Modelling hair lubrication in the presence of additives

   Institute of Chemical Biology

  Prof D Dini, Dr James Ewen, Dr Stefano Angioletti-Uberti, Dr N Brooks  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project will study the molecular-level interactions and fundamental mechanisms responsible for wet friction in hair-to-hair contacts in the presence of new additives used in silicone-free conditioners and sulfate-free shampoos. Particular emphasis will be placed upon natural products with lower environmental impact. Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Non-Equilibrium Molecular Dynamics (NEMD) simulations will be used to study changes on the hair surface chemistry in presence of surfactants, polymers, and natural products and their impact on hair-hair lubrication. We will also explore the use of continuum-based models and hybrid molecular-continuum simulations to capture the impact of the surface changes induced by the improved formulations on macroscale friction.


The entry requirement is a degree in the physical sciences with a minimum 2.1 or above (or equivalent).

Chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering graduates who wish to learn how to apply their physical sciences skills to biological problems. Students from biological or medicinal backgrounds are usually not eligible. If in doubt, please contact us.

We are only able to accept applications from students with ‘Home’ fee status for this project. Please see our Eligibility Criteria webpage for more detailed information.

About the ICB CDT

Successful applicants to this project will be part of 2023 entry cohort of the EPSRC CDT in Chemical Biology: Innovation for the Life Sciences. The aim of the ICB CDT, one of the longest standing CDTs in the UK, is to train students in the art of multidisciplinary Chemical Biology research, giving them the exciting opportunity to develop the next generation of molecular tools and technologies for making, measuring, modelling and manipulating molecular interactions in biological systems.

Applicants to this programme will enrol on a 1 year MRes in Chemical Biology and Bioentrepreneurship, followed by a 3 year PhD, building on the research project from the MRes. For further information, please see our studentship webpages.

How to apply

To apply for this project, please submit an application on the Imperial College Gateway (please see our How to Apply page for more detailed guidance.

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Mathematics (25) Medicine (26) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

Successful applicants, both Home and International, will be awarded a fully funded studentship. This includes:
• Annual National Minimum Doctoral Stipend, currently £17,668 + £2000 London allowance for 2022/23
• Annual Tuition fees at either the Home or Overseas fee rate for both the MRes and PhD years
• A Research Training Support Grant for laboratory consumable costs of £3,500 per year
• Funding to attend conferences
• Transferable skills training
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