:  SCI2170

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship, starting October 2023, in the School of Chemistry. The PhD project will focus on development of new monomeric building-blocks from renewable feedstocks using a wide range of synthetic methodologies and sustainable strategies. These will be used to produce fully degradable polymers for applications in homecare and personal care using polymerisation strategies that involve for example enzymatic polymerisation, supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) and microwave (µW) technologies.

The project will be supervised by Prof Robert Stockman, Prof Steven Howdle and Dr Vincenzo Taresco. The project will involve close collaboration with another university and an industrial partner with a specific focus on green and sustainable chemistry. The project will provide a range of experience in synthesis and optimisation of monomers from renewable feedstocks as well as production of biodegradable polymers for applications. 

Funding notes: The studentship is fully funded for 42 months. Stipend at the RCUK rate (currently £17,668 per annum) and tuition fees will be paid at the UK rate. International students must pay the difference between UK and international fees. 

Entry requirements: Applicants should have, or expected to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent if from other countries) in Chemistry or a related subject. A MChem/MSci-4-year integrated Masters, a BSc + MSc or a BSc with substantial research experience will be highly advantageous. Experience in organic synthesis of small or big polymers and/or material analysis will also be beneficial.

If English is not the candidate’s first language, they must provide evidence before the beginning of the studentship that they meet the University minimum English Language requirements (IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element).

Deadline: review of applications will start in April 2023, and the positions will be filled as soon as possible thereafter; hence you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To apply, students should initially contact either or after which a formal application can be made via the University web site at:



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