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First principles design of functional biomolecular devices

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Mulheran
    Dr K Johnston
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Exciting and challenging PhD research project : First principles design of functional biomolecular devices

The interactions of proteins and peptides with inorganic materials underpin many biomedical applications. For example, at Strathclyde we are studying immunocontraceptives that utilise silica nanoparticle vehicles to carry active peptides, and medical diagnostics that utilise gold nano-clusters grown inside protein carriers. In this project we will investigate the material surface chemistry that governs the interactions with the biomolecular species, using a multi-scale approach encompassing first-principles calculations through to large-scale classical molecular dynamics simulations. The work will utilise the Archie-West supercomputer (, with the student joining a vibrant modelling community. We will also work collaboratively with experimental groups to design, manufacture and test novel functional material systems.

This innovative research project works with world leading experts, ideally suited to students with the creativity and drive to pursue doctoral studies at a technologically leading university.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

The PhD programme is available for all students across the globe who have excelled academically and want to challenge themselves with a higher degree. Entry requirements are a minimum 2.1 UK degree in a science or engineering discipline (or equivalent). International students require IELTS overall 6.5 (all components above 5.5).

There is a rolling deadline for applications and registration dates for new students are February 1st, June 1st and October 1st.

For more information about Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde, see

To apply for this PhD project, see

Funding Notes

The 3-year studentship pays an annual stipend of £14,000 as well as the University fees for EU citizens; University fees for International students are higher and will require further independent funding.

Eligible students must hold a first degree (at least second upper class Honours standard) in a relevant subject (physics, chemistry or a related subject). Experience in a UNIX/Linux environment, and with electronic structure or molecular dynamics simulations, is desirable although not essential.

How good is research at University of Strathclyde in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 67.20

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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