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A 3-Year PhD Studentship in Metal Ions Containing Porous Materials for Activation of C1 and Bio mass conversion

   Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Material Science, UCL

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  Prof I P Parkin  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisors: Prof Ivan Parkin, Prof Gopinathan Sankar (UCL) and Dr Armando Borgna (ICES, A*STAR, Singapore)

Application deadline: 15/04/2022 

Interview date: TBC (2 to 4 weeks after the application close date)

Start date: 26 September 2022

Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)

The studentship

This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore) Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent in the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) of A*STAR in Singapore. The studentship will cover tuition fees at the home rate, and an annual stipend of no less than £17,609 increasingly annually with inflation (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student a one-off relocation allowance.

 The project

The aim of the project is to investigate selected micro porous silicates and aluminophosphate based catalysts for acid catalysed reaction for dehydration and isomerisation reactions. We will focus on both the well-defined porous zeolitic solids (ZSM-5, SAPO-34 and SAPO-5 for example) to examine the role of acid properties on the catalytic reactions. Copper and zinc containing systems will play a major role in these as they ae shown to promote methane activation process. We will characterise these materials extensively, in particular using X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and FTIR techniques. Several independent catalytic tests will be carried out and identify the suitable reaction conditions to carry out in situ characterisation of the working catalysts.

The candidate

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second-class integrated masters degree (MSci, MChem, etc.) or 2:1 minimum BSc plus stand-alone Masters degree with at least a Merit in Chemistry or materials science. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided.

 Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisors (Prof. Ivan Parkin [Email Address Removed]; Prof. Gopinathan Sankar [Email Address Removed]) with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in the project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.

Please note that a suitable applicant will first be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. The next step is to complete an electronic application form at (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme).

All shortlisted applicants will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline.

Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Zhimei Du [Email Address Removed]

Applications will be accepted until 15/04/2022.

Funding Notes

Applications are welcome from UK nationals, EU nationals with settled/pre-settled status. Please note that the studentship only covers home fees. The updated rules for eligibility for home fees for next year are available at
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