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PhD Studentship: Leverhulme Trust PhD project: Lawn grass microbial fuel cells for widespread energy


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Tuesday 30 April 2024
Reference:  SCI262

The University of Nottingham is offering a fully funded 42-month UK-based PhD studentship as part of the Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant, focusing on "Lawn grass microbial fuel cells for widespread energy harvesting." Supervised by Dr. Michael P. Weir, Dr. Alison Tidy, and Dr. Helena I. Gomes across the School of Physics and Astronomy, the School of Biosciences, and the Faculty of Engineering, the project addresses the pressing need for clean energy sources amidst climate change.

The research targets Plant Microbial Fuel Cells (P-MFC) as a sustainable, carbon-negative energy solution, integral in generating clean electricity while supporting plant growth, wastewater remediation, and soil pollutant removal. The successful applicant will engage in growing P-MFCs, creating prototypes, studying variable effects on electrical output and plant/microbial health, and constructing a demonstrator model with an energy harvesting circuit.

This interdisciplinary opportunity encompasses diverse skills—from plant science and electrode function to data analysis, electrochemistry, and electronics. The training across departments fosters collaboration, team-building, and diverse skill acquisition, including Python coding, data analysis tools like Fiji and RStudio, and specialized bioelectrochemistry and statistical skills. Beyond scientific expertise, the program hones teamwork, critical thinking, and time management, offering scholarly exchanges within a vibrant PhD community. This comprehensive skill set equips candidates for diverse career opportunities upon program completion.

For informal enquiries about the role please contact Dr. Michael P. Weir (Physics)

(, Dr. Alison Tidy (Biosciences/Plant Sciences)

( or Dr. Helena I. Gomes (Engineering)


To apply for this PhD opportunity, please submit the following documents to by Tuesday 30th April 2024:

• Cover letter outlining your research interests and motivation to pursue this project.

• Curriculum vitae (CV) detailing your academic background, research experience, and

relevant skills.

• Academic transcripts of your previous degrees.

• 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.

Due to funding constraints, this project is only open to applicants with home (U.K.) fees



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