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PhD Studentship: Sustainable Polymer Synthesis and Circularity

The University of Manchester - Department of Materials

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 20th September 2021
Closes: 30th November 2021

A fully funded PhD studentship (UK tuition fees, 3.5 years) is available in the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub, led by Prof. Michael Shaver, in the Henry Royce Institute at the University of Manchester. We seek an enthusiastic chemistry graduate to join a dynamic and diverse team of researchers tackling challenges in plastics sustainability and circularity. This PhD position extends our expertise on small molecule catalysis (with polymeric frustrated Lewis pairs) and ring-opening polymerisation (especially lactones and their mimics) to develop systems that have triggered degradation and retained recyclability. Together we tacked major global challenges in the management of plastics circularity and sustainability through both academic and industry projects.

While attitude and desire is the overriding factor in choosing a candidate, some experience in catalysis or polymer synthesis, including air-sensitive techniques, gel-permeation chromatography or biodegradation is beneficial. The preferred candidate should be capable of working under their own initiative and building relationships in a diverse and hard-working and supportive team. This project offers the opportunity to join a uniquely interdisciplinary environment with our core community of polymer chemists joined by social scientists, economists, physicists and engineers to provide a unique environment for learning. Full training in techniques and analysis are joined to innovative methods in assessing sustainability and developing innovations.

The preferred candidate should share our ambitions for real world impact of results, including through publishing high quality papers, communicating results at international conferences and translating our results to industry partners, all of which require thoughtful communication skills. The University is committed to Athena SWAN principles to promote women in science and indeed as a team we value equality, diversity and inclusion alongside our passion for sustainability.

Anticipated Start Date: 1st January or 1st September 2022

The studentship is fully funded for 42 months and covers UK rate PhD salary and home tuition fees. The successful application should possess or be on track to gain a strong first degree (i.e. 1 or 2.1 UK or equivalent) in chemistry or a cognate discipline.

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