PhD Study : Advanced Nanomaterials for Climate Change and Energy Applications

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This is a project to investigate new and exciting nanomaterials that directly contribute to a sustainable future with properties that can enhance the energy conversion from renewable sources as well as providing solution for environmental monitoring. A range of synthesis methods will be used to produce these new nanomaterials where plasma-based processes presents an attractive approach for the fabrication of nanomaterials.

The PhD student will be working within an EPSRC-funded project (EP/T016000/1) aimed at developing sensors for CO2 monitoring in the ocean. The work will therefore include the development of nanomaterials with tailored properties and to be included in a microfluidic device. However, the synthesis methods will provide the opportunities to synthesize similar nanomaterials that have applicability also in other energy conversion applications (e.g. photovoltaics, solar-thermal).

The lab is equipped with an extensive range of materials characterization facilities as well as other analytical equipment.

The candidate applying for this PhD project should have interest in nanomaterials, their properties and characterization. Prior experience with plasma synthesis is not required, but the candidate should have expressed interest in working with plasmas.

Applications are particularly encouraged from graduates with an Electrical, Mechanical, Physical Sciences, Chemical or Materials Science Engineering background.

Further details: Prof D Mariotti (;

Essential criteria

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.

We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

Equal Opportunities

The University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applicants from all sections of the community, particularly from those with disabilities.

Appointment will be made on merit.

Funding and eligibility

The University offers the following levels of support:

Department for the Economy (DFE)

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £19,237 (tbc) per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance).

This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

  • Candidates with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who also satisfy a three year residency requirement in the UK prior to the start of the course for which a Studentship is held MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance.
  • Republic of Ireland (ROI) nationals who satisfy three years’ residency in the UK prior to the start of the course MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance (ROI nationals don’t need to have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to qualify).
  • Other non-ROI EU applicants are ‘International’ are not eligible for this source of funding.
  • Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Due consideration should be given to financing your studies. Further information on cost of living

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 15 March 2021

Interview Date
24 March 2021

Preferred student start date
mid September 2021


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