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PhD in Sustainable Polymer Synthesis

   School of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The design and synthesis of new, sustainably sourced polymers and plastics presents a major challenge that would enable the transition to a sustainable plastic future. We focus on designing in the whole lifecycle of the polymer from increasing the ‘green’ credentials of the chemistry, through to incorporating design for end-of-life from the start. We are focussed on making sure that these new materials behave comparably or better than existing petrochemical plastics and polymer additives and hope that this research can advance the design of sustainable plastics for the future.

A funded PhD studentship is available in the group of Prof. Andrew Dove at the University of Birmingham (group website: to work in this area. The project will involve research in some or all of the key areas that the group are interested:

• Application of sustainably sourced monomers to create polymers

• Using green chemical methods and metrics to improve the sustainability

• Understanding how the chemical structure relates to the mechanical and thermal properties of the plastics.

The project will involve several areas that can be tuned towards the successful applicant’s interests and skills and will be ideal for students that are interested in a fundamental research project with an applied goal. The work will be conducted in the recently refurbished lab space that the Dove group occupy in the Haworth Building in Edgbaston with full access to the world-class, state-of-the-art facilities maintained by the group and department. Enquiries and informal applications should be made as soon as possible to Prof. Andrew Dove using the webform at:

Funding Notes

The funding can only be used to support students that are eligible for home fee status. The successful applicants should expect to have a good (1st or 2.1 UK or equivalent) degree in chemistry.


Recent examples from the Dove Group include:
1. Sugar-based Polymers with Stereochemistry Dependent Degradability and Mechanical properties. Stubbs, C. J.; Worch, J.C.; Prydderch, H.; Wang, Z.; Mathers, R. T.; Dobrynin, A. V.; Becker, M. L.; Dove, A. P. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2022) 144, 1243 — 1250
2. Stereochemistry-Controlled Mechanical Properties and Degradation in 3D-Printable Photosets. Khalfa, A.; Becker, M. L.; Dove, A. P. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2021) 143, 17510 — 17516.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Chemistry?

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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