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Chemistry: Fully Funded Swansea and Grenoble Joint PhD Scholarship: Augmented chemical biology for solar hydrogen generation

   School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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  Dr M Kuehnel  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funding providers: Swansea University and Université Grenoble Alpes

Subject areas: Chemistry

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2022 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Project supervisors: 

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Chemistry

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

The utilisation of fossil fuels has created an urgent need for clean fuel production as well as solutions for CO2 capture and valorisation. Despite immense research efforts, synthetic catalysts for H2 generation and CO2 reduction still show inferior performances compared to natural enzymes such as hydrogenases and carbon monoxide dehydrogenases. This project aims at stabilising these highly efficient yet highly unstable biocatalysts through the design of engineered solvents to enable solar-driven hydrogen generation and CO2-to-CO conversion. This project combines the expertise in photocatalysis at Swansea University (Moritz Kuehnel) and the experience in isolating and handling air-sensitive hydrogenase enzymes (Christine Cavazza) and bioelectrochemistry (Alan Le Goff) at Université Grenoble Alpes into a novel approach to solar fuel production. The candidate will have the opportunity to work with leading experts and use state-of-the-art chemical and biological facilities to embark on a unique PhD programme across materials chemistry, solvent design, chemical biology, photo- and electrochemistry.

The PhD is funded by Swansea University and Université Grenoble Alpes, and as such the student will spend the first 18 months at Université Grenoble Alpes, with the following 18 months at Swansea University.


As this is a joint degree, applicants must meet entry/funder requirements of both universities: a recognised master’s degree in chemistry or a related subject (materials chemistry, photocatalysis, electrochemistry, chemical biology) and appropriate English language qualification.

Applications from individuals with experience in photo/electrochemistry as well as in enzyme engineering and/or handling are particularly welcome.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with no individual component below 6.5) or Swansea recognised equivalent.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

Funding Notes

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £16,062, reviewed annually in line with UKRI rates.
Additional research expenses will also be available.
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