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Improved Health and Wellbeing through Absorption of Light by the Skin

   Centre for Technical Textiles

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  Prof Stephen Westland  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Key facts

Deadline - Friday 6 January 2023

Funding start date - Spring 2023 - 1 October 2023

Number of funding places - 1

Country eligibility - UK only

Source of funding - University of Leeds


LITAC (Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour) hosted by the School of Design, is offering a highly competitive PhD scholarship consisting of the award of tuition fees and an annual maintenance stipend that matches UKRI rates (17,668 GBP in 2022/23) along with a significant element of training and development expenses also incorporated within the Scholarship package.

Regular exposure to light is vital to entrain the circadian systems and maintain good health. Insufficient light in the morning and/or too much light in the hours before bed can disrupt sleep and is associated with higher risk factors for a range of medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The research questions addressed by this study are:

  • Do humans respond to light through their skin in a way that could regulate their circadian rhythm?
  • Can we develop novel light treatments that can impact on wellbeing of people including those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder?
  • Can we develop skin treatments/cosmetics that either absorb blue light or allow it to be transmitted to the skin according to the requirement and time of day?

Entry requirements

Applicants with a degree in a science-related subject are invited to apply and those with a Master level qualification are particularly encouraged. The successful applicant will have a strong interest in colour, cosmetics or skin science or applied chemistry and will be enthusiastic about collaborating with our industrial partners.

English language requirements

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study in the School of Design is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid.

Other Conditions:

Applicants must not have already been awarded or be currently studying for a doctoral degree.

Applicants must live within a reasonable distance of the University of Leeds whilst in receipt of this scholarship.

How to apply

Stage 1

First, apply for a research place of study, through the online application form. Please state clearly that the funding you wish to be considered for is ‘LITAC - Improved Health and Wellbeing through Absorption of Light by the Skin’ with Professor Westland as your proposed supervisor. You will be expected to meet our eligibility criteria for PHD candidates.

Once you have received your student ID number (a 9-digit number) move onto stage 2.

Stage 2

Apply for the LITAC Project – ‘Improved Health and Wellbeing through Absorption of Light by the Skin’ by completing the Scholarship Application Form. You must submit your scholarship application by 17.00 p.m. on Friday the 6th of January 2023.

Contact details

For further information related to the application process please email the Faculty PGR Admissions Team at [Email Address Removed]

For further information related to the project please contact Professor Westland [Email Address Removed] 

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