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NUAcT PhD Studentship in Energy Materials – Atomistic Modelling of Ion Transport and Interfaces in Solid Electrolytes for Solid-State Batteries

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 01, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Number of awards


Start date and duration

October 2020 for 3 years

Application closing date

1 May 2020


The quest for improved energy storage is currently one of the most important scientific challenges. While lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have revolutionised the portable electronics industry, transformational improvements are required to meet current and future energy storage demands.

One next-generation technology being touted to make a step improvement in the performance and safety of LIBs is the solid-state battery (SSB). SSBs benefit from the increased safety resulting from using a solid electrolyte and also energy density gains from the utilisation of a Li-metal anode. SSBs have the potential to revolutionise energy storage but there are many challenges to overcome.

Sufficient interfacial ion transport represents one of the most crucial barriers to the wide-spread utilisation of SSBs. This 3-year fully-funded studentship aims to understand ion transport at the interfaces within and between solid electrolytes and electrodes in SSBs and to then apply this knowledge to overcome interfacial resistance. This will be achieved by using state-of-the-art multiscale computational models, based on molecular dynamics and density functional theory. Full training in these techniques will be provided. Support from experimental characterisation will be provided by partners in the UK, Europe and the US.

This studentship provides versatile opportunities for learning and personal development and there will be plentiful opportunities for local collaborative research with researchers involved in the North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM) ( and for visiting and working with international collaborators.

The highly sought-after skills and training offered through this studentship will place the student in a strong position for a future career in either academia or industry.


Newcastle University Academic Track (NUAcT Fellowship)

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr James Dawson (

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honour degree or international equivalent, in chemistry, material science, physics or a closely related subject.

This award is available to UK/EU and international candidates. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills).

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system (

You will need to:
•insert the programme code 8100F in the programme of study section
•select ‘PhD Chemistry (full time) – Chemistry’ as the programme of study
•insert the studentship code nes026 in the studentship/partnership reference field attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code nes026 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
•attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

You should also send your covering letter and CV to Dr James A Dawson by e-mail to


Dr James Dawson (

Funding Notes

100% of tuition fees and annual living allowance of £15,009

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