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PhD Studentship in Enhancing Metal Organic Frameworks through Synthetic and Environmental Modification

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,009 annual living expenses & 100% of UK/EU tuition fees
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 4th March 2019
Closes: 1st May 2019
Reference: NES016

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,009 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2019 for 3 years.


A fully-funded (home fees) PhD studentship is available within the Chemical Crystallography group at Newcastle University. This position will focus upon the study and development of metal organic frameworks with controlled, tuneable, characteristics.

Metal-Organic-FrameworkS (MOFS) are polymeric, three dimensional, structures comprising metal nodes (e.g. Ag, Au, Fe) with interconnecting organic strands (e.g. bi-arylbenzoic acids). The hydridisation of the organic strands contributes significantly to the framework architecture often leading to accessible internal cavernous space that has recently drawn significant attention in current research directives. The flexible nature of the coordination sphere of the f-block lanthanides provides a new route to novel metal organic frameworks with tailored structural motifs. Initial in-house studies have shown that the availability of large, well-formed crystals is limited to a small number of the lanthanide systems studied, however these already show a variety of binding motifs.

This project will explore the experimental space, both synthetic and environmental, to generate a series of systems with designed characteristics for generating switchable states. The successful student will build on the current extreme conditions knowledge within the group, to enhance the instrumentation for studying materials under non-standard conditions. They will also develop novel chemical systems for investigation under a range of stimuli to create the next generation of switchable materials.


School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Michael R Probert and Dr Jonathan D Sellars.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, you must have a real passion for research and have, or expect to receive, a good Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Chemistry.

Creativity and problem solving skills are essential, crystallographic experience is not a pre-requisite as full training will be given, synthetic ‘wet’ chemistry experience will be considered an advantage.

This award is available to UK/EU and international candidates. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills).

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk in the application portal must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

  • insert the programme code 8100F in the programme of study section
  • select ‘PhD in Chemistry - Chemistry as the programme of study
  • insert the studentship code NES016 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code NES016 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.


For any further information, please email Dr Probert or email Dr Sellars

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