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Two Marie Curie Early Stage PhD Researchers

University of Warwick - Department of Chemistry

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Coventry
Funding for: EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Up to €65,057
Up to £57,861.76 converted salary* per year, including the mobility and family allowance
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th April 2019
Closes: 16th July 2019

Funding for: EU Students, International Students

Living allowance: Up to €65,057 per year, including the mobility and family allowance

Two Marie Curie PhD posts in the Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces Group “Breaking Bad Biofilms. Innovative Analysis and Design Rules for Next-Generation Antifouling Interfaces”

We are seeking two talented early stage researcher (ESRs) wishing to pursue a PhD in innovative electrochemistry applied to imaging and sensing applications in the area of bacterial biofilms. You will be based in the Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces group (, a world renowned group in electrochemistry and its applications. This project is part of BREAK BIOFILMS (, a pan-European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (EU Horizon 2020 Programme), which aims to (i) investigate the (bio)physicochemical mechanisms of biofilm formation, (ii) produce technology for detecting and identifying biofilm formation with extreme sensitivity, and (iii) develop next generation biocides for preventing and destroying biofilms in industrial and biomedical areas. BREAK BIOFILMS is a consortium of world leaders in sensing, cell imaging, interfacial engineering, microbiology and nanoformulation from 6 universities, 8 companies, a consortium of food industries, a research centre, and a business and innovation centre. ESRs will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and a unique technical, industrial, and entrepreneurial training.

The projects are

  • (1) Lab-on-a-Tip for Localized Biofilm Analysis and Treatment

Innovative electrochemical probe microscopes and nanoscale electrochemical techniques will be used to understand microorganism adhesion to surfaces and their activity at different stages of biofilm formation. In particular, multi-functional electrochemical imaging probes (‘Lab-on-a-Tip’) will be used to map and measure chemical fluxes associated with bacterial function at the nanoscale and to deliver antibacterial agents locally and precisely. This project provides the ESR with an exciting opportunity to become expert in frontier nanoscale electrochemical and surface chemistry methods of wide applicability from the life sciences to materials science and electrochemistry.

  • (2) Development and Application of an Electrochemical Biofilm Activity Sensor

The aim of this project is the development of on-line electrochemical sensors which target biofilms commonly found in drinking water supplies. An innovative biofilm sensing technology will be designed and fabricated; the factors governing the relationship between sensor response, biofilm growth and electrochemical activity will be determined. In addition, conducting diamond electrode technology will be implemented as a means to both destroy biofilms and clean the sensors in-situ. This procedure will optimize electrolysis of aqueous electrolyte to produce ozone and hydroxyl radicals.

Candidates are required meet the following MSC-ITN criteria:

  • Mobility Rule: candidate must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country where the position is based (UK) for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.
  • Early Stage Researcher: the candidate is in the first four years of his/her research career and has not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • The candidate must have a first degree in chemistry, physics, engineering, or other related subjects and meet criteria for registration as a PhD student at the University of Warwick.

The ESR will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. 

Please apply directly to Prof. Julie Macpherson ( and Prof. Patrick Unwin (, specifying which project you are interested in.

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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