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EPSRC funded Chemistry PhD - Environmentally Sustainable Optoelectronics for 21st Century Applications

   Cardiff School of Chemistry

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  Dr E Richards, Prof S Pope  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This studentship seeks to challenge the status quo regarding the use of precious metals in light-activated molecules and materials. We will develop a series of new photoactive compounds that incorporate earth-abundant 1st-row transition metals and explore their utility in a broad range of applications, such as photocatalysis, energy upconversion and bioimaging. Our overall aim is to develop a chemical toolbox to replace expensive and rare precious-metal based compounds with sustainable earth-abundant analogues.

Our recent work on luminescent chromium-based systems, shows highly advantageous luminescence properties under ambient conditions (DOI: 10.1039/D2CC01434C), opening pathways to a range of applications including bioimaging and energy upconversion.

The student will join a vibrant and diverse research team led by experts in physical chemistry (Richards), synthetic inorganic (photo)chemistry (Pope) and the biosciences (Williams). They will be fully trained in chemical synthesis procedures (including handling of air-sensitive materials) for ligands and complexes, and gain specialist knowledge in advanced characterisation and state of the art spectroscopic techniques including EPR and photophysics, as well as relevant applications.


Dr Emma Richards - People - Cardiff University (Chemistry)

Professor Simon Pope - People - Cardiff University (Chemistry)

Dr Catrin Williams - People - Cardiff University (Biosciences)

Start date - 1st July or 1st October 2023

Academic Criteria

Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or their equivalent).  

English Language criteria

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) English language requirements for postgraduate students - Study - Cardiff University

How to apply

Applications should be received no later than 10th February 2023. All applications should be submitted via the online application portal, stating your supervisor’s name(s), at https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/chemistry

Interviews will be held on Zoom or Teams week commencing 27th February. During the interviews, applicants should give a short (5 minute) presentation on their experience and suitability for the position. 

Further information

For any enquiries about the project and research, please contact Dr Emma Richards ([Email Address Removed]) or Prof Simon Pope ([Email Address Removed]).

For further information about the application and interview process, including informal questions, please contact the Chemistry PGR office ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

Funded by the EPSRC DTP for 3.5 years and covers tuition fees, an annual tax-free living stipend of in line with UKRI minimum rates (currently £17,668) and includes access to a Research Training Support Grant (currently £4000). If you have a disability you may be entitled to a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) on top of your studentship.
We welcome applications for full and part time study.
EPSRC DTP studentships are available to home and international students. Up to 30% of our cohort can comprise international students, once the limit has been reached, we are unable to make offers to international students.


Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive environment for all. We welcome applications from all members of the global community irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

How good is research at Cardiff University in Chemistry?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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