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King's China Scholarship Council Project - Molecular simulations of eumelanin-inspired materials for bioelectronics

   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr Micaela Matta  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This opportunity supports students of Chinese nationality who are seeking to study an MPhil/PhD degree at King's College London.

Applications are invited from PhD candidates eligible for the King's-China Scholarship Council programme group at the Department of Chemistry at King’s College London (KCL) under the supervision of Dr Micaela Matta (Group website: www.mattaresearch.com).

This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic group with a strong international collaborative network, developing the next generation of bioinspired polymers for healthcare applications.

The objective of our group is to leverage computational modelling tools to understand the structure and properties of organic polymers for bioelectronics. We are particularly interested in developing biocompatible materials inspired by eumelanin, the black pigment in our skin, eyes and hair.

In this project, you will build a computational model of eumelanin and eumelanin-inspired materials that can be used to predict their aggregation, nanoscale morphology and ionic and electronic transport properties. You will collaborate closely with experimental groups characterizing eumelanin and related materials, integrating experimental information into the model.

You will have access to training and networking events organised by the Graduate School, the Thomas Young Centre, and the London Centre for Nanotechnology. There will be many opportunities to attend conferences and workshops, and you will be encouraged to present your research at these events to develop your communication skills.


You should hold a degree in a relevant field (physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science). Good communication skills in English are essential, and you should have experience in writing and presenting scientific reports. Curiosity, self-motivation and good attitude towards team work are equally important.

Some familiarity with Python (or other programming languages), the Unix environment and either molecular dynamics or density functional theory calculations would be desirable, but are in no way essential. You will learn these skills as you go and receive hands-on support and mentorship.

Expression of Interest

Expressions of interest including a full up-to-date CV, and a cover letter should be sent as soon as possible to Dr Micaela Matta ([Email Address Removed]). In the cover letter you should detail why you are interested in our group and how your skills, interests and background are a good match for this research area.


To be eligible, you MUST:

Be a citizen and permanent resident of the People’s Republic of China (and hold a Chinese passport);

Be due to commence a full-time MPhil/PhD research degree programme at King’s College London in the 2023/24 academic year (i.e., from Oct 2023 and by no later than June 2024), with an aim to complete the PhD degree;

Satisfy criteria set out by the CSC, e.g., relating to age (up to 35yrs on application), education, and employment. Please to refer to CSC website for full details (http://www.csc.edu.cn).

Agree to return to China upon completion of your scholarship/degree;

Apply to King’s College London for the scholarship (as instructed in the ‘Application Process’ section below) by the deadline of 2 Jan 2023, 23:59 UK time;

By the deadline of 16 Jan 2023, 23:59 UK time:

have submitted all the required documentation to support your King’s admissions application;

have met the English language requirements for your chosen research programme;

ensure that your referees have submitted their reference(s) to support your admissions application;

Also, follow the separate CSC application procedure and submit the required documentation to the CSC by its stated deadlines (see http://www.csc.edu.cn for further details). NB: CSC application rules differ slightly between domestic applicants (those applying in China) and overseas applicants (those applying from abroad) – further guidance is provided below, under ‘CSC guidance’;

CSC Guidance

Depending on whether a candidate is applying from within China (domestic applicant), or from abroad (overseas Chinese applicant), the following CSC rules apply to King’s candidates:

For domestic applicants, you must either:

Be in the final year of an undergraduate degree at a Chinese university/institute in China and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2023/24. Or,

Be completing a master’s degree at a Chinese university/institute in China and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2023/24. Or,

Be an in-service staff (i.e., employed) in China and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2023/24.

For overseas Chinese applicants, you must either:

Be studying a master’s degree abroad (e.g., in the UK) and be due to complete in 2023, and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2023/24. Or,

Be an overseas Chinese applicant (not including those who returned to China and then went abroad) who completed their master’s degree at an overseas university within one year and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2023/24.

NB: Final year undergraduate students who are studying abroad (i.e., at a university/institution outside of China) are ineligible to apply to the CSC. 

The above CSC guidance is correct at the time of publishing, please refer to the CSC’s website for full details.

Funding Notes

As part of the agreement between the CSC and King’s College London, successful students have their full international tuition fees covered by the university and receive, from the CSC, an annual living allowance (rate set by the CSC) plus overseas student health cover, return airfare to London and visa application fees. The Scholarships are valid for up to 4 years.
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