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  PhD studentship in drug delivery and pharmaceutics – Microneedle skin patch for intradermal drug delivery

   Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

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  Dr K W Ng  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Number of awards:


Start date and duration:

April 2019 for 3 years.


The aim of this project is to design and formulate a microneedle skin patch for targeted drug delivery into the skin.

The intradermal route of drug administration is suited not only for skin diseases (such as infections and local inflammation) but also for other medical conditions where systemic delivery of a potent drug is needed. However, the skin is impermeable of most drugs, making it difficult to deliver therapeutic doses into the skin. Conventionally this problem has been tackled with invasive injections, which causes pain, bleeding and often significant local tissue inflammation post-treatment, not to mention psychological stress due to patients’ fear of needle injections. Microneedles are needles <1 mm long. We have previously demonstrated that microneedles successfully delivered genes into, and extracted proteins, from the skin. Microneedles do not penetrate the skin deeply enough to cause pain, bleeding or significant local tissue trauma, and their micro-dimensions enable accurate tissue targeting. The technology thus has the potential to replace hypodermic needle injections in a range of clinical applications. Microneedles incorporated into a skin patch offer further formulation possibilities including controlled drug release and self-administration.

The student will acquire broad-based skills in microfabrication, formulation science, analytical chemistry, tissue culture and dermapharmacokinetics.


Faculty of Medical Sciences (, Newcastle University (

Name of supervisor(s):

Dr Keng Wooi Ng (, School Of Pharmacy (

Eligibility Criteria:

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, biotechnology, chemistry, biomedical sciences or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.

This award is available to UK/EU and international applicants.

International candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees and IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How to apply:

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button (

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:
•click on programme of study
•insert in the 8300F programme code section and click search
•select Programme name ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (full time) – Pharmacy’
•insert PH002 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 PH002 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 qualification.

*You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcripts.

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.