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PhD Studentship: Global Structural Analysis of Crystal Structure Prediction Landscapes

University of Southampton - Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Funding for tuition fees and a living stipend are available on a competitive basis
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 29th November 2023
Closes: 31st January 2024
 

Supervisory Team: Prof. Graeme Day

Project description

A fully funded 3.5-year PhD studentship is available in the area of computational materials discovery, as part of a prestigious international Synergy grant funded by the European Research Council. The project, ‘Autonomous Discovery of Advanced Materials’, aims to revolutionise the way that new materials are discovered by combining computational simulations, robotics and materials synthesis. 

Within this studentship, you will develop computational methods that can guide the discovery of new materials. The project will focus on developing and applying Monte Carlo methods (https://doi.org/10.1038/s42004-022-00705-4, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2300516120) to characterise the structure of lattice energy surfaces to understand finite temperature effects on the landscape of possible crystal structures and kinetic influences on which structures are formed experimentally. Computational methods are developing rapidly in this area and you will join an internationally-leading group in the development and use of crystal structure prediction (CSP) methods. The student will develop software and also be involved in collaborations with lab-based materials discovery, where the computational results are used to guide robots to perform large-scale experiments.

The project is based in the computational materials discovery research group led by Prof. Graeme Day (http://www.crystalstructureprediction.net) in the School of Chemistry at the University of Southampton, who have pioneered the use of CSP for the discovery of functional molecular materials. You will be part of a multi-disciplinary team which includes collaborators at the University of Liverpool and Rostock University. Through these collaborations, you will interact with other computational chemists, synthetic chemists and engineers developing the use of robots in the materials chemistry laboratory.

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a good degree (equivalent to a UK first or upper second class) in chemistry, materials science or a related discipline. We are looking for candidates with an enthusiasm for research, multidisciplinary collaboration and tackling challenging problems through teamwork. You do not need to have experience with crystal structure prediction methods. Experience with computational chemistry and programming would be an advantage, as well as excellent communication skills.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Graeme Day, Email: G.M.Day@soton.ac.uk.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date:

31 January 2024.  Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding:

Funding for tuition fees and a living stipend are available on a competitive basis. Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis, so apply early for the best opportunity to be considered.

How To Apply

Apply online: Search for a Postgraduate Programme of Study (soton.ac.uk). Select programme type (Research), 2024/25, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, next page select “PhD Chemistry (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Graeme Day

Applications should include:

  • Research Proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two reference letters
  • Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk

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