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PhD Studentship in Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels: From molecules to devices

   Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering

   Thursday, March 30, 2023  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project described below at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. 

This project seeks to develop devices that use sunlight to generate “clean” fuel, such as hydrogen from water or hydrocarbons from CO2. The research is at the interface between chemistry, physics and chemical engineering. To support the development of photoelectrochemical devices, it will further our understanding of light-induced charge transfer and chemical reactivity at semiconductor electrode surfaces, by using advanced spectroscopy under operational conditions (light and applied bias) and surface characterisation. The results will inform the design of better light-active electrodes through nanostructuring, surface modification and tuning of the electrolyte. These materials will be incorporated in devices and the performance evaluated under simulated sunlight. The outcomes will be communicated through publications, presentations at the Solar Fuels Network meetings and public engagement activities.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

18 Sept 2023

Award Duration

4 years




Prof Elizabeth Gibson (Newcastle University), Dr Devendra Tiwari (Northumbria University)

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to gain, a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject or subject relevant to the proposed PhD project. Enthusiasm for research, the ability to think and work independently, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are also essential requirements. 

Home and international applicants (inc. EU) are welcome to apply and if successful will receive a full studentship. Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills. 

International applicants may require ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance.

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal  

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.   

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:  

·        search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8208F

·        select PhD Energy Materials (full time)' as the programme of study 

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Questions’ section:  

·        a ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form  

·        the studentship code renu2303 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field  

·        when prompted for how you are providing your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal.  

Contact Details

Funding Notes

100% fees covered, and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £17,668 (2022-23 UKRI rate).

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