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Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

4 year funded PhD Studentship: Electrocatalytically active carbon nanoreactors for hydrogen production & utilisation

School of Chemistry

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Prof E Besley , Dr J Alves Fernandes , Prof A Khlobystov Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited to undertake a 4 year EPSRC funded CDT PhD studentship at the University of Nottingham. The successful applicant will join the new Centre of Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Hydrogen.

CDT Sustainable Hydrogen

The Universities of Nottingham, Loughborough, Birmingham and Ulster have joined forces to become a national CDT in Sustainable Hydrogen. The CDT is collaborating with over 40 companies and organisations to provide a new integrated PhD experience. The CDT offers a training programme which supports the cohort throughout their PhD journey providing the multidisciplinary training you’d expect, but also developing entrepreneurial, project and management skills along with the skills needed to communicate your ideas to a wide range of audiences. Further information about the CDT and the integrated PhD programme can be found at the CDT website:

Project specification

Nanoclusters of catalytically active transition metals (Pt, Pd, Ni) will be integrated with carbon nanotubes or hollow carbon nanofibers using computational predictions of the metal-carbon bonding and interactions. Guided by computational modelling, control of electrochemical activity will be achieved through fabrication of metal nanoclusters with bespoke size and composition, and by defect engineering (e.g. step-edge, vacancy) in the carbon nanoreactors. Electrochemical activity and durability of the electrocatalytic nanoreactors will be tested in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), and structural / chemical changes in the electrocatalyst will be monitored at nanoscale by TEM, Raman and XPS. The computational modelling of HER and ORR will underpin the obtained results.

This project will be supervised by Professor Elena Besley, Dr. Jesum Alves Fernandes and Professor Andrei Khlobystov, from the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham.


Applicants should have or expect to obtain a distinction or equivalent honours degree in Master of Science, Master of Research in Chemistry, or a related discipline. Applications are encouraged from those with work experience in a related area that gives an equivalent level of training to that of a science/engineering graduate.

How to apply

Please submit your CV, cover letter and complete the equal opportunities form via

Please refer to the project title when sending your e-mail/application. Informal enquires about the project or the CDT can also be sent to [Email Address Removed].

This studentship is open until filled. Early application is strongly encouraged.

Funding Notes

The CDT studentship covers UK/EU tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of £16,909 per annum. The studentship eligibility criteria are defined by the EPSRC. Funding is provided to cover travel and subsistence costs related to the CDT training and research activities and an Equality and Diversity discretionary fund provides additional support where needed to ensure all students within the cohort have access to similar opportunities.

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