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Fully Funded EPSRC and Grove Nanomaterials Ltd PhD Scholarship

Swansea University
Swansea, UK
Posting live until
12 Apr 2024

Job Details

Fully Funded EPSRC and Grove Nanomaterials Ltd PhD Scholarship: Designer Nanoparticles for Biomedicine and Energy: Physics Meets Biology and Chemistry

Swansea University - Nanotechnology

Funding providers: EPSRC (CASE) with co-sponsor, Grove Nanomaterials Limited

Subject areas: Nanotechnology, physics, chemistry, biotechnology

Project description: Nanostructured materials already play a vital role in society. For example, the red lines on a Covid test are nanoscale gold particles. The conventional approach to their production employs solvents and chemicals which present health hazards and environmental challenges. In this project we will exploit breakthroughs in one of two connected areas, according to the expertise of the student:  

Development of nanoscale physics-based experimental methods, where Swansea is world leader, to achieve solvent-free synthesis and scale-up of soluble, ligand-capped metal nanoparticles of size 1-100 nm.

Conjugation of the nanoparticles at source with detector molecules chosen to recognise an infectious agent or a biomarker. This will be a completely new method to tether proteins to metal clusters for diagnostics.

Examples of the metal nanoparticles are gold for medical diagnostics and cancer treatment; iridium and platinum for clean energy (hydrogen); and silicon for photonics and solar. They will be characterised by state of the art methods including XPS, SEM, TEM, dynamic light scattering, optical methods and mass spec. The production methods will combine atomistic and molecular (including protein molecule) deposition in vacuum with wafer and roll-to-roll technology and post-processing to harvest nanoparticles on a scale beginning with grams, heading for kilograms and with the potential for tonnes – representing a revolutionary paradigm-shift in (bio) materials manufacturing at the interface between science frontiers and technological and medical applications.  

The project will suit an excellent student who enjoys design, practical experimental work, computer modelling and innovative ideas and wishes to contribute to a healthy planet. Your background could be in physics, physical chemistry/engineering, or biomedical sciences, and your role will be tuned accordingly. You will have good communication and team work skills and an international outlook.  

The co-sponsoring company Grove Nanomaterials Ltd springs from Swansea University and has licensed the background patents invented by the Primary Supervisor. It is ambitious and friendly. The work envisaged has the potential to contribute to significant national and international impact in terms of health, economic growth, University reputation and new scientific publications.


Candidates must hold an Upper Second Class (2.1) honours degree in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations.

Additional Funding Information

This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend at £19,237 for four years.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

For further information please contact Professor RE Palmer,


The University community thrives on exploration and discovery, and offers the right balance of excellent teaching and research, matched by an enviable quality of life.

Our stunning waterfront campuses make us a desirable location for students and staff from around the world, and our multicultural community provides a global perspective, enabling those who join us to develop skills and knowledge that set them on successful and enriching careers.

Company info
Bay Campus, Fabian Way
United Kingdom

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