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PhD Studentship in Biodegradable Polymers: New Directions in Controlled Radical Ring-opening Polymerization

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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Dr P Roth Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This project involves the development of novel biodegradable polymers for applications in biomedicine and materials science.

Accepted candidates will join the Department of Chemistry at the University of Surrey and work in the Roth research group in the recently renovated Joseph Kenyon laboratory.

Our group has recently developed a new method to prepare degradable polymers. It involves the addition of a tailor-made thionolactone (a cycle featuring a C=S bond) to a common vinyl polymerization. Importantly, the resulting copolymers carry thioesters in their backbone which can be selectively cleaved. These polymers have unprecedented promise in the development of novel smart materials for biomedical applications (e.g. release of drugs directly to cancer cells, or dissolvable implants that encourage the repair of damaged tissue) but also for the development of next-generation biodegradable plastics. Several PhD projects are available with specific focuses on organic chemistry, polymer synthesis, smart polymers, biomedical applications, and polymer nanoparticles.

The department and university are well-equipped for these studies and candidates will be trained in all relevant methods. PhD students will be mentored in the preparation of manuscripts, posters, and presentations and will be encouraged to use faculty funding to attend (international) conferences. The University of Surrey is a short walk from Guildford town centre which lies within the Surrey Hills Area and is 40 min by train from central London.

This is a two year project, starting in October 2019.

Entry requirements:
First class or upper second class BSc or Master’s level degree (or international equivalent) in chemistry, biochemistry, or a closely related subject are. This competition is open to all applicants. Please note that higher tuition fees apply for non UK/EU/EEA students. For classification of fee status, please see:

For non-native English speakers: average score of 6.5 with each individual category at least 6.0 in an Academic IELTS test not older than 2 years.

How to apply:
Applications can be made through the Chemistry Course page Please state the project title and supervisor clearly on the “research proposal” part of the application. Applicants should include a copy of their CV with marks of completed academic degrees expressed as “x out of y”, i.e. “60 %” or “12/20”. Applicants are encouraged to email Dr Peter Roth ([Email Address Removed]) first to discuss their application.

Funding Notes

This call is for self-funded students. However, excellent candidates will be encouraged to apply for a doctoral college studentship award which covers living cost (£15,009 per year), tuition fees, and bench fees for 3 years.

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