Nanotechnology: Fully Funded EPSRC and Grove Materials Ltd PhD Scholarship: Designer Nanoparticles for Biomedicine and Energy: Physics Meets Biology and Chemistry (RS643)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 31 July 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 31 July 2024

Funding providers: EPSRC (CASE) with co-sponsor, Grove Nanomaterials Limited

Subject areas: Nanotechnology, physics, chemistry, biotechnology

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)


  • Professor R E Palmer (Mechanical Engineering -
  • Dr T Maffeis (Electronic and Electrical Engineering)
  • Dr K Cooke (Grove Materials- Industrial supervisor)

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Nanotechnology

Mode of study: Full-time 

Project description: 

Nanostructured materials already play a vital role in society. For example, the red lines on a Covid test are nanoscale gold particles. The conventional approach to their production employs solvents and chemicals which present health hazards and environmental challenges. In this project we will exploit breakthroughs in one of two connected areas, according to the expertise of the student: 

  1. Development of nanoscale physics-based experimental methods, where Swansea is world leader, to achieve solvent-free synthesis and scale-up of soluble, ligand-capped metal nanoparticles of size 1-100 nm.
  2. Conjugation of the nanoparticles at source with detector molecules chosen to recognise an infectious agent or a biomarker. This will be a completely new method to tether proteins to metal clusters for diagnostics.

Examples of the metal nanoparticles are gold for medical diagnostics and cancer treatment; iridium and platinum for clean energy (hydrogen); and silicon for photonics and solar. They will be characterised by state of the art methods including XPS, SEM, TEM, dynamic light scattering, optical methods and mass spec. The production methods will combine atomistic and molecular (including protein molecule) deposition in vacuum with wafer and roll-to-roll technology and post-processing to harvest nanoparticles on a scale beginning with grams, heading for kilograms and with the potential for tonnes – representing a revolutionary paradigm-shift in (bio) materials manufacturing at the interface between science frontiers and technological and medical applications. 

The project will suit an excellent student who enjoys design, practical experimental work, computer modelling and innovative ideas and wishes to contribute to a healthy planet. Your background could be in physics, physical chemistry/engineering, or biomedical sciences, and your role will be tuned accordingly. You will have good communication and team work skills and an international outlook. 

The co-sponsoring company Grove Nanomaterials Ltd springs from Swansea University and has licensed the background patents invented by the Primary Supervisor. It is ambitious and friendly. The work envisaged has the potential to contribute to significant national and international impact in terms of health, economic growth, University reputation and new scientific publications.

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold a UK Bachelor degree with a minimum of Upper Second Class honours in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline, or overseas Bachelor degree deemed equivalent to UK Bachelor (by UK ECCTIS) and achieved a grade equivalent to UK Upper Second Class honours in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline – see country specific qualifications 

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend at £19,237 for four years.

Additional research expenses of up to £1000 per year will also be available.

How To Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Nanotechnology / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / October 

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2024
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS643 - Designer Nanoparticles’

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via email). We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised closing date, where possible:

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional) 

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Professor R E Palmer (

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.

Who is eligible to apply?

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

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