Postgraduate Research Vacancies for October 2021 Entry
Applications are invited for the PhD studentships detailed below, with study starting in October 2021.
These are full-time, fully-funded positions, covering tuition fees at the home rate, plus a stipend (approximately £15,285 per annum, based on 2020-21 value). Unless otherwise stated, the duration of these studentships is three years.
Whilst the projects which are currently available are listed below, additional projects may become available, so please check this page regularly for further details.
To find out more about eligibility, how to apply for our studenships, and application deadlines, please see the information below.
Available Projects at the School
Information is correct as of the 29th January 2021.
A 3-year, fully funded PhD position is available starting October 2021 in the QUILL Research Centre, under the supervision of Dr Gosia Swadźba-Kwaśny and Professor John Holbrey. The project is suitable for an independent thinking, enthusiastic student, interested in working at intersection of two topical areas: Ionic Liquids and Main Group Catalysis.
Frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) are combinations of Lewis acids and Lewis bases, prevented from the adduct formation by steric hindrance. Solutions of FLPs in non-coordinating organic solvents have been shown to contain low concentration of FLP encounter complexes, held together by weak interactions. In these encounter complexes, the proximity of Lewis acidic and basic sites leads to unusual reactivity: FLPs can activate hydrogen, in a manner similar to transition metal catalysis, but in the absence of transition metal. Other small molecules may also be activated, notably, recently reported was nitrogen activation.
Recently we discovered that the dissolution of FLPs in ionic liquids leads to enhanced encounter complex formation (Chem. Commun., 2018, 54, 8689) and to more elegant hydrogenation systems due to the absence of volatile organic solvent components. In this project, the student will study activation of small molecules, in particular activation of ammonia boranes to support a hydrogen economy, by FLP complexes generated in ionic liquids, and – more ambitiously – by designing and synthesising new ionic liquids materials that function as intrinsic FLPs.
The deadline for applications for this project is Friday 19th March 2021.
A fully funded PhD position is available between the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at QUB and Inov8 Systems Ltd. The project will focus on development of sensors for the aquatic environment using spectroscopic and electroanalytical techniques. These sensors will specifically focus on the rapid detection of key chemical targets that are priority measurements in industrial and water quality applications.
The student will conduct their research at both the the Queen's campus, and also within the premises of the industrial partner, and so will gain valuable experience of working in both sectors.
The University strand of the project will be supervised by Prof Peter Robertson and Prof Steven Bell of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The industrial partner, Inov8, are a dynamic technology focussed SME who have a track record in developing innovative chemical sensors for industrial applications. The studentship will cover both fees and stipend for three years.
The deadline for applications for this project is Monday 29th March 2021.