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Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Computational Chemistry

   PhD Opportunities

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  Assoc Prof Asaph Widmer-Cooper  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

A PhD scholarship in computational chemistry is available at the University of Sydney, Australia, in the team of Associate Professor Asaph Widmer-Cooper.

Connected to the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, this scholarship aims to support a multi-disciplinary effort to develop nanomaterials for solar energy technology, lighting and security systems.

While methods for making nanostructured materials are often slow or energy intensive, assembly of nanoscale objects promises to be scalable and low-energy and could thus propel a new wave of development in what is already a $60 billion nanotechnology industry. Today we can make nanoparticles with a vast range of unique properties, shapes and patterns, however organising them into extended structures that could revolutionize technology remains a challenge. This project will use computer simulations to improve our understanding of how to control the spatial arrangement of nanoparticles into structures with potential applications in solar energy capture, lighting and security systems.

You will apply computational methods developed within our group to characterise the interactions between colloidal nanoparticles and their assembly into ordered structures under a range of different driving forces. Important questions that this project will address include how the presence of molecules on the surface of nanoparticles can be used to tune their interaction, how nanoparticles interact with interfaces and external fields, and how these interactions can be manipulated to assemble complex ordered structures. To help answer these questions, you will use molecular dynamics simulations and statistical mechanics techniques to interrogate the kinetics and thermodynamics of these systems. This will be done in close collaboration with experimental partners in Australia and with other members of our diverse research group at the University of Sydney.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Assoc Prof Widmer-Cooper as soon as possible at [Email Address Removed]. Due to the high volume of applications, applicants who do not meet the profile below may not receive a reply.


Additional information

The Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science is funded by the Australian Research Council and links the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT and UNSW, together with other national and international partners.

As a PhD student in the Centre, you will be part of a network of over 100 students and scientists, with regular opportunities to take part in scientific meetings and training programs.

For further information about the Centre, see


Your Profile

We are looking for curious, creative, and enthusiastic people with a high level of motivation and persistence. You have an Honours or Masters degree in chemistry, physics or a related discipline, with confidence in mathematics, strong analytical skills, and an interest in coding. You have excellent communication skills and can work independently as well as in a team. English language proficiency is essential (minimum IELTS or equivalent overall score of 6.5, with no score below 6). Previous experience with molecular dynamics simulations or statistical mechanics is desirable.


Funding Notes

The successful candidate will receive a full scholarship covering course fees and living costs, with an annual stipend of $29,863 AUD for up to 3.5 years


Important Date

Application deadline is June 4



Please include:

·     Personal statement outlining your motivation for pursuing a PhD in this topic and addressing your ability to contribute to computational chemistry research. (max 3,000 characters). Provide evidence of your confidence in mathematics, strong analytical skills, and interest in coding. If applicable, mention any previous experience with molecular dynamics simulations or statistical mechanics.

·     Academic transcript

·     Reports from 2 academic referees

·     CV, including research experience

Note: it is not necessary to apply for admission before applying for this scholarship. If you have not applied for admission, please enter ‘000000000’ as your Student Identification Number in the application form. 

More information is available here:

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