Study with ICAM

PhD opportunities are available a on a wide-range of projects, all with real-world applications.

For the latest available courses take a look at the pages of our university partners:



Current Vacancies

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship starting in April or October 2019 to work with Professor Stuart Clarke on a project that is funded by BP plc as part of an EPSRC Prosperity Partnership programme.
The project involves the development of novel experimental methods to determine the structure and composition of organic monolayers adsorbed on solid surfaces from liquids under a number of external fields such as shear, pressure and temperature. This will involve state-of-the-art laboratory-based methods as well as the development of facilities for the UK's premier neutron scattering facility (ISIS). The studentship would suit a physical chemist, materials scientist or chemical engineer who is interested in understanding surface processes at a molecular level.
Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) the equivalent of a UK first class or upper second class honours degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in chemistry, materials science, or other relevant discipline. The studentship provides a maintenance grant and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Owing to restrictions imposed by the sponsor, non-EU citizens cannot be considered, unless they can cover the overseas fees differential.
Applications should include a cover letter, CV, detailed academic transcripts and the contact details for at least two academic referees, and should be sent by email to Professor Stuart Clarke (, to whom any informal enquiries can be addressed.
If you wish to be considered for any other available studentships in the Chemistry Department, you must also apply online via the University Applicant Portal and complete the Chemistry Department Application form (further information at Please note the earlier deadline and that there is an application fee.
Information about all research in the Department of Chemistry is given at:
Please quote reference MA13839 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.
This PhD is part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Materials for Demanding Environments (M4DE CDT) and will commence September 2018. 
Inorganic chemical scales form rapidly in certain chemical processes, reducing process performance. One example is in bioethanol sugar juice evaporators, which require frequent manual cleaning in confined spaces. This project aims to develop modifications to steel surfaces which resist the formation of these scales, thereby reducing safety risks and improving process efficiency.
Project Outline 
A range of different surface treatments will be investigated. One promising line will consider a number of different coating options that have been used in biomedical applications to preserve the chemical composition of metal implants and prosthetic heart valves, in order to prevent accretion of foreign materials on them.

A key feature of the experimental work will be to ensure that evaporation takes place on the modified surface, which will involve designing and building a piece of experimental equipment that allows heat to be directed through the test sample so that this evaporation takes place at the right location. It is envisaged that work under this programme will be conducted with synthetic solutions – initially with individual problematic calcium salts, but subsequently with mixtures possibly including sugars to simulate the actual process behaviour.

Funding Notes

Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of £17,000 tax free. Students with a first class/2.1 degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Materials Science, Metallurgy, Physics, Chemistry or another aligned science or engineering subject are encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until a candidate is selected; therefore candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 
Funding is only available for UK / EU candidates.

Centres for Doctoral Training

ICAM also has involvement with a number of Centres for Doctoral Training. Students taking part in these programmes undertake a taught year before progressing to an industry-set PhD research project.

More information on these courses can be found below: