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Supramolecular Self-associating Amphiphiles (SSAs) – next generation weapons in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

   School of Physical Sciences

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  Dr J Hiscock  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

One of the greatest threats against global human health is the rise of antimicrobial resistant bacterial infections, which are currently responsible for a greater number of global deaths then those currently attributed to HIV/AIDS or malaria. We are the inventors of a novel antimicrobial Supramolecular Self-associating Amphiphile (SSA) technology and are now looking for a new PhD student to join our team and further develop SSAs as antimicrobial agents, alongside our international acedemic/industrial consortia which includes, but is not limited to, chemists, biologists, DMPK specialists, material scientists, patient advocacy experts and clinicians.

The successful candidate will have a background in Chemistry (or related subject), have an interest in developing unique interdisciplinary expertise and be given the opportunity to:

1. Design, develop, synthesise and characterise next-generation antimicrobial SSAs. Gaining skills in chemical synthesis (and as appropriate) X-ray crystallography, advanced NMR, mass spectrometry, rheology, DLS/zeta potential analysis etc.

2. Work directly with our collaborators at UKHSA to test these next generation SSAs against ESKAPE pathogens. Gaining skills in Microbiology and initial toxicity screening assays.

3. Derive antimicrobial mode of action. Gaining skills in patch clamp, phospholipid membrane adhesion, interaction and lysis studies.

The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary research team based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Supramolecular, Interfacial and Synthetic Chemistry (SISC) Group, and work under the supervision of J. Hiscock (Kent) and collaborators at UKHSA (Porton Down).

This PhD project is due to start in September 2022.


This scholarship includes a doctoral stipend (equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2021/2022 of £15,609), tuition fees at the home UK rate, £3,600 consumables funding, free access to all departmental equipment and access to further research funding.

In order to be considered for this position you must have qualifications/experience equal to the standard of a good honours degree at a first or upper second class level from a UK academic research organisation. Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.

UK residential conditions

Be a UK National (meeting UKRI residency requirements), or have settled status, or have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirement) or have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If you are applying as an overseas student (this includes EU nationals), overseas fee rates will be applicable.

How to apply

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

Please apply here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/18/chemistry

Contact details

For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Jennifer R. Hiscock at [Email Address Removed].

Twitter: @jenniferhiscoc2

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