PhD Studentship/Marie Sklodowska-Curie ESR Fellowship: Plant-based Materials

University of Cambridge - Department of Chemistry

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

We invite applications for a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher (MSC-ESR) Fellowship to start in April 2017 to work with Dr Silvia Vignolini developing a novel class of photonic structures based on cellulose-based materials which can be used to produce pigments.  The project will form part of a EC Marie Sklodowska-Curie Training Network (PlaMatSu) that brings together plant biologists, polymer chemists and soft matter physicists in academia and industry from across Europe to explore the use of plant materials in order to develop novel bio-inspired materials and surfaces. This will be an interdisciplinary project, and will include opportunities for secondments with European partners, including at an industrial production plant where the new materials can be tested at small pilot scale.

Further information about the PlaMatSu network can be found at; further information on the work of the Vignolini group can be found at

Applicants must satisfy the EC's eligibility requirements for MSC-ESR Fellowships, and must not have resided in the UK for more than 12 months in the last three years. They should have (or expect to obtain) at least the equivalent of a UK upper second class honours degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in chemistry, physics or materials science, or a related discipline.  Applicants must have an interest in soft matter and colloidal systems, and should be familiar with the fundamental concepts of colloidal stability and surface forces. They will be expected to work in an interdisciplinary environment and to interact with other members of the network.

The Fellowship is offered in conjunction with a PhD position at the University of Cambridge, and will be subject to the Fellow satisfying the University's admissions requirements for PhD study.  The Fellowship will provide a salary that includes a living allowance of around €40,000 p.a. plus a mobility allowance of around €6,425 p.a.

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 the PlaMatSu administration office (, quoting "PlaMatSu-Cambridge-8" in the subject line. For queries regarding this post, please contact Dr Silvia Vignolini (

Please quote reference MA10198 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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