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Graduate Admissions


We invite applications for a 4-year EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship to work with Professor Paul Davies and Dr Mike Casford in collaboration with Unilever Research which will examine the microscopic chemical structure of bio-substrate surfaces and industrially important molecular films. The principal instrument will be a highly novel Nano-IR microscope that combines an Atomic Force probe with infrared Quantum Cascade Lasers. This instrument will provide spectroscopic information about molecularly thin films with nanometre spatial resolution. Complementary Sum Frequency Generation laser spectroscopy and microscopy, a non-linear optical technique using picosecond lasers, will be used to determine the molecular orientation and conformation in the films. The project will investigate the microstructure of bio-substrates such as hair fibres and monolayer/bilayer films on solid and aqueous surfaces mimicking cell membranes.

Unilever will host the student at their research and development laboratory at Port Sunlight for a total of three months during the Ph.D. Training will be given in tribological and related methodology at Unilever to complement the Cambridge experiments.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) the equivalent of a UK first class or upper second class honours degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in chemistry or other relevant discipline. The studentship provides a maintenance grant (which includes a significant CASE supplement) and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Applicants must satisfy the eligibility and residence requirements of the UK Research Councils. Owing to restrictions imposed by the sponsor, non-EU citizens cannot be considered.

Applications should include a cover letter, CV, detailed academic transcripts and the contact details for at least two academic referees, and should be sent by email to Dr Mike Casford (, to whom any informal enquiries can be addressed.

Please quote reference MA12138 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

Key Information

Department of Chemistry

Reference: MA12138

Dates and deadlines:

Friday, 30 June, 2017
Closing Date
Friday, 21 July, 2017