Doctoral Training Centre
In December 2008 the EPSRC awarded us a £7.5m grant to establish a Doctoral Training Centre in Sustainable Chemical Technologies, offering a 4-year integrated PhD programme in Sustainable Chemical Technologies.
How to apply
“ The Doctoral Training Centre in Sustainable Chemical Technologies places fundamental concepts of sustainability at the core of research, training and outreach in applied chemical sciences ”
— Professor Matthew Davidson, Director, Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies
At least 12 fully-funded PhD places are available in the Centre each year until 2014. We welcome applications from graduates of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and related disciplines (such as mathematics, physics and biological sciences) who already have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree and have a strong interest in sustainable technologies.
All students in the Centre receive foundation training to supplement their undergraduate knowledge, as well as training in sustainable chemical technologies and transferable skills. All will conduct high quality and challenging research directed jointly by supervisors from the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
If you need further information or would like to know how you can become involved in the Centre, either as a student or a partner, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 01225 385820.
Why study with us?
Studying with us gives you the opportunity to contribute to technologies which are making a real difference to the world today. The centre focusses on the core areas of molecules, materials and processes to find practical ways of reducing environmental impact, developing cleaner energy sources, reducing reliance on rare elements and much more.
As a student in the Centre, your research will cross the boundary between chemistry and chemical engineering, and may draw on elements of many other disciplines from biology to mechanical engineering. This interdisciplinary approach enables us to follow all the way through from new molecules to industrial applications.
We are looking for talented candidates from a broad range of scientific backgrounds with an interest in sustainability, not just chemists and chemical engineers.
Each doctoral research project within the centre has, alongside the academic supervisor, an external supervisor from one of the many commercial companies and world-class academic institutions[Link to partners page] with which we are partnered.
These partners will provide valuable input and support to your project, and also offer placements where you can place your research in a wider industrial or international context.
In that first year you will conduct two short research projects from the wide range available, reflecting the Centre’s diverse research portfolio. This will allow you to “try out” more than one research area and supervisor before committing to your final PhD project.
Traditional PhD programmes can be very isolating, but being part of a Doctoral Training Centre is very different. You will study as part of a cohort of around 10 other students from a range of backgrounds and a shared interest in sustainable science and engineering. The Centre also has a strong social scene, with the existing students organising regular events.
More than just a PhD
Our doctoral programme is a four-year course, with the first year focusing on preparing for your main research in the remaining three. At the end of the first year, you will graduate with an MRes in Sustainable Chemical Technologies, providing evidence to future employers of your strong research and transferrable skills.
You will receive training and development opportunities in technical and research skills, as well as the wider commercial and societal aspects of sustainability, including environmental management and public engagement.
We have a spacious open-plan office providing space for all first-year students and hot-desking for all other students. This office, along with our comfortable modern meeting room, is located in the Department of Chemistry’s main research building on the beautiful University of Bath campus.
Fully funded scholarships
Each year we award up to 10 fully-funded studentships to eligible candidates[Link to eligibility], including:
- an enhanced stipend (about £15,000 tax free pa.);
- home/EU fees;
- a laptop computer;
- a generous consumables allowance;
- additional funding to undertake a 3-month internship in the UK or abroad;
- and an annual travel allowance to attend UK and international meetings.
Each year until 2013 we are offering at least twelve fully-funded EPSRC PhD studentships with an enhanced stipend (ca. £15,000 tax free pa). These studentships are aimed at graduates of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and related disciplines who already have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree.
In addition, we encourage applications from students with backgrounds in other areas of engineering and disciplines such as mathematics, physics and biological sciences with an interest in sustainable technologies.
These studentships are subject to the EPSRC student eligibility guidelines, but we can often find funding for excellent students who do not meet those criteria.
Note that overseas students wishing to be considered for the full range of funding options must submit their application by Monday 31 December 2012 at the latest. Applications from such students are welcome after this date, but funding options will be limited.
All applicants are subject to the University of Bath's standard entry requirements.
Fully-funded EPSRC DTC studentships cover Home/EU fees and provide an enhanced annual stipend. Other levels of funding are available, including full and partial fee waivers.
Once registered, all DTC students will receive a laptop computer, a generous consumables allowance, additional funding to undertake a 3-month internship in the UK or abroad, and an annual travel allowance to attend UK and international meetings.
The Integrated PhD in Sustainable Chemical Technologies is a 4-year research degree, split into two main parts:
- Year 1 consists of two small research projects with different research groups within the centre, combined with training in technical aspects of Sustainable Chemical Technologies as well as transferrable skills and business and societal aspects of sustainability;
- Years 2-4 focus primarily on the main PhD project, with some advanced training courses and a range of ongoing supporting activities.
Approximately 75% of your time will be spent on high-quality, interdisciplinary research, with around 15% specialist training in sustainability concepts and 10% transferrable skills training.
In the first year, you will undertake two distinct research projects, one of which will usually (but not always) lead directly into a PhD project. You may defer your final choice of PhD project and supervisor until the end of Year 1 at which point all projects will be confirmed by the Centre Management Board.
The two projects have equal weight in the assessment process. However, the first project will take place during Semesters 1 and 2 while the second must be completed over the summer ("Semester 3"). This is because the majority of training also takes place in Semesters 1 and 2.
All projects will have a lead supervisor from the Departments of Chemical Engineering or Chemistry, and an additional supervisor from those or an appropriate related department, such as Mechanical Engineering or Biochemistry. Your main project will also have input and support from an industrial or international partner.
The project selection process begins in the first week of term, and follows the following pattern:
- Supervisors propose projects, and make summaries available online as well as making short presentations — there are a large number of potential projects, spread over the full range of our research;
- You then have the opportunity to discuss options with supervisors and research groups and visit their labs — we strongly encourage this so that you can make an informed choice;
- You select 4 preferred projects (2 in chemical engineering and 2 in chemistry);
- Projects are then allocated after careful consideration by the management board — in many cases it's possible to give you your first choice.
Training & supporting activities
We offer a wide variety of optional courses in areas related to sustainable chemical technologies, on top of mandatory core training which will give you a solid grounding in the basic technical skills required to complete a PhD in the centre.
Supporting activities include:
- Opportunities to undertake an international, industrial or stakeholder internship;
- A strong public engagement programme;
- An annual showcase event;
- Involvement in organization of a seminar series; and
- Participation in international meetings and conferences.
The Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering are close to each other on the same campus in modern purpose-build laboratories (having received recent University investment of over £20m). An extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment underpins a dynamic research environment. Postgraduate communities in both departments are vibrant and growing.
As part of the Centre, SusLab and iSusLab provide an attractive and functional working environment supporting a genuine sense of community within the centre.
SusLab is a physical base for the Centre providing flexible accommodation including:
- Desk space for all Year 1 students;
- A hot-desking layout suitable for PhD students, staff and visiting academics to work individually and in small groups;
- An informal discussion and social area; and
- A more formal meeting and training room to accommodate 15 people.
iSusLab provides an intuitive, web-based virtual research environment, allowing students and staff within the centre to easily collaborate and share data with each other and external partners.
All students on the Integrated PhD in Sustainable Chemical Technologies course undertake two short MRes projects in their first year.
Current PhD projects
2011 – 2014
|Catalytic reversible oxygen transfer processes||Sarah Abou-Shehada||Professor John Williams, Dr Pawel Plucinski & Dr Steven Bull|
|Phase stability and composition for tin sulfide sensitised solar cells||Lee Burton||Dr Aron Walsh, Professor Kieran Molloy and Dr Chris Bowen|
|Oxidised cellulose gels and films for encapsulation and release||Duygu Celebi||Dr Karen Edler, Dr Janet Scott & Professor Richard Guy|
|Urea as a renewable feedstock for PEM fuel cells||Alf Hill||Dr Laura Torrente, Dr Frank Marken & Dr Pejman Iravani|
|Tailored donor acceptor carbon nanohybrids as new approaches to photovoltaic applications||Ben Hodges||Dr Sofia Pascu, Dr Petra Cameron, Professor Paul Raithby and Dr Davide Mattia|
|Renewable liquid fuels from microbes for aviation and road transport use||Rhodri Jenkins||Dr Chris Chuck, Dr Chris Bannister & Professor Matthew Davidson|
|ZnO photocatalytic membranes for water treatment||Anyela Ramirez Canon||Dr Davide Mattia, Dr Petra Cameron, Dr Tom Arnot & Dr Laura Torrente|
|The development of microbial lipids suitable as low temperature fuel feedstock||Lisa Sargeant||Dr Chris Chuck, professor Rod Scott & Professor Matthew Davidson|
|Hydrogen storage in novel nanoporous materials for sustainable energy applications in the aerospace industry||Jessica Sharpe||Dr Tim Mays & Dr Andrew Burrows|
|Biosynthesis of fine chemicals||Luke Williams||Dr Steven Bull & Professor Mike Danson|
2010 – 2013
|Using soft biopolymer supports for metal nanoparticles in catalytic applications||Rebecca Bamford||Dr Laura Torrente & Dr Janet Scott|
|Exploration of process alternatives for continuous conversion of bio-derived feedstocks||Simon Bishopp||Dr Janet Scott & Dr Laura Torrente|
|Molecular modelling of CO2 adsorption, separation and sequestration||Jennifer Crabtree||Professor Steve Parker & Dr Semali Perera|
|Biodiesel production in fixed bed catalytic reactors||Ben Firth||Professor Stan Kolaczkowski & Professor Matthew Davidson|
|Molecular design of scaffolds for biomedical applications — preparation of PLA and its copolymers||Tom Forder||Dr Matt Jones, Professor Matthew Davidson & Dr Marianne Ellis|
|Unexploited microbial oxidation — sustainable routes to high-value chiral synthetic intermediates||Julia Griffen||Dr Simon Lewis & Dr Tom Arnot|
|New catalysts and monomers for biological polymers||Ben Jeffrey||Professor Matthew Davidson & Dr Marianne Ellis|
|Atom-efficient synthesis with novel catalysts in batch and flow||James Lynch||Professor Jon Williams & Dr Pavel Plucinkski|
|Responsive vesicles in an aqueous cream emulsion for dermatological applications||Serena Marshall||Dr Toby Jenkins & Dr Tom Arnot|
|Novel catalyst systems for DeNOx (and oxidation)||David McClymont||Professor Stan Kolaczkowski & Professor Kieran Molloy|
|Formation of commercially relevant products from the catalytic reduction of CO2||Daniel Minett||Dr Davide Mattia, Dr Andrew Johnson & Dr Matt Jones|
|Uncovering new reactivity with old catalysts||Will Reynolds||Dr Chris Frost, Dr Matt Jones & Dr Laura Torrente|
|Low-temperature routes to TCO coatings — formation of functionalised plastic surfaces||Tom Wildsmith||Dr Mike Hill, Professor Kieran Molloy, Dr Andrew Johnson & Dr Chris Bowen|
|Copper-based dye-sensitised solar cells: Economically viable photovoltaics||Kathryn Wills||Dr Petra Cameron, Dr Simon Lewis, Dr Matt Jones & Dr Davide Mattia|
See also: What do industrial partners do?
We have teamed up with several highly-regarded external training providers to complement the University's excellent teaching